UNAUSTRALIAN: Age guilty of flag burning

sundayageflagburners The Sunday Age, a loss-making newspaper within the Fairfax stable, appears to have digitally removed the Australian flag from a Reuters photograph of sailor Jessica Watson that it splashed across its front page in its most recent edition last Sunday.

Scandalously, it did not mark the image “digitally altered” in the manner accepted across the news reporting industry. Nor did it apologise to the Aussie Diggers who fought so valiantly under the flag to protect Catherine Deveny’s right to call a spade an effin’ shovel.

Having removed the Australian flag from the image, the newspaper then super-imposed its girl-power headline over the fake sail.

VEXNEWS has obtained the original unaltered photograph as supplied to The Age by Reuters. The original clear shows that The Age has removed the Australian flag and faked the off-white sail where the flag used to be. This is considered highly unethical, according to the Press Council on the basis it can mislead readers.

As a beacon of high standards, in contrast to some, we believe it is our duty to point Sunday Age’s comrades to the following edict of the Australian Press Council in its Guideline 220:

The Council believes that a publication that uses a significantly altered picture that purports to illustrate the news (whether it be on the cover or in the body of the publication) should disclose in the picture caption or in a prominent position in the same edition the fact of that alteration. The form of the disclosure can be left to the editor of the publication to determine but it should be sufficient to bring the fact of the alteration to the notice of readers, so that none is misled as to the provenance of the image. If this is done properly, the Council would not normally entertain a complaint about the alteration.

In adjudicating a complaint (Adjudication No. 679) some years ago, the Council, in ruling on the use of file photographs to illustrate a story, made the comment, "Readers’ rights to be informed accurately could be served by greater care in the wording of captions to such photos taken from library files or, at the very least, by a notation, such as ‘file photo’, to describe their nature more accurately."

The Council believes a notation of similar wording accurately describing the significant alteration of a picture or the creation of a montage of different images would normally be sufficient for a publication to meet its ethical requirements.

Media insiders tell VEXNEWS that the Sunday Age would have been reluctant to draw attention to such an embarrassing alteration and that’s why they left off the ‘digitally altered’ tagline. They clearly hoped no-one would notice. Too bad.

image Sometimes a disclosure can be very embarrassing indeed. This week, the Age managed to report a story on state government funded junkets with the assistance of one of their reporters who himself was travelling as a guest of a state government department to Shanghai. If we were nicer to Brumby COS Dan O’Brien, perhaps he’d send this struggling journalist to Sorrento, the real one, not the Ted Baillieu hang-out where you might bump into shady characters like Michael Kapel and Costas Socratous.

The Sunday Age, which massively underperforms both its Sydney Fairfax stablemate and its Melbourne competitor, the Sunday Herald Sun, is the constant subject of rumours about its imminent closure as a separate publication from the daily newspaper. It currently maintains a separate staff including the semi-retired Michael Bachelard, a known associate of wannabe Liberal politician Stephen Mayne and Melissa Fyfe who has acknowledged that she wears two hats of environmental activist and state political reporter.

There are several believed to be on the verge of leaving, including their Gallery scribe Josh Gordon, who has sniffed the wind and likely redundancies and is known to actively pursuing “other opportunities.”

Who could blame him?

sundayagefront originalreuterspic

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “UNAUSTRALIAN: Age guilty of flag burning

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention VEXNEWS 2010© | UNAUSTRALIAN: Age guilty of flag burning -- Topsy.com

  2. Blackmambo

    lol…petty petty petty…I love it

  3. Dan Lewis

    Minor correction, I don’t think that’s the sail (note the window below it). It’s the hatch leading to the cabin (or whatever weird nautical term the saltys use).

    See: http://www.jessicawatson.com.au/pink-lady

  4. Mick

    And your point is what? This story is rubbish…lift your game VEX.

  5. Mick

    May I add, all this from the kings of the “digitally altered” image VEX news. This has to be a bad joke right? 33.3% of your storys on here are bashing The Age,33.3% bashing liberals and supporting labour and the remaining 33.3% written by some Zionist lobby group. By the way Dan Lewis hows the bat-phone going to Andy Landeryou office?

  6. Clam man

    Yeah….not really stuff that means anything to me.

  7. Spongebob Shortpants

    Looks like a British Flag to me.

  8. Anonymous

    I remember The Age saying how Jessica Watson should never have been allowed to set sail and how the sponsors should pull the pin on her.

    Standing by your claims now The Age ?

  9. LeftRightOut

    WHoever spotted this one… well done! It’s always nice to see the Age (any version) ebarrassed.

  10. Dan Lewis

    Mick – Vexnews has never tried to pass digitally altered images off as genuine. Most of them are so over the top you’d have to be an idiot to even think they were genuine.

    Speaking of which, your sub-literate spray stands as further proof there is a direct correlation between poor education and hatred of Jews, sorry “Zionists”.

    Get back to me when you graduate primary school eh?

  11. Rudi

    Pettier than Tom Petty.

    More Bex that Vex.

    If you become any less hard hitting you will be shadow boxing.

  12. Mick (Michael)

    Dan Lewis – How can I hate Jews when I am one myself? You say, “Get back to me when you graduate primary school eh?”
    I graduated from The King David School in Melbourne 7 years ago with an ENTER result of 93.95. Is all this literate enough for you eh?

  13. Ben

    Fair issue to raise. The Age is a very un-Australian paper.

  14. Chunks

    Jeez why don’t you all grow up. As someone who used to do the graphic design for a community newspaper I can tell you i would have done the same thing to that image. Not because I hate Straya but because then you can place text there without it being hard to read or needing a white outline around it. What a storm in a teacup.

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