Kelly’s Korner: Photojournalism Follow Up

Here’s a famous example of a well established news magazine, Time, using photo editing on its June 27, 1994 cover. As you can see, the magazine manipulated O.J. Simpson’s mug shot by darkening it to appear more ominous. His face appears “darker, blurrier, and unshaven.” Even the black glow around the cover makes it look haunted. In contrast, Newsweek used the same photo for its cover that week, but left it unaltered (or unaltered enough to not look noticeably distracting.) It appears as if Time Magazine’s goal was to make its cover sensational to sell copies, but Matt Mahurin, the illustrator at Time who manipulated the photo, “wanted to make it more artful, more compelling.” Either way, ethical issues were questioned when this magazine cover came out. Unfortunately, this manipulation ended up distorting the truth.


Murano, Gracie. “10 Most Famous Doctored Photos.” Oddee. Oddee, 01 Sept. 2009. Web. 28 Mar. 2012. <;.



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3 responses to “Kelly’s Korner: Photojournalism Follow Up

  1. Autumn

    We all know that OJ Simpson was convicted for committing such a heinous crime and he should be in jail for life, so I’m not questioning that. However, Time Magazine took advantage of this and distorted what this man really looked like, just to make the magazine seem more appealing in order to sell more copies. Time Magazine took a huge risk in distorting this image, even though many people will say that this was a positive decision on their part because it makes Simpson appear more gruesome and evil. In a sense, it’s the same when a magazine posts a picture of a celebrity who is already overweight, yet they edit the image to make them look even fatter just to say, “Look how fat she is! She’s out of control!” This is just another example of how magazines are stretchingthe truth just to sell magazines, and it needs to end. Magazines need to start telling the whole truth, even if it’s not as scandalous exciting.

  2. Kate

    This is just terrible journalism. Blacks get enough hatred in this country already, and this magazine cover just perpetuated this idea even further. Making something ”more compelling” isn’t always a good thing. The media should just stick to reporting the facts without having to distort pictures to sell a story. I can’t believe this even made it to press.

  3. Mike

    Regardless of our own personal opinions about O.J. Simpson, this Time cover was definitely done with poor judgment and taste. I understand that magazines tend to photoshop their covers, but this was taken way too far. The mug shot did not have to be extremely darkened to prove a specific point.