Double Trouble: Daily News in Hot Water for ‘Shopping an Already Fake Photo


NBC recently received some criticism for distributing the above photo of Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon to several news outlets — some of which used it on their front page — without disclosing that the background and road in the image were fake. Being an entertainment outlet, however, they were granted a pass; the fakery was obvious and it was the news outlet’s job to figure it out and disclose it to their readers.

But one particular newspaper has drawn more fire than the rest. The New York Daily News was one of the papers that used the photo on their front page, but on top of not disclosing the initial fakery, they further ‘shopped the photo and kept that part to themselves as well.

Here’s The Daily News’ version:


As you can see, Fallon has had a stack of money digitally placed in his lap, some of which is flying out behind him. And while the online versions of the cover found on Newseum does contain both a disclosure and photo credits, according to iMediaEthics, the print version does not:


Using a composite image on the front page isn’t new. In fact, The New York Post was criticized for doing just that less than a month ago. But doing it without proper disclosure of the picture as an “illustration” or “composite” is, at the very least, frowned upon. The Daily News has yet to comment on the matter.

(via iMediaEthics via Poynter)

  • Dan

    Sheesh… It’s an illustration. Obviously. What’s the problem?

  • Tom

    You say it’s necessary that there should be ‘proper disclosure of the picture as an “illustration” or “composite” ‘. Doesn’t the “Illustration by Daily News” in the red circle that is highlighted constitute such disclosure? I think it’s fairly clear from that attribution that a photo was provided by NBC and it has been further illustrated by Daily News – especially given that the money appears so obviously to be illustrated and not real (though admittedly it is a little hard to judge that from the small image size of the cover)

  • Paul

    Is this a really late april fools joke?

  • Zos Xavius

    But the attribution is not in the printed version, hence the controversy. They should have at least given credit.

  • bob cooley

    People will find ANYTHING to complain about…

  • ennuipoet

    Because as much as I HATE to say it, people read the Post and Daily News like they were a real newspaper. Even a tabloid sh*t show like these two needs to adhere to some basic rules of journalism, like properly noting the images they use as illustrations and the source of said illustrations. There are standards generally accepted by the industry which are being tossed in the trash every day, and we are left with rags like these who feel no compulsion to follow even a basic guideline for credibility and attribution.

  • Tom

    I know that it is not listed in the zoomed photo as compared to some other photo with the red ring. But in the main photo above it that shows the full page you can clearly see the same attribution. That full photo appears to be the newspaper itself: it has a print-copy layout including the pricing information which isn’t generally done on the websites of newspapers. Additionally, the colouring of the red Page 3 box appears identical to that in the zoomed in photo.

    Which suggest that the zoomed in corner image that shows no attribution has been doctored to remove the attribution, and thereby create a story about how the newspaper has been unethical ..

  • Tom

    My bad, I now see the “Online” version reference on the face of the larger image itself. So I retract both comments.

  • Ed R.

    Come off it. Even people dumb enough buy the _Daily News_ can figure out that’s not a real photo.

  • Zos Xavius

    Its ok. We all miss things. :)

  • joe

    it’s a consistently thing… Sure in this instance it’s obvious but in others it’s not.

  • Desslok

    Wait – there are people who CAN’T tell that’s a photoshop job? Are we including the legally blind demographic?