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11/2/2006 Time changed for lecture on photojournalism ethics

McMINNVILLE - The results of a collaborative research project examining the ethics of photo manipulation will be discussed at an upcoming faculty lecture at Linfield College.

Brad Thompson, assistant professor of mass communication, will present "A Snapshot of Photojournalists' Attitudes Toward Digital Alteration of Images" on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 8 p.m. in 201 Riley Hall at Linfield. The lecture was originally scheduled at 7:30 p.m.

Thompson will discuss the ethics of using various digital manipulations to alter photographs. He will present the results of a survey of photojournalists that he and Caleb Bushner, a 2006 Linfield graduate, conducted. The survey of more than 1,000 photojournalists found that, in general terms, photojournalists do not approve of using programs such as Photoshop to substantially change the content or appearance of an image once the picture has been taken.

At the heart of the survey is the question of whether or not the public can trust the media, Thompson said.

"Altering pictures has gone on for a long time, but computer software and hardware make it easier to do and harder to detect than ever before," Thompson said.

In 1982, the National Geographic moved one of the Giza pyramids in a photo so the image could conform to the proportions of the magazine's cover. And just this year, a photojournalist was found to have enhanced the smoke from a burning building in a picture from the war in Lebanon to make the destruction appear greater than it was.

The lecture is free and open to the public. The Linfield College faculty lecture series offers one presentation each month by a member of the Linfield faculty. For more information, call 503-883-2409.