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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is the Spanish language newspaper, El Nuevo Herald. The El Nuevo Herald, the sister paper of the Miami Herald, gets the award for the following.

MIAMI -- The Miami Herald's Spanish-language sister paper acknowledged Friday that it manipulated two photos in a montage that made it falsely appear that two Cuban police officers were ignoring prostitutes gesturing to a tourist.

The picture published June 25 in El Nuevo Herald combined two archived photos _ a 1994 photo of the officers by El Nuevo Herald photographer Roberto Koltun, and a 1998 Associated Press photo of the women by John Moore.

The two pictures were matched closely enough that it appeared the officers were chatting a few feet from the women, but the picture was not identified as a montage.

Executive Editor Humberto Castello said the publication of the picture without an identifying headline was an accident. The problems with the photo montage were first reported Thursday in the Miami New Times, an alternative weekly. A day later, El Nuevo Herald published a long explanation to readers along with the original photographs.

Castello said he found out about the error from the New Times story.

``Here there were two mistakes,'' Castello said in an interview in Spanish, ``one that the photos weren't properly attributed, the other was that it was not then clarified.''

The montage accompanied a story on a book by Cuban writer Amir Valle, entitled ``Jineteras,'' or ``Prostitutes,'' about the thriving industry on the island.

The original plan was to publish the two photos side by side but in different sizes and with the border between them blurred, Castello said.

``On the computer screen it looked good. But it didn't work. The two photos look pasted together on the page,'' he said. Castello said the editor in charge went on vacation around the time the photos were published.

The paper now plans to offer a seminar to its photographers, graphic artists and editors on ethics and design.

AP guidelines require its photos always tell the truth and prohibit altering or manipulating the content of a photograph in any way.
The New York Times could use a seminar on using photographs properly too. Accident or no accident, the El Nuevo Herald misled its readers and therefore are today's knucklehead of the day.

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