Processing the News: Retouching in Photojournalism

Every digital image must be touched by software before you see it. But when each pixel is affected, who decides what is true?

Retouching NOOR
Retouching NOOR

Photojournalism in the digital age is fraught with peril. And it brings questions of objectivity, truth, ethics, and deception into sharp relief. While news photography remains vital to our understanding of the world, confusion in both the public consciousness and among photographers about the use of Adobe Photoshop and other editing tools threatens to erode its credibility and destroy its power to illuminate. Photographers, photo editors, and other defenders of the faith have made it their mission to uphold a rigid set of journalistic standards regarding image processing and manipulation. Trouble is, not everyone agrees on what those standards should be.