Phony Wildlife Photography Gives a Warped View of Nature
Why are lies anathema in all journalism save photo journalism? If a picture is worth a thousand words, is not a film, book, magazine, calendar, or poster containing photographic lies as objectionable as, say, a “news story” inThe New York Times by Jayson Blair. Blair, you may recall, was the fiction writer who masqueraded as a reporter. When the Times learned he’d concocted scenes, sources, and quotes, it fired him along with the paper’s unwitting executive editor, Howell Raines. Even “full disclosure” couldn’t get that kind of reporting sold or read much beyond supermarket checkout counters.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
When you see a wildlife photo or film that looks too good to be true, it probably is. Write a letter asking for details.
This story originally ran in the March-April 2010 issue as "Picture Perfect."