The Economist Alters News Photo for Cover Layout

I’m not the kind of person who thinks that photographs should always represent “reality” as it was when the exposure was made. But there are cases when it’s important that the photograph represent a scene fairly to the viewer. That might mean that it doesn’t look exactly as it was, but the viewer gets the mood and tenor of the scene in a way that helps them understand the situation. Here’s a case where that should have been the goal, but The Economist’s photo editor asked for changes that seriously undermined the reality of the scene. Too bad, too, because it hurts photojournalism when something like this happens at an otherwise excellent source of news.