Bloggers have exposed 'many of the more egregious breaches of journalistic ethics', Reuters' global news editor has claimed.

Paul Holmes, political and general news editor at Reuters, made the acknowledgement in the wake of the faked photographs scandal that has rocked the agency.

The blogging community exposed Beirut-based freelance photographer Adnan Hajj after he supplied Reuters with what it believed were two digitally manipulated photographs of war-torn Southern Lebanon.

As a result Reuters severed all ties with Hajj, who said he was only trying to alter dust specks on one picture and denied manipulating the other - and removed his 920 images from its photographic library.

"I welcome, and Reuters welcomes, the scrutiny we come under from bloggers," Mr Holmes told BBC Newsnight.

"We will consider criticism from any source and we will take it seriously.

"I think it has to be said, as well, because of the blogging community, many of the more egregious breaches of journalistic ethics have been exposed.

"It makes the media much more accountable and much more transparent."

Doubts about the authenticity of Mr Hajj's work first came to light over a photograph that showed bomb damage in a Beirut suburb on Saturday.

It was immediately questioned in a post by Washington DC-based graphic artist Jeff Harrell.

Other bloggers and a community of professional photographers suggested that wrecked buildings in the image had been artificially replicated to increase the appearance of damage.

Doubts were then voiced by bloggers about a second photograph by Mr Hajj of an Israeli jet fighter, after which Reuters removed his photos from its database.

Mr Holmes added: "I have worked at Reuters for 24 years and this is the first time in my memory that we have received a complaint about the authenticity of a photo and have withdrawn it.

"Clearly there was a lapse in our editing process and we have taken steps to tighten our editing process for photographs of the Middle East conflict.

"The important thing to remember is that, within 36 hours, we have acted transparently, openly and decisively and the message we want to send is that we don't tolerate plagiarism, manipulation of photos or fabrications."

Free daily newsletter

If you like our news and feature articles, you can sign up to receive our free daily (Mon-Fri) email newsletter (mobile friendly).