4-2. Guidance for Journalists
Photojournalists in the civilian community, as well as the military services have established guidelines to lead them through the ethical decision-making process.
For the armed forces, DoD Directive 5040.5, August 29, 1995, subject: Alteration of Official DOD Imagery, provides official policy and guidance. One of the most important aspects of image handling, and crucial to implementation of the directive, is understanding the difference between enhancement and manipulation.
Enhancement vs. Manipulation
Enhancement. To make greater, (more attractive), "intensify," i.e., density, contrast, etc. Repairing mechanical defects (dust, scratches, etc.) or optical defects ("red-eye," etc.), caused by the photographic process is authorized and considered enhancement. Enhancement does not alter the content of the photograph.
Manipulation. To change by artful or unfair means to serve ones own purpose. Electronic images are made up of pixels, which can be rearranged, changed, duplicated or eliminated. We can alter an image in almost any way imaginable: retouching, adding or deleting visual elements, creating montages and creating entire imaginary scenes.
Pixels, unlike traditional photographic materials, can be radically altered with no evidence (to most observers) of alteration. Once manipulated, photographs lose their "reality" and become no more informative than an advertisement or illustration.
Potential Areas of Abuse
Newspapers and magazines wishing to set ethical standards for their publications need to look at areas where abuse can occur and then decide the appropriate response for their circumstances.
Design: David L. Heiserman
Publisher: SweetHaven Publishing Services
Copyright © 2007, SweetHaven Publishing Services