Today, we cannot think of newspapers or magazines without pictures. Impact which can be created with the help of a good picture can never be created through printed words. Chinese proverb says : - "One picture is worth a thousand words." Good pictures have a compelling appeal that is absent in telling words. Impact of photo is enduring and immediate. It is the best stimulator, creates a sense of authenticity to the facts and events instantly. Pictures make the printed words more trustworthy.
Readers cannot dismiss facts caught by the camera. - "The camera cannot lie." Pictures having human touch convey news of brutal murder, devastation created by calamities e.g flood, earthquake, communal clashes create tremendous impact on the minds of the people on the literate and the illiterate. Pictures knocks the reader mentally. A good picture may give an additional dimension to a news story or a feature making it optically attracted.
Criteria for selection of pictures : - Pictures make the news live adds value to it. Sometimes, it becomes a news itself. News editor is the ultimate authority to select picture for publishing in newspaper. He may consult with the chief of the sub-editors in this regard. All the pictures received from sources may not be suitable for publication. Here are some points to remember for selection of pictures - a) The basic character is the news value in a particular news. The picture should have information related to the news story with which it is to be used. b) Picture should be a lively one, should be an action oriented, should reflect emotions, mood of the persons in the photo. c) Animation may be one of the important qualities at the time of selection of pictures. d) Whether the picture is a close-up or blown-up is to be examined before the final selection. In case of sports and cultural events, action will depict the climax of the situation. In case of decisive moment in history, only the picture may cater the flavour of the past. e) Technical aspects of the picture has also to be considered before the final selection. - Is the printout good?, Are the dots in the picture sharp?, Is the tonal quality good?, Will it cover enlarge or reduced? - all these aspects should be considered.
Editing of pictures : - Picture once selected has to be edited for size and shape as per content of the news story. The basic determining factor is the news value because the news-element determines size and shape of the picture to be published. While determining the size of the picture, emphasis is given on legibility. The size of the photo should not be too small so that the relevant detail of the photo is lost. Maximum size of a picture is determined by the space available after accommodating all the advertisements in the newspapers. :)