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Photo illustrations

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mr. X, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. Mr. X

    Mr. X Member

    I am interested in hearing the policy at your newspapers regarding photo illustrations.

    The reason I am asking is that I was horrified when I picked up the newspaper at my high school alma mater and its front page consisted of a large photo illustration of what the school would look like if a fence was placed in front of the school, as has been proposed.

    I also recall the criticism when a newspaper, I believe it was Newsday, printed a picture of what appeared to be Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan practicing on the ice at the same time in 1994, shortly after the attack on Kerrigan, when in reality they were not on the ice at the same time.

    I am thinking the students should be taught that you cannot publish a photo that has been manipulated to depict something that does not exist. If they are taught that now, there are more likely to develop a stronger sense of ethics.

  2. Gomer

    Gomer Active Member

    Well, you can do it if you label it as a photo illustration. That's my rule.

    Otherwise, no, it's completely unethical. No different than manipulating the facts to suit a story.
  3. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    "can" do it and "should" do it are two different things.

    You really shouldn't, usually.
  4. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    if it's clearly a photo illustration, i don't have a problem. and getting horrified by a high school front page is a little over the top.
  5. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    If it's labeled photo illustration, that settles it for me.

    The Harding-Kerrigan thing was way, way out of bounds.
  6. PeterGibbons

    PeterGibbons Member

    Agreed, there is a big difference between a photo illustration and a manipulated photo, that someone slapped "Illustartion" on to cover their ass! A good friend who is a photo put it like this: "Anything that could be passed off as a real photo is not a photo illustration, just a lazy photog."
  7. ADodgen

    ADodgen Member

    With all due respect, I'd have to disagree with your friend. Some photo illustrations, like that of a high school behind a fence, as has been proposed for said high school, ought to be realistic.

    Photo illustrations can be exceptionally useful. They just need to be well thought out and well planned.
  8. jlee

    jlee Well-Known Member

    ""Well thought-out" is key. They can look seamless and still clearly be an illustration. A picture of a high school behind a fence won't confuse students of the high school, who know it's not there.
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