118 — Manipulating Photojournalism — Interview with Carl Neustaedter

Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast #118 is the first of two episodes ded­i­cated to manip­u­la­tion in pho­to­jour­nal­ism. This first episode fea­tures an inter­view with Carl Neustaedter who is the deputy edi­tor of the Ottawa Cit­i­zen, the largest daily news­pa­per in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Carl is one of the peo­ple who decides on a daily basis what images make it into the newspaper.

In this inter­view we dis­cuss how much manip­u­la­tion is too much manip­u­la­tion when it comes to news photography.

In par­tic­u­lar, we talk about this year’s win­ning world press photo by Paul Hansen. We also talk about using Insta­gram and Hip­st­matic style fil­ters in news pho­tog­ra­phy. We dis­cuss some famously ‘over’ manip­u­lated news images like the O.J. Simp­son Cover on Time Mag­a­zine back in 1994.  We also dis­cuss more sub­tle mod­ern ways in which dig­i­tal news images are manip­u­lated. Finally, we dis­cuss the fir­ing of the pho­to­jour­nal­ism staff at the Chicago Sun-Times.

Scroll to the BOTTOM of this post to find the player to imme­di­ately lis­ten to the audio podcast.

In 1994 Time and Newsweek used the same image of O.J. Simpson as the cover image. It's clear that Time magazine intentionally manipulated the image.

In 1994 Time and Newsweek used the same image of O.J. Simp­son on their cover. Our eyes can see that Time over-processed the image. Image from Wikipedia.

A Grunt's Life by Damon Winter - An award winning photo essay documenting a soldier's life taken using the Hipstamatic App on an iphone. The essay was originally published in The New York Times.

A Grunt’s Life by Damon Win­ter — An award win­ning photo essay doc­u­ment­ing a soldier’s life taken using the Hip­sta­matic App on an iphone. The essay was orig­i­nally pub­lished in The New York Times.

Alex Rodriguez - Instagram photo by Nick published in The New York Times.

Alex Rodriguez — Insta­gram photo by Nick Laham pub­lished in The New York Times.

World Press Photo of the year 2013 - City Burial by Paul Hansen - Feb. 2013

World Press Photo of the year 2012 — City Bur­ial by Paul Hansen


Links /resources men­tioned in this pod­cast:
World Press Photo of the year (Large)
A Grunt’s Life — Damon Win­ter — The New York Times
From iPhone to printed page: The rise of Insta­gram in major pub­li­ca­tions
We Need Pho­to­jour­nal­ists — Arti­cle by SND.org
Carl Neustaedter on LinkedIN
A pet’s per­spec­tive — Low angled images — Photography.ca forum’s reg­u­lar assign­ment — June 2013
f/16 or smaller — Photography.ca forum’s level 2 assign­ment — June 2013

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Thanks to Stephen, Dar­nell B, Dwayne and Royce How­land who posted a blog com­ment about our last pod­cast. Thanks as well to every­one that sent com­ments by email about our last pod­cast. Although ALL com­ments are appre­ci­ated, com­ment­ing directly in this blog is pre­ferred. Thanks as well to all the new mem­bers of the bul­letin board. Most of the links to actual the prod­ucts are affil­i­ate links that help sup­port this site. Thanks in advance if you pur­chase through those links.

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You can down­load this pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast directly by click­ing the pre­ced­ing link or lis­ten to it almost imme­di­ately with the embed­ded player below.

Thanks for lis­ten­ing and keep on shooting!


  1. admin says:

    Thanks for the com­ments Jason, Juliet and Yise­haq!
    Those are crazy low rates from your last post Jason!
    Photo stu­dents and ama­teurs will likely be their main con­tract staff from now on as
    10 bucks a photo is about what they are pay­ing — I’m speechless

  2. Jason says:

    Just saw this post­ing on PetaPixel regard­ing what the Sun-Times will be pay­ing the free­lancers that are replac­ing the pro­fes­sional staff:

  3. Juliet O'Neill says:

    Very enjoy­able inter­view on an impor­tant topic. It all comes down to respon­si­bil­ity and ethics and it’s good to hear respon­si­ble and eth­i­cal peo­ple shar­ing their observations.

  4. Jason says:

    Marko, I really enjoyed this one. Cer­tainly a topic that is viewed dif­fer­ently by many peo­ple. I thought the his­tor­i­cal dis­cus­sion was espe­cially inter­est­ing. We are often quick to think this is a new phe­nom­e­non, but it cer­tainly doesn’t seem to be the case! Any­how, I still firmly believe there is not much room for manip­u­la­tion when it comes to pho­to­jour­nal­ism, it’s a pretty slip­pery eth­i­cal slope.

  5. Yisehaq says:

    Nice pod­cast Marko. I don’t think we can reach a con­sen­sus on this issue. All points raised are very interesting.

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