We all edit a photo here and there to correct the brightness or perhaps blur out an imperfection. In the world of social media and Instagram, even children know how to operate the commonly used editing programs.
However, there is a difference in editing photos for personal use, or for a magazine, and photoshopping a photo for use on the news. The news is supposed to be raw and truthful. We do not watch it to airbrushed perfection, but rather to know what is happening in our country and around the world.
ESPN did not get that memo until it was too late. They have been caught editing Tiger Woods’ mugshot to make him appear healthier and better kept. However, people caught on and called out ESPN on the deceit.
ESPN’s distribution of Woods’ mugshot in its “breaking news” feed featured a picture different than the original—his unkempt, balding coiffure was transformed into a clean crew cut, akin to his days as a sportsman. The color of the golfer’s skin also appeared to be altered to give him a healthier tone.
The sports network claims that his obviously photoshopped hair was edited to fit the template it uses for athlete’s professional headshots.
In a back peddling attempt, ESPN stated, “We have utilized a standard template for on-air headshots, which led to the background being dropped for consistency. We will revisit this process to improve it going forward.”
Following complaints and criticism on social media, the network has switched to using the proper mugshot, with a short description of his arrest.
The police state that they found Woods asleep at the wheel of his Mercedes-Benz, which was illegally stopped on a Jupiter, FL street with the engine and lights on. Woods appeared confused and had difficulty complying with the officers’ sobriety tests—the breathalyzer test registered zero.
Woods has apologized, and also publicly stated that he was under the influence of medication, not alcohol.
Was ESPN wrong for editing the photo to make it look better?