Manipulation of Press Photos in Iraqi Media A Mere Content Devoid of Copyrights and Signification
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Manipulation of Press Photos in Iraqi Media …
A Mere Content Devoid of Copyrights and Signification
In the course of its 59th report, the Iraqi Media House, ‘IMH’ monitors how the local Iraqi media had subjugated the photos’ content in publishing their different media and press materials, and how such materials had been selected, illustrated and finally submitted to the readers.
The report also illustrates how we can protect the copyrights of the real photographers of events, as well as the owners of the media establishments employing them
In the meantime, the report focuses on the importance of the role played by the photograph in the press and media world, in view of the fact that it paints up the written material and draws the readers’ attention and helps them to better understand it.
The picture can also add extra meaning and implications to the reader, as per the adage, “The picture equals a thousand words” that was published by the US Philanderer Newspaper in 1911, and since then it has been adopted as a publishing rule in the journalism world.
The ‘IMH’ new monitor report is actually based on following up and analyzing the rhetoric used by a standard sample of the widely circulated traditional media, including (10) news agencies and websites, (10) satellite channels, (3) daily newspapers (noteworthy is that local papers are not regularly available).
It is also worth mentioning that the choice of such sample takes into considerable account the representation of all the different social, political, ethnic and sectarian trends. To this effect, more than (160) news items, reports, and investigations published from the 1st of September to the 31st of October of the same year had been closely monitored and analyzed.
The ‘IMH’ Monitoring Report Reached the Results to Follow;
1- The absolute semi-absence of captions that are most often written below any published pictorial material, to simply show and illustrate where and when the picture was taken, the names or titles of persons appearing on it, together with the buildings or prominent features shown on the background of the picture.
2- Non-observance of reserving the well-known copyright laws, by not caring to publish either the source of their published photos, or the names of the photographers who had taken them, or the establishment owning them. That caused the extensive spread of pictures in different information media at near times and consequently the loss of their original sources.
Such illegal malpractice actually violates the ‘Protection of Copyrights Act’, issued in 1971 under No. (3), to reserve, as per its Article (3), ‘the original classified compilations of all types of literatures, arts, and sciences’. The second paragraph of Article (8) specifically secures the rights of ‘photographic compilations’.
3- It is also noticeable that some of the monitored mass media put their own ‘watermarks’ on all their published photos, even if not taken by their own photographers and without purchasing the copyright possessed by the genuine owners of photos.
4- The’ IMH’ documented the usage of widely circulated photos on social media websites without giving any reference to the real owners of the published photos.
5- The report recorded that some mass media put out images irrelevant to the press material published with it.
6- It monitored as well that some press materials included wrong pictures, some of which were geographically distant from the scene of the event or irrelevant to the written content of the media materials.
7- Iraq’s mass media occasionally selected pictures from their own archives for their media items without giving any reference to that. Something that can confuse readers and make them believe that the media material is old.
8- Noticeably, some mass media did not pay due attention to the size of their published photos, as the report had monitored some errors causing distortions to them.
1- Mass media are urged to devote their great attention to photos in the course of making their daily media product. This can be achieved by recruiting professional photographers capable of creating their very own pictorial content, without being reliant on the pictures taken from the other mass or social media platforms.
2- Calling on the journalists working in newsrooms to write a caption for each and every picture, including its basic information, so that the reader can get maximal benefit from having a picture available with the published media material.
3- Observing scrutiny to secure that the selected photos for publishing are closely relevant to the press material in hand. To this end, stricter norms should be enforced on both correspondents and reporters, to guarantee that their choice of pictures can best suit and compliment their published materials.
4- Emphasizing on the necessity of reserving the patent publishing rights exclusively possessed by the original source of any photo, as well as its photographer and the establishment owning it. This can be done through naming the origin of any photo on its caption.
5- Putting the ‘watermark’ exclusively on the photos taken by the cameramen or journalists employed by the media establishment, or after the patent right to publish photos had been purchased from the rightful owner of photos.
6- Non-cutting or making any paramount alteration in the published pictures, particularly in their watermarks or sizes.
To view the monitoring sample (in Arabic), click
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