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Saturday, 8 January, 2005

After the deadly tsunami, a photo hoax wave

Many Indian newspapers, including TOI, were caught unaware as it came to light that the purportedly real-time photographs of the tsunami — released on Thursday by PTI — were actually photographs of a tidal bore on the Qiantangjiang River in China in 2002. How the photographs got to the agency isn't clear yet. When contacted, PTI said that a correspondent from Bangalore filed the photographs, and they were trying to confirm that the photographs were indeed a hoax.

The media in other countries has already been taken in by the photographs. The Calgary Herald in Canada was the first to run them on December 26. One of the photographs was used by the mayor of Calgary in a fundraising presentation and the Herald assumed that it was a photograph of the tsunami, and asked him if they could use it. They acknowledged the error the next day.

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