Bob Stepno's Other Journalism Weblog
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Friday, March 4, 2005

First they put her in jail, then they chop off her head and put it on a thinner model. USA Today had the story first, under the headline "Is it real? Or is it Martha?" The New York Times headlined its version, "Martha Stewart Gets New Body in Newsweek."

Composite "photo illustrations" have been around for a long time (as has that page of mine) but they have always been controversial.

A teasing magazine cover image is obviously not a "news photo," for which the National Press Photographers Association code of ethics line about misleading readers would be more of an issue.

But still, I wonder how many readers of a magazine whose first syllable is "News" expect the cover photo to be something real, not a cut-and-paste attention-getter. A Newseek an assistant managing editor, quoted in The Times, says that even though an inside page identified the cover was an illustration, she now wishes it had been "maybe a little over the top" so that readers wouldn't feel they had been misled.

11:01:54 AM    

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