A comparison of the views of South African and American photojournalists to the digital manipulation of news photographs

Cass, Taryn May (1998) A comparison of the views of South African and American photojournalists to the digital manipulation of news photographs. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

[img]
Preview
Text
CASS-MAJourn-TR99-12.pdf

254Kb

Abstract

Digital technology has now become pervasive at most publications in South Africa and in America. Pictures are routinely digitised by publications for ease of handling in the layout process, and this makes it relatively easy to alter or manipulate the pictures using computer software programmes. This thesis attempts to gauge the views of South African photojournalists about the digital manipulation of news photographs, and compare these to the views of American photojournalists. It is based on the hypothesis that South African and American photojournalists have different views of what is acceptable manipulation of news photographs, and that their reasons for this will also be different. This thesis also suggests that the manipulation of news photographs is ethically problematic and can damage the credibility of both the photojournalist and the publication in which the photographs appear. The study involves a comparison of the results from a questionnaire given to South African photojournalists and a similar questionnaire given to American photojournalists. The questionnaires were then supplemented by interviews with six South African photojournalists. The thesis then draws conclusions from the responses to the questionnaires and interviews. These conclusions partially support the initial hypothesis, in that there are some differences between the views of South African and American photojournalists, but, on the whole, these are remarkably similar. Photojournalists do seem to find the manipulation of news photographs to be ethically problematic, but they may find the manipulation of other kinds of images (eg fashion or soft news) to be acceptable. South African photographers also find the manipulation of images by other means (eg different lenses or darkroom techniques) to be more acceptable than Americans do. Although the underlying reasons for these views may differ, maintaining the credibility of the photographer and the publication does seem to be the major issue for avoiding digital manipulation. South African photographers seemed to think that if the photographer had done his or her job well, there would be no need for manipulation, and both groups (but especially the Americans) felt that manipulation could often be equated to lying to the reader, and that this might damage their reputation, and that of their publications.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Photojournalists, Photojournalism, Digital media, Digital media management, Photography
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN4699 Journalism
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > Journalism and Media Studies
ID Code:2209
Deposited By: Ms Chantel Clack
Deposited On:22 Nov 2011 08:15
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:22
25 full-text download(s) since 22 Nov 2011 08:15
25 full-text download(s) in the past 12 months
More statistics...

Repository Staff Only: item control page