How hard is it to state that your journalistic “photograph” is actually a photo illustration or composite?
The print magazine, in which all the cover photos are reproduced inside, offers clues that portraits are composites, but never says so directly. “We decided that 20 different covers had a nice ring to it. That meant 20 individual photo shoots,” Graydon Carter writes in his editor’s letter.
Um, no — 20 covers doesn’t mean 20 different photo shoots, necessarily.
Vanity Fair has been known to blur the line between standards of photojournalism and those of the advertising world — last year adding the picture of an absent journalist to a group photo of Vietnam War correspondents.
While to some the failure to explicitly state that a photo has been Photoshopped may seem a trivial matter, where does it end? When do the offenses that get photojournalists fired today become a normal way to do business?
It may be sooner than we think. I’m sure that 20 years ago, the journalists at CNN never thought — in a million years — that their network would become a 24-hour Paris Hilton talkfest. But little by little, that’s what’s become of it.
[tags]Vanity Fair, Bono, Photoshop[/tags]