Did Time Magazine distort Steve Jobs' photo?

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MacDailyNews argued that evidence suggested TIME Magazine purposefully distorted the aspect ratio of a Getty image. The intent was to create the physical appearance of Job's illness to match the copy.

The TIME Magazine article, “Why is Steve Jobs skipping MacWorld?” stated, “Jobs has battled pancreatic cancer and has been looking exceptionally thin since the summer.” MacDailyNews said that the Getty photo TIME Magazine selected to depict was purposefully squeezed in the XY axis in order to make him appear thinner (and sicker), than in reality.

MacDailyNews wrote, “The original photo has had its size vertically increased via code in TIME’s website. TIME’s code specifies a width of 307 pixels and a height of 200 pixels, but in order to maintain the proper aspect ratio – in other words present the photo of Jobs as he actually looked at the time it was taken – the dimensions should be 307×175 pixels.” In other words, they said TIME used Photoshop to alter the Getty image. (See image comparison above).

MacDailyNews called on the public to complain to TIME. They wrote: “Despicable. TIME Magazine should be ashamed (if that’s even possible for them anymore). TIME should immediately pull that photo of Steve Jobs and replace it with an actual, unaltered photo. In addition, TIME Magazine should publicly apologize to Apple Inc., Steve Jobs — and Apple shareholders, for that matter.”

They continued, “Please contact TIME Magazine and demand that they ‘fix’ this photo and stop manipulating images and trying to pass them off as reality:  [UPDATE: 9:59am ET: Well, that didn’t take long. Good job everyone! TIME Magazine has now fixed their photo.]”

iMediaEthics contacted both MacDailyNews and TIME Inc. The TIME reporter apparently received complaints and contacted web editors about correcting the distortion.

The TIME spokesperson told me they sent out a statement and would forward us a copy. It said, “Unfortunately the height and width ratios were temporarily pre-set incorrectly on TIME.com. The error was corrected at 9:30 am ET Wednesday, after having been posted at 7:30 pm the previous night. We regret any confusion caused by the error.”

Since this statement and apology were not posted on MacDailyNews, I forwarded it to them and asked if they were going to post it. Standing on ceremony, they responded: “If they notify us directly, we’ll certainly post their statement.  As of now, they have not.”

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Did Time Magazine distort Steve Jobs’ photo?

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