Has anyone else noticed that Andrea Modica has been doing a lot of editorial work for Newsweek? Modica is one of my all-time favorite photographers. Her book Treadwell is a masterpiece. While I’m always happy to come across her pictures in Newsweek, the surrounding news-magazine clutter often disappoints me. For example, the 10/16/06 issue of Newsweek has a story called Fixing America’s Hospitals. Within the piece is this fantastic image by Modica:
But Modica wasn’t the only one assigned to the story. The much more prominent full-page intro has the following photo illustration:
This use of photography brings the medium down to the lowest common denominator. What is the point? If anything it pushes me away from reading the story. I understand that weekly news magazines are under huge deadlines and need to fill the pages. But do we need so much photo-filler? The photographs in another weekly, The New Yorker, are exceptionally powerful because of their restraint. What if Modica’s image was the only one used in the story? Wouldn’t it be so much better?