Thursday, January 31, 2013

Did New York Times Just Publish Staged Photos on A1, Above the Fold?

David Steinberg
Today’s carries a 14-picture gallery of clashes in Damascus between the Free Syrian Army and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Today’s New York Times, print version, publishes three photos of the clashes on A1, above the fold. The caption reads:
Clashes in Syria, and a Potential Step ForwardTop, two insurgents in Damascus took position before being hit by army snipers; the fighter on the right died soon after being dragged from the line of fire. On the political front, Syria’s top opposition leader expressed a willingness for the first time to talk with the government.
So: three photos are prominently featured in the print edition, and 14 are featured in a gallery online.
However, the picture described in the print edition as “Top, two insurgents in Damascus took position before being hit by army snipers” does not appear in the online gallery.
I have been unable to locate it on the NYT website.
This picture made the cut for the top three pictures to be published in the print edition — indeed, it is featured on top — but did not make the cut for the much larger online gallery.
Here it is, from my phone:

In that picture, note the two men are supposedly taking cover from Assad’s forces, which would be to the photographer’s right.
But in picture 7 from the online gallery, this:

If Assad’s forces are to the right, these two FSA, and the photographer, would appear to be sitting ducks.
Also here in picture 9:

And in picture 10:

Additionally: this man is supposedly shot by a sniper bullet, and is being dragged. No blood is visible on his clothing or on the ground in any picture.
Will make a few phone calls, and will update this post.
A video camera is visible in picture 7, by the FSA member’s right knee. It appears to be pointing directly at the two men supposedly under fire:

In picture 10, the video camera is clearly visible, perched on a small tripod:

So: the photographer managed to be in position to capture two men supposedly in peril, one of them subsequently shot and killed, and just happened to have the presence of mind — and luck — to set up a second camera, for video, in what would be a perfectly clear vantage point to film the drama. From a tripod.
No smoking gun, but I believe there is enough accumulated evidence present to be objectively suspicious.
The photographer for the gallery is listed as Goran Tomasevic of Reuters. Putting in calls to Reuters to see if they have footage from that video camera, and to see if the Times can answer why the key photo from the print edition is missing from the gallery.

1 comment:

Hans said...