Cropped photos

June 7, 2010

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Shame on you for editing (cropping) photos depicting wounded Israeli soldiers in a way that hides the cold weapons (knives and metal clubs) in the hands of the “peaceful” voyagers.

Unfortunately, Reuters looses its stature as an unbiased media outlet time and time again.


knife 220I would think the knife a “peace activist” was holding over a wounded Israeli soldier would be part of the news context. But that would involve impartial journalism, and Reuters’ own anti-Israel activism would take a hit. Don’t worry, I’ll take care of alerting appropriate media watchdogs; we’ve seen Reuters photography in action before.


You cropped those pictures to deliberately omit weapons shown in the hands of the Turkish ships’ passengers including knives and broken bottles, and also cropped out a pool of blood from a wounded Israeli soldier and also entirely cropped out another wounded Israeli soldier covered in blood.

Shame on you. You need to come clean and admit what you did and issue a correction.

Your cropping of these photos demonstrates that Reuters is not an objective news agency.


Cropped photos from the IHH ship used by your news service are being shown all over the web. This is clearly a case where cropping changed the message of the photo. I would like an explanation, and would like your service to put constraints on when cropping is allowed.


A number of readers contacted us about this. At the top and bottom you can see our initial cropped versions on the left, and the full frame versions on the right.

The images in question were made available in Istanbul, and following normal editorial practice were prepared for dissemination which included cropping at the edges. When we realized that a dagger was inadvertently cropped from the images, Reuters immediately moved the original set, as well.

We also used one of the uncropped photos on our home page, and linked to a slideshow which used both full-frame knife shots: GBU Editor

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“When we realized that a dagger was inadvertently cropped from the images, Reuters immediately moved the original set, as well.”

When exactly did you ‘realize’ this? It wouldn’t have been after LittleGreenFootballs blew your cover and the story started going viral, would it?

You people are starting to resemble a comedy act more than a press agency.

Posted by ryannon | Report as abusive

[…] They claim the cropping was inadvertent, failing the smell test: Cropped photos | Analysis & Opinion. […]

Posted by Reuters: Cropping of Photos Was ‘Inadvertent’ – Charles Johnson – The Lizard Annex – True/Slant | Report as abusive

1 maybe an accident, but as of now it is 3 cropped photos. That is clearly an attempt to manipulate the the photos and clearly demonstrates bias.

Posted by kingkarn | Report as abusive

I can no longer trust pictures posted by Reuters. This now marks how many times they have been caught in the act of editing photos?

Does anyone find it strange that this only seems to happen with the reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict? Does anyone find it even more disturbing that every time this has come up, it has been done in a way to either make the Israelis look more brutal or as an attempt to whitewash their enemies actions?

Posted by STiHunter | Report as abusive

inadvertently ??

In “both” photos the knife is cropped out, is that coincidence?

Posted by I_am | Report as abusive

Right on, ryannon. Reuters, you need to give a fuller explanation and publish your response to the State of Israel’s official letter of complaint to your company. This is no “inadvertent” situation, it is a blatant pattern of disregard for journalistic standards and a bias toward accepting photos and reports from terrorists and scum as unvarnished truth.

Posted by copyace | Report as abusive

“[F]ollowing normal editorial practice,” eh? Doubtless the normal Reuters editorial practice of covering for any anti-Israel violence.

Posted by Leizerel | Report as abusive

What happened to “No additions or deletions to the subject matter of the original image. (thus changing the original content and journalistic integrity of an image)” – from Reuters’ own “Handbook of Journalism” at Brief_Guide_to_Standards%2C_Photoshop_an d_Captions

Posted by Leizerel | Report as abusive

This isn’t the first time you’ve been caught manipulating photo’s to support your anti-Israel rhetoric.

How pathetic of you to claim this was an honest mistake when all your reporting is so ridiculously biased. And the same “accident” in two photos…

Posted by MitchP | Report as abusive

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Christopher, aNorthernSoul, News on Islam,, Y0R1CK ॐ C1SN3 and others. Y0R1CK ॐ C1SN3 said: RT @atomicpoet: This sure makes you think. […]

Posted by Tweets that mention Cropped photos | Analysis & Opinion | — | Report as abusive

how is possible that reuter publish fake flotilla pictures?
are you part of the bigot and antisemite that publish
fake story like the blood libel?
are you payed by the ayatollah?

Posted by camel1800 | Report as abusive

Cropped at the edges? Yes, cropped unevenly, and then one image had it’s contrast lowered to hide the second Israeli soldier wounded on the deck. And both images conveniently cropped to hide weapons. Reuters as a news agency might be neutral, but it’s obvious the staff who work for you aren’t. Time to fire some folks and restore some credibility.

Posted by Blink | Report as abusive

Please provide your readers with the following info:
1. Name and position of the editor responsible for the photo alterations.
2. What disciplinary actions (if any) you plan to take against this staffer.

Posted by Anon555 | Report as abusive

Reuters were cought manipulating 3 pictures in a way that would assist the Ismamic anti-Israeli propoganda.

Which makes me wonder, how many times haven’t they been cought?

Posted by Joe.Egan | Report as abusive

The hand and knife might as well be another copy paste into the picture to demonize the civilans and justify israels rage attack, you really can’t trust reuters anyway.

Posted by Dr-Mundo | Report as abusive

Apparently reuters had not yet evolved beyond its antisemitic agenda. Who is this person that comes into mind? oh yeah, Joseph Goebbels..

Posted by pro_israel | Report as abusive

Why do you need a standard practice that crops the edges of photos anyway? Don’t crop and avoid trouble altogether.

Posted by Brunodc | Report as abusive

[…] response: The images in question were made available in Istanbul, and following normal editorial practice […]

Posted by Cropped Reuters photos « A Step At A Time | Report as abusive

Clearly was deliberate and not a mistake. 3 photos? multiple items removed – not just through cropping?!!! I agree with Anon555 at 3:41 am:

“Please provide your readers with the following info:
1. Name and position of the editor responsible for the photo alterations.
2. What disciplinary actions (if any) you plan to take against this staffer”

add on #3. How does Reuters plan on ensuring accurate reporting in the Middle East after repeat incidences of deliberate mis-reporting?

Posted by activist1 | Report as abusive

It is so obvious that it was deliberate and then they try and weasel out of it. Do we have an assurance that the person/people respnsible will be disciplined? I have written to the Press Complaints Commission but I doubt that anything will done as the majority of the British press are left-wing and anti-Israel and probably in receipt of oil dollars. Do you know the Arabs spend $7billion on propaganda and NGOs. And they say that Jews control the media!

Posted by Hannah333 | Report as abusive

Will the senior editorial staff of reuters responsible for this sleight of hand please participate in any investigation which eventually takes place, by whichever body? Is it part of their charter to create mischief, encourage international tension and cow tow to acknowledged terrorist groups? Maybe a name change to Re-Reuters would be fitting!

Posted by DickMar | Report as abusive

If heads don’t roll over this manipulation of the facts Reuters will fall like Helen Thomas. SHAME ON REUTERS!!!!

Posted by Snoop | Report as abusive

Rueters is done as a legitimate news source.

Posted by Snoop | Report as abusive

BULL HOCKEY! It was DILIBERATE and now you’re trying to WEASEL OUT OF IT!!!
Anything with “Reuters” has been ignored by us in the past — but now we’ll be double verifying EVERYTHING!

Posted by Serafinos | Report as abusive

I haven’t realized until now that Reuters is an anti-Israeli propaganda agency that employs (bumptiously enough to get caught pants-down) all the cheap old fact-altering tricks used in the good old days by the Nazis and Soviets.

I herewith am unsubscribing from their newsletter.

Posted by dpearl | Report as abusive

[…] this biased and deceptive reporting, or an honest mistake?  Decide for yourself by checking out the photos. Tags: altered, crop, cropped, cropping, ethics, news, photograph, photojournalism, photoshop, […]

Posted by Reuters Crops a Dagger Out of News Photo | Photography News | Report as abusive

Boycott reuters!!!!!!

Posted by Snoop | Report as abusive

Thank God for Fox News. If it wasn’t for Fox we would never know this was going on.

Posted by Snoop | Report as abusive

[…] has responded to this latest controversy on their blog, saying: A number of readers contacted us about this. At the top and bottom you can see our initial […]

Posted by Reuters Accused of Biased Cropping of Flotilla Raid Photographs | Report as abusive

Flowers! Flowers for Helen Thomas!!

Helen! Helen Thomas – Is that you! You crazy girl! You’re not supposed to say it to the media, just behind closed doors at our offices or maybe 10 Downing Street or 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. You go girl!! Best of luck, warm regards, etc. Kiss/Kiss 😉

Love Ya,

Your Friends at Reuters!!

Posted by PursuitofHappy | Report as abusive

I get that the people with access to certain stories are not going to be objective. However, you must then be extra diligent in doing basic photo testing and perhaps have the article co-written.

Posted by J-E-T-S | Report as abusive

Shame, Shame. News? Not news but biased commentary on your part. The photo cropping and previous underhanded “reporting” are going to finish you people off. Do you really think, with communications what they are today, that thinking people won’t discover your bias? Or do you just not care? Might as well watch Al Jazeera.

Posted by patriot50 | Report as abusive

You have been caught, once again. This was no accident. You people are not journalist. What a joke you have become over the years.

Posted by TiminPhx | Report as abusive

Well, as some have said:
How many time Reuters have NOT been caught publishing and distorting fact just to show how the terrorist are good people and the Israelis are not…
It is obvious that this behavior is either because of antisemitism, or simply because they are paid by the arabs….
Next time, turn to real media channels that are objective.
Fox news for ex.
You can watch the Israeli media and be surprised how objective it is…some even say it is left winged pro arab in many cases…

Posted by Laker4ever | Report as abusive

May I suggest that those of you who are angered by this write to the Press Complaints Commission in the UK as I have done. If they receive enough complaints they might, just might, do something (but somehow I doubt it).

Posted by Hannah333 | Report as abusive

You are all victims of the continues mendacious and false Arabic Propaganda.

They send terrorists as “”peace activists””,
to protest against a territory “”under siege”” (who, by the way, shoots rockets at israeli cities),
Who kidnapped soldiers that came down to the ship UNARMED to convince them to surrender, and took advantage of that to beaten them,
Who then filmed it and CUT OFF the knives and pipes used to beat the soldiers!

Some of these “”peace activists”” interviewed before that they PLAN TO BE SHAIDS AND ATTACK THE SOLDIERS.


Posted by The_ABZ | Report as abusive

Reuters is a fake news agency!

Posted by jos_ver | Report as abusive

I love their explanation – oh, uh we didn’t realize that we cropped a knife out. Seriously, if that is the case then the person doing the cropping should be fired because it means they either didn’t look closely enough at something that has serious implications in the context of real, serious news… or it means that they did look close enough and made a conscious decision to edit it out because they were trying to portray something that wasn’t true. Either way, for a news organization, I think that’s unacceptable

Posted by jflash | Report as abusive

Wow. You guys — you commenters, I mean — are downright scary. Do you see conspiracies everywhere you look?

Posted by Bookman | Report as abusive

I logged onto Reuters and left my comment directly to them. The truth DOES matter, and they are no longer a reliable news source.

Posted by ymbk | Report as abusive

Maybe the people at Reuters should watch this says it all really Vg

Posted by purpleheather | Report as abusive

Maybe Reuters should watch this Vg

Posted by Hannah333 | Report as abusive

When you try to conceal criminals’ knives now, be prepared to be killed by the same criminals with the same knives later.

Posted by marrek | Report as abusive

What about all the other pictures that were cropped? Why was an answer given only regarding the image with the knife? Were they all “accidently” cropped?

Posted by Udi | Report as abusive

For years Reuters used to be the epitome of impartial journalism ever since my undergraduate studies shared by fellow students. Yet like childish dreams some truths turn out be unfulfilled myths. Bye – bye yet another “reliable” source of information

Posted by Oleg_GL | Report as abusive

What a bunch of oversensitive Zionists. Where is the “balance” in these comments? Not one compares the lives (9 and counting) lost by civilians aboard, while no combat armed and “deadly force” intentioned were killed.
Blood spilled as opposed to 5 bullets to the head? Are you asking to see the pictures confiscated by Israel of the unarmed civilians KILLED?
Yes, I see you all gathered at the local support Israel chapter pounding the keyboards to whitewash jackboot diplomacy.

Posted by DonrJy | Report as abusive

Interesting article. Actually looks pretty harmless. I wrote my opinion about this story on a photography blog article at Kinda interesting.

Posted by jimharmer | Report as abusive

Oh, for God’s sake. Have you even ever watched Al Jazeera? You’re telling me you respect the integrity of Fox News? You’re embarrassing, truly.

Posted by addistgeorge | Report as abusive

My gosh, these people are very angry and indignant.

Posted by lorileiti | Report as abusive

[…] Reuters are being attached for cropping Apparently Reuters have been a little too aggressive with their cropping tool. They are being flamed for cropping out a knife in a few pictures where the knife is the actual story.  Read the full story! […]

Posted by ReclaimedPixels » So how about it… An update a day? | Report as abusive