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Is seeing really believing?

July 28, 2008

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Don’t believe everything you see.” That’s a great motto to remember, but how do you distinguish the times when you should or shouldn’t believe? Take the news industry for example. Most of us rely on newspapers, websites, blogs, etc. to learn about what’s going on in the world and we put our trust into those journalists whose job it is to bring us the latest truth to the stories. However, what happens when some facts are fabricated or embellished, such as photographs or videos? You may think fabricated images never make it into the mainstream news, but they do. After the truth surfaced about a recent photograph that depicted an “extra” Iranian missile, we decided to take a look into some other headlines. Take a look at the stories below and see for yourself.

The photograph on the right of New York Times reporter Jacques Steinberg was recently aired on Fox News’ Fox & Friends. Comparing the image to that on the left, which is the original photo, it appears that Steinberg’s teeth were colored yellow and his facial features were embellished.

This authentic poster was used in conjunction with a digital photograph to create a forged image of an endangered tiger. Chinese forestry officials allegedly used the fake picture to aid their efforts in establishing a South China tiger natural reserve.

The Otago Daily Times in New Zealand received this photograph from a protestor attempting to express his/her concern over the lowering of water levels at Lake Hawea by national electricity supplier Contact Energy. Appearing to have spotted the untruthfulness, the publication reached out to a local group of protestors who denied participation and found the image humorous.

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