Mary Angela Bock
Photo editors are the “visual thinkers” for news in print or online formats. They assess and choose images for publication, assign stories for photographers to cover, administer the photographic department, and make ethical and legal decisions about the visual representation of reality. Their daily routines have changed dramatically with the introduction of digital photography and online news presentation, yet the basic principles that guide their work in the aesthetic, informative, and ethical use of photography remain relatively constant. The job of the photo editor has its roots in illustrated news that existed even prior to photography. Before the invention of the halftone printing process in the late nineteenth century, which made it possible to reprint actual photographs affordably, newspapers in the United States and Europe used engravings and other graphics, many of them copied from original photographs. Readers devoured illustrated news, and in spite of resistance on the part of ...