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Image integrity in documentary photography and photojournalism 
  
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The questioning of the integrity of still images has been an increasing significant research topic with a need to examine global perspective on how different practitioners - photographers, editors, picture desks and curators view the subject. In June 2014 David Campbell announced a research project for World Press Photo to examine the issues within documentary photography and photojournalism.[1] Using a qualitative research methodology the project was designed to interview relevant people around the world to better answer the following research questions:
  1. What forms of manipulation are relevant to the integrity of the image? In addition to post-processing of negatives, RAW files or unprocessed JPEGs, it could also includes the framing, cropping, selection, captioning and contextualisation of images, among other issues. Should these dimensions also be considered and, if so, how?
     
  2. Is manipulation generally a growing problem? If so, how and why?
     
  3. Is post-processing itself a problem, or is post-processing a problem only when certain levels of changes are made? If so, how are the legitimate levels known or identified?
     
  4. What ethical guidelines and protocols relevant to the integrity of the image are followed by media organisations in different countries?
     
  5. What ethical guidelines relevant to the integrity of the image are promoted by professional media associations in different countries?
     
  6. Are there national, regional and cultural differences in the ethical guidelines, accepted standards, and current practices relevant to the integrity of the image? Are there any points of consensus on manipulation regardless of geographical or cultural differences?
     
  7. Are there different norms with regard to manipulation in different image genres? Are the norms for news and documentary the same as those for nature, sports, and portraits (staged and observed), or are their differences?
     
  8. What are the most effective means for the detection of manipulation?
     
  9. What sanctions exist with the media industry after manipulation is detected?
     
  10. What rules exist within major international photo contests relating to the integrity of the image?
The research was necessitated by entries to the World Press Photo Awards that had been manipulated and were therefore ineligible for the competition but the awareness of the rising numbers of such images has implications for genres where photographic integrity is vital. If the viewer expects truth and it is not provided trust in the media delivering the images is brought into question. 
  

Footnotes 
  
  1. Λ David Campbell, 6 June 2014, "The integrity of the image: Global practices and standards concerning the manipulation of photographs"
    (Accessed: 14 June 2014)
    www.david-campbell.org/2014/06/06/the-integrity-of-the-image-global-practices-standards-concerning-manipulation-of-photographs/ 
      
 
  
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