The National NewsMedia Council has upheld a complaint about use of an unrelated photograph
to illustrate a story.
Arun Chauhan alleged the Toronto Star maligned the Indian Civil Service examinations by using
a misleading photo to illustrate a story about the extreme level of difficulty of exams required
to join India’s civil service. The photo depicted cheating in an unrelated high school exam
setting. The article itself did not reference cheating in any connection to the civil service exam
The Star said it had no authorized access to a photo illustrating the civil service exam story, and
used another photo “illustratively” with an explanatory caption.
The NewsMedia Council points out that while the photo caption identified the location as a high
school, it did not explain the relationship to the civil service exams. The photo created an
erroneous connection and should not have been used. The NewsMedia Council applauds the
Star for changing the presentation on its web site and Facebook page following the complaint,
but believes a correction in the paper was warranted.