Here is an example of the danger of using a file photo with a story that makes an allegation against someone. This headline and picture from The Huffington Post site linked to a New York Times story about people “crashing” popular marathons with counterfeit credentials. (Those numbers on runners’ chests are called “bibs,” by the way, and are bootlegged or scalped online.) Would-be runners do so because the number of applications to participate in races such as the New York marathon far exceeds their capacities.
HuffPo has made the error of dredging up a file photo of a marathon and coupling that image with an accusatory headline. The result could bring legal trouble if any of the faces are recognizable. Editors should always use caution when using old images to illustrate a situation like this one.