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Prove ‘doctored’ photo authentic, Bernama

 | September 6, 2012

Senator Ramakrishan wants the national news agency to upload video footages of the crowd at Najib Tun Razak's Aidilfitri open house onto YouTube.

PETALING JAYA: National news agency Bernama must prove the authenticity of its photo of the Prime Minister’s 2012 Aidilfitri open house by sharing video clips of the same scene on YouTube, DAP said today.

Last week, Senator S Ramakrishnan claimed The Star’s Aug 21 front cover photo from Bernama of being doctored and a “blatant lie”, as it supposedly showed tens of thousands of people gathering at Najib’s residence.

But Bernama, which had taken the photo, said yesterday they “do not have the time to indulge in irrational endeavours”, and that large crowds at the prime minister’s open house had been the norm since Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s time.

“Bernama’s denial is shocking because the Star staff themselves were embarrassed for [sic] the exaggeration in number of people present in the Prime Minister’s house.

“I challenge Bernama to show a video of [sic] post on YouTube showing the number of people and that particular scene because Bernama also had its TV station covering the event,” Ramakrishnan said in a statement today.

He pointed out that if the event truly had such a mammoth crowd, Bernama’s TV crew would have captured the screen and broadcast it.

“But, it was not done. Can Bernama prove it by showing the TV footage to support its denial?”

Prove it, Bernama

When FMT pointed out that the onus should be on Ramakrishan to provide concrete proof of Bernama’s guilt, the senator disagreed.

“It is up to them to clear their name. They are a national news agency, and these allegations are affecting the country’s reputation.

“It is certainly not for me to prove [that the photo is doctored]. Instead, they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the photo is authentic.”

But the senator said he would not be accepting Bernama’s invitation to visit its headquarters to view and judge the original photo for himself.

“If I just go into their headquarters to see the same thing, what for?

“If Bernama will only show me same photo, there is no point as it proves nothing,” he said.

He said with all the “modern state of art” cameras and equipment at Bernama’s disposal, doctoring the picture to depict a large crowd with “different sizes of faces front from to the background” was a small matter.

Photo was doctored because…

Citing a “photographer and printing expert”, Ramakrishnan provided the following list on why he claimed the picture had been doctored:

  • Sri Perdana cannot hold such a large crowd (tens of thousands as indicated in The Star’s caption line) as the picture portrays a crowd of tens of thousands.
  • Hari Raya open house is usually attended by the young, old and disabled on wheel chairs and this is not evident.
  • In the front page photograph (there is ) a sea of faces and this is not possible to be gathered in one spot on the Hari Raya day.
  • Most of the youths are with cameras, there must be something more exciting than Najib.
  • The pictures are doctored, primarily because some of the people in the background appear larger.
  • Different pictures have been juxtaposed and superimposed in the doctoring process to create an impression of a large crowd.
  • This picture does not show Najib and it is a total let down in the public relations campaign to gain supporters for the Barisan.
  • A Hari Raya event would usually show Najib shaking hands and meeting the people and this is lost in this picture which The Star decided to use on the front page.
  • The picture has been doctored by an amateur graphic artist who could not hide the doctoring.
  • Experienced photographers too confirm that the picture is doctored.

Bernama must do more than just issue a denial to convince Malaysians, Ramakrishnan said.


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