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Stop Ami Vitale continue on the World Press Photo Contest Jury 2012

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An organization judging photography and journalism for the highest standards should not have jury members with a blatant disregard for high journalistic standards. And that includes letting a bad edit, apparently done by someone else, go unchallenged for years.

Ms. Ami Vitale, a jury member of World Press Photo Contest 2012, promotes herself through a multimedia on her own website: Kashmir - A Troubled Paradise.

http://www.amivitale.com/2009/09/frontline-kashmir/ 

The question is... 

Does a jury member of the World Press Photo 2012 think it is legitimate to include, and strategically place, a picture of a child holding his blood stained hands to his chest, a result of Self Flagellation performed by Shiite Muslims on the Day of Ashura, which commemorates the killing of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad and mislead the viewer to believe it as a result of Violence due to political unrest?

Ms. Vitale’s commentary and the sequence of images, with no disclosures, deceives the viewer to believe that the injuries caused to the child were due to a clash with the security personnel.

Because Ms. Vitale uses the multimedia in question to promote herself on her own website, it also implies that Ms. Vitale agreed with the production. It raises questions of journalistic integrity and competence of Ms. Vitale as to why did she did not inform PBS for almost half a decade about the discrepancies if she did not agree with the production.

PBS applied an Editor's note on my first complaint and acknowledged 

“"I think that you raise a legitimate point about the photograph of the blood-stained hands. As a result, we have posted an “Editor’s Note” on the site explaining the circumstances behind the photograph. You can see the note at:http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/flash_point/kashmir/index.html

Email from PBS can be seen here: http://goo.gl/C9YRx 

(Please copy and paste the URL in your web browser. Personal information has been blurred)

There is more than one problem with this Multimedia production such as:

- Ms. Vitale covered Kashmir from October 2001 and not 2000, as wrongly stated in the Multimedia slide show.

- Ms. Vitale in the middle of the multimedia talks of a body of a young man dumped in a neighborhood and one of the image used is of a woman curiously looking through a wire mesh. The viewer is deceived to believe that the women is looking at the dead body, but the image is from another situation in which the woman watches the famous Sufi Saint known as Baba in hopes that he will answer some of her prayers and give her spiritual guidance.

It is hard to believe that such glaring discrepancies went unchallenged for years by the Jury member in question, who is now supposed to look at several thousand of photographers work, and judge them.

Ms. Vitale continuation on the Jury is questionable, and therefore the reason for this petition. This petition is neither a personal attack on Ms. Vitale, nor advocacy of any group but a genuine effort in public interest.



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