Former Toledo Blade photog Dietrich altered pics back to 2004

Though none from Pulitzer-related work. From Editor & Publisher:

“We checked anything that was entered in a contest or won a contest and we found nothing,” said Assistant Managing Editor Luann Sharp. “But we did find other alterations going back to 2004. We are not going to go back any further because it serves no purpose. We are not going to reprint anything, sell anything or use any of the images.”

Detrich, who was a Blade employee since 1989, quit on April 7 after admitting he changed a photo of a local college baseball team, but claimed it had been mistakenly submitted for publication. That photo ran March 31.

I attended an event with many media a few weeks back and spent nearly an hour speaking with a retired PD photo editor. His take was that you simply do not change, do not edit, a THING. PERIOD. EVER.

Although when I was on WCPN talking about the Blade photo incident, I tried to assume the position of the consumer and said that I failed to see how removal of legs from behind a banner affected the picture one way or the other, from a viewer’s perspective, AND, as a writer, I know how my work gets edited and sometimes fails to resemble anything I wrote, I guess I have to defer to the position that we don’t want to go down a slippery slope.

The problem for me still is, what’s the difference between doctoring and editing? Where is the line over which professionals should not go? I’m just not sure – since photo editing isn’t being forbidden.


2 thoughts on “Former Toledo Blade photog Dietrich altered pics back to 2004

  1. I completely agree, Jeff, which is why I’m not sure I understand why people in the profession of photography, particularly newspaper or journalistic photography, aren’t admitting more to how editing fits in. I understand people’s desire, tendency, wish to keep things pure – in terms of explaining what is and isn’t okay, but it doesn’t reflect reality, I think, or practice. I would like to hear more from the in the trenches folks in the editing rooms and the ones taking the pics. Something isn’t right.

  2. Shalom Jill,Photographers have been altering photos since the beginning. The only difference was that they used composition, lighting, camera and film choices before the picture and a whole toolbox of developing tricks (the simplest of which is dodging) to produce the photo they wanted.The only difference now is that even the most inexperienced photographer can alter reality in a dramatic way.For a real education on what could be done before computers, look through old Soviet Union photographs of Uncle Joe.B’shalom,Jeff

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