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The question of ethics often arises when discussing digital editing. Such as, should a "news" picture be altered, or is that in essence altering news? Thanks to numerous programs such as Adobe Photoshop, it is possible to turn a mediocre photograph into a work of art. Problem is, it is also possible to completely distort an image. There are times when a distorted an image can be fun, like pasting yourself into a historic photo, or erasing a bad piece of an otherwise good picture. But, there are times when the digital editing goes too far.
Probably the best known example of this is the OJ Simpson, Time Magazine scandal. Time and Newsweek both published the mug shot of OJ Simpson on their covers the same week. Problem was Time did some creative editing, and made OJ look sinister. They were trying to make the picture match what they concluded in their article, OJ is guilty. Time would most likely not of gotten in trouble if Newsweek hadn't put out the photo with no editing. The two covers sat side by side on newsstands and it was obvious what Time did.
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Digital Editing is a practice that News publications should use sparingly, that fashion publications use frequently, and that novice photographers should learn how to do. Programs like Adobe Photoshop take you step by step through fixing little mistakes like red-eye to big mistakes like bad lighting. Thanks to it everyone has the ability for really great photos.