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Unethically Altering Images

When you look at the newspaper article to your right is there something that looks out of place? When I first saw this image I noticed that the woman, actress Jane Fonda, looks a little unnatural, almost like she was photoshopped in. Well, that’s because she was. 

This image was altered by using two pictures shown below. A picture of Jane Fonda speaking at a political rally and a picture of John Kerry during his presidential campaign. They altered the image to make it look like actress/activist Fonda was speaking at an anti-war rally. Although there are times when you can ethically photoshop an image this is not one of them.


Picture of story from a news paper showing Jane Fonda speaking at an Anti-War Rally. This image has been altered
Article from newspaper published in 2004 showing actress Jane Fonda speaking at Anti-War Rally. The image has been altered.
The two original photos showing each person separately.
The original photos. Jane Fonda on the left talking at a political rally and John Kerry on the right talking during his presidential campaign.

What makes the altering of this image so unethical is that they clearly used the altered image to spread around misinformation and manipulate the reader. The creator of this image is without a doubt a photojournalist since their photograph is being published in a newspaper. As a photojournalist or anyone working for the news your job is to represent the truth and this photo very obviously does not represent the truth. Even if this was altered as a way of storytelling that would still be unethical since its just a blatantly dishonest photograph.

There are ways you can alter images to make the photo more effective, however changing the true story of the photo to represent something else is not how you do that.

Find out more about this image here

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