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Is image manipulation ethical?

cnn vs usa today

I was catching up on breaking news this morning when I noticed something interesting.

I recently downloaded the CNN app for my Windows Phone (finally starting to write more apps for that platform!) and was scrolling through the Christopher Dorner/ LAPD shooting story that shared some breaking details this morning. I was satisfied with the coverage, although I did pick out some typos in another story, but it did suffice for my morning news consumption. I was surprised to see, however, when I returned to my trusted USA Today app that I’ve used for several months. The picture of Dorner was exactly the same, yet strikingly different.

Home screen. Scroll down. CNN- loading..

Yes, it was the same picture, but definitely enhanced with a darker look and feel. This case sounds familiar. Remember the O.J. Simpson Newsweek and Time magazine from Media Ethics? I sure do.


In both cases, I would argue that these men don’t deserve much sympathy. However, is it ethical from a mass communications standpoint to deceive our audience my manipulating images?

Some food for though. Let me know what you think below!


The importance of jumping into the fountain

I was inspired recently.

Molly Currey’s Twitter bio reads: “PR Exec. Mom of Two. Marathon Runner. Ex-racecar driver. Breast Cancer Ass Kicker. Strolling down the road less traveled.” I am eager to say that Molly Currey is, indeed, all of these and even more. Maybe Molly should add “an inspiration” to her bio. I, for one, can vouch.

Molly, a Marquette alumni, came to speak to my PR Writing class about her experience as a PR professional at Golin Harris, a Public Relations agency in Chicago. It’s always nice hearing from industry professionals because they give broke college kids, like me, that little glimpse of hope to “keep on keepin’ on,” as Molly would put it. At any rate, I learned three valuable things from Molly.

1. PR is storytelling: This is a great way to sum up the art of Pubic Relations because it seems so long-winded any other way. This is simple, concise and, best of all, non communications majors understand this concept. Public Relations has the reputation of the profession that nobody really knows what it is. Storytelling gets to the heart of PR.

2. Understand your audience: Yes, AP style is essential, but understanding your audience is vital. You may not always have time for a beginning, a middle and an end. Get your point across as quickly and concisely as possible.

3. Jump in that fountain: I asked Molly to share one of the most important lessons she learned at Marquette.

“Never jump into the fountain in front of the courthouse” she said.

All joking aside, Molly illustrated a fine point. Be yourself, love what you do and don’t regret anything. Jumping into that fountain may not have gotten Molly her job at Golin Harris, but likely contributed to her success at life- a success I’d like to feel eventually.

Realistically, Molly is likely too humble to add “an inspiration” to her Twitter bio. Maybe I should add “inspired by Molly Currey” to my bio instead.

7-Election takes count

As election season infests the late months of 2012, 7-Eleven jumps into the mix with an impressive Public Relations stunt. Seven-Election allows 7-Eleven customers to voice their opinions this election season. I cannot imagine sales skyrocketed due to this event, surely most people did not visit 7-Eleven just to walk around with a blue or red cup for the rest of the morning. However, it brought meaning to many people’s daily routines- people that get that same cup of coffee every morning. This puts these people into a larger community and therefore strengthens the relationship between 7-Eleven and its stakeholders.

Hang in the there!

I am currently creating a multi-purpose, user-friendly, resume-building blog site. I am working out the kinks! Hang in there and it should be up soon.

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