Forecast | Radar

Activate Account | Manage Account | Logout | Today's Paper
Today's Paper, also known as the e-Edition, is an online replica of the printed newspaper. You can view today's paper or previous issues.

Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.


British magazines draw flak over 'enhanced' photos that give models 'perfect' bodies

Flip through the paper to look at images of people in ads. Are they slim, attractive and mostly white? Discuss why those models were chosen. Do the images make students more likely to buy a product or service?
Newspapers and wire services forbid changes to news photos, besides cropping for size. Why is that important? Do manipulated ad images undermine a publication's credibility?
List other guidelines that apply to political reports, crime coverage and news articles in general. What ethical practices assure fair, balanced, accurate journalism?

Most readers of slick lifestyle, entertainment and fashion magazines assume that the flawless faces, bodies, hairstyles and decor often aren't the real deal as originally photographed. Images look polished to perfection because they are - thanks to digital retouching via PhotoShop and other electronic tools. Quick clicks on the keyboard remove flab, frown lines and blemishes on models and celebrities.
The widespread practice even extends to some student portraits and other yearbook photos, which are "touched up" by commercial photo studios.

Now this open secret is the focus of discussion in the United Kingdom, where activists push for a "truth-in-publishing" ethics code to prohibit or disclose certain practices. Critics say magazines promote unrealistic female body images by making celebrities and models look slimmer - which may contribute to diet-binge cycles, other eating disorders and depression among female readers.

The British Fashion Council, which tries to improve working conditions for models, accuses editors of acting irresponsibly by promoting a "size-zero culture." It urges a voluntary code to restrict the use of computer technology to give models unrealistically perfect figures. Another suggestion is that magazines disclose when a non-advertising image is altered. The council last week requested a meeting with the 400-member Periodical Publishers Association to discuss digital enhancements in fashion photography.
And in Canada, a watchdog group called Media Action wants magazines held to the same ethical standards of photojournalism as newspapers, with no digital retouching beyond red-eye reduction or color correction.

Publishing group says: "Using digital technology to adjust images is a widely used technique across all media. . . . [We] look forward to developing discussions with both the British Fashion Council as well as editors within the magazine sector." -- Kerry Neilson of the Periodical Publishers Association, United Kingdom

Media monitor says: "These visual half-lies can't be justified. Readers have a right to expect authenticity from the photos magazines disseminate. If we can't trust that the images we're looking at reflect reality, why should we credit the words that appear alongside them with any greater truth?" - Shari Graydon of Media Action in Ontario, Canada.

Editor says: "It's not up to us to recreate their nose or make them look 20 pounds thinner or 20 pounds heavier." -- Lisa Tant, editor-in-chief of Flare (Canadian fashion magazine)

Front Page Talking Points is written by Felix Grabowski and Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2016
We welcome comments or suggestions for future topics: Click here to Comment

Front Page Talking Points Archive

Cheaters: Doping crackdown may keep Russian athletes, others out of Olympics

President’s week in Asia includes visit to Hiroshima, where atomic warfare began 70 years ago

Bathroom choice becomes a focal point for transgender rights backers and opponents

On to November: Trump vs. Clinton presidential race appears virtually certain now

Modern pioneers: Two Swiss pilots take solar plane around the world without fuel

Harriet Tubman will be the new face of $20 bills as paper money gets more diverse

Bleached-out coral shows alarming impact of warmer oceans

Futuristic vision: Virtual reality headsets take videos, training and gaming to a new level

End of an era: Sea World yields to critics of killer whale shows, which will change

Supreme Court seat showdown: Republican senators vow to block President Obama’s nominee

Complete archive