The Aftermath

October 22, 2009

Brian Walski was fired after the discovery was made and was taken out of his active role in Iraq immediately.

“I have tarnished the reputation” of the Los Angeles Times, the Tribune company and “especially the very talented and extremely dedicated photographers and picture editors that have made my four-and-a half years at the Times a true quality experience.”

“I have always maintained the highest ethical standards throughout my career.”

Don Barletti saw Walski after the incident had broken out, saying “When I saw him I really did not recognize him. He was sunburned, had not eaten in days, nor slept in 36 hours; his clothes were filthy, his beard – all over the place. And he smelled like a goat.”

Barletti recalled asking Walski, “How could you do this?'”

I f–-ed up,” Walski is said to have answered, “and now no one will touch me…”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/photo/essays/vanRiper/030409.htm 22/10/09

As a professional, passionate and hard working photojournalist the question remains, why did he do it?

The lifestyle and conditions that Walski was going through during his profession and more particularly in Iraq might have brought Walski to the point where a minor alteration of one of his images might just be worth all his hard work. The image was good enough to make it to front page news and so this might have been Walski’s intentions, and the efforts put in could have been equal to if the photo was 100% real. Walski’s frustration in his industry, fatigue and most likely his competitiveness lead him to do this, and was ultimately his downfall.

The topic raises plenty of questions including, does he deserve to loose his job? Were his actions justified? Does this happen alot?


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