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Digital Forensics: Tools Newsrooms Should Use To Avoid Photo Manipulation

Free tools all journalists, bloggers, editors, photographers and citizen journalists can use to authenticate images.


By Tracie Powell

It may sound like an episode of CSI (take your pick from the franchise), but journalists are using high-tech tools to combat photo manipulations, an increasingly needed skill in an era where news organizations are relying more and more on user-generated content.

The rise of digital cameras and the move to digital photo formats makes image manipulations a lot easier. Now everyone can fire up Photoshop or a comparable tool to make modifications to photos that are not detectable to the human eye. These images, unfortunately, go viral on social media platforms, catching unsuspecting journalists, bloggers and other innocents in the cross-heirs.

Fotoforensics is a free photo analysis tool, which enables users to detect discolorations and other tell-tell signs of photo manipulation, while TinEye and Google offer free reverse image search that allow users to track down where an image originated. These are free tools journalists (well…

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Home of the National Association of Black Journalists's (NABJ's) Digital Journalism Task Force

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