The Standard-Examiner in Ogden, Utah, recently ran this front page photo of a commuter train passing over a Union Pacific steam engine, which was shot by “a trusted contributor.” Executive editor Andy Howell told readers over the weekend that “the image was actually two separate photos taken minutes apart and combined into one shot” and “for that, I apologize to readers for what was a news deception that goes against the principles of photojournalism.”
I believe the photographer did not set out to deceive us or the public. The end result was more a product of miscommunication and a naive misunderstanding on the photographer’s part.
It is also a cautionary tale for us and other newspapers as we rely more and more on citizen journalists and contributors.
The paper is getting blasted in its comments section. One person writes: “They knew the photo was altered on Tuesday, waited until Wednesday to remove it from the site and waited until Saturday to say something.”