In several scandals last summer, the Reuters news agency was forced to pull photos taken in Lebanon by Arab photographers and posted by the agency that were later proven to be doctored. The photos showed, among other things, an IDF attack on Beirut that never happened, and frantic Arabs carrying a “dead” child through the bombed-out streets of Beirut – who was later found to be alive. Apparently supervision in the photo editing department is still lax, because the agency again been accused of falsifying photographs – this time, in its reporting of a flag planting by Russian sailors under the North Pole.
According to a story in Guardian newspaper, the footage showing two mini-submarines in which the Russian sailors allegedly descended to the bottom of the Arctic Sea, purporting to show the planting of the flag, actually was taken 10 years ago, when the remains of the Titanic, which sank in 1907, were raised. The footage was also used in the 1997 movie about the sinking of the ship. The scam was revealed by an observant thirteen year old Finnish boy, who contacted a local newspaper and told them that the images of the flag planting and those in the film were identical.
Reuters had no comment, but has pulled the photos off its web site and is no longer offering the footage to TV stations.