Representational images: A look at the 'best' pictures of this sort that Indian publications use and reuse

The concept of a representational image is an interesting one. As news publications push out a staggering amount of news with an ever-decreasing staff, 'editorial discretion' in some stories goes, well, missing.

And nowhere is this lack of editorial discretion visible more than in the selection of representational images. Used when an actual image of the incident is unavailable, these are somewhat related images which add a visual element to the page. While some publications take time to select these, some seem to throw in the first Google image result they see.

As believers in a strong and intelligent media, we have taken the responsibility of going through a bajillion stories to find the best of the best, the shining beacons of journalism, the very peaks of editorial intelligence in Indian media.

It seems appropriate to start with the newspaper with the highest readership, The Times of India. A large readership brings with it the necessity of a large number of news stories. Which at least is the excuse those at the paper will give for the following images.

Remember the time when you had do online fraud activities and you dressed up with a tie and mask to get ready. You were so sure no one would catch you.

You were wrong.

Online fraud. Image courtesy: The Times of India

Online fraud. Image courtesy: The Times of India

 

 

After reading such stellar reportage by The Times of India, we really felt like frauds. Perhaps we should take the following image from a story about a student being duped as our default profile picture.

Fraud. Image credit: The Times of India

Fraud. Image credit: The Times of India

 

 

Over then to The Times of India's great rival, Hindustan Times. Its excellent coverage of health issues is matched only by its perfect image of a real doctor. After all if your doctor doesn't tell you your diagnosis in bold letters on a screen, s/he is doing it wrong.

Cancer. Image credit: Hindustan Times

Cancer. Image credit: Hindustan Times

 

 

Did you know that unless you stand in front of giant UK flag, they don't grant you a visa. True story.

Visa. Image credit: Hindustan Times

Visa. Image credit: Hindustan Times

 

 

Hindustan Times can then clearly match up to The Times of India. Meanwhile the fraud feeling is coming back again.

Fraud. Image credit: Hindustan Times

Fraud. Image credit: Hindustan Times

 

 

The Indian Express has a reputation for being a proper newspaper with serious reportage. So it is always nice to see it use images like the one used for a positive story.

Positive cab story. Image credit: The Indian Express

Positive cab story. Image credit: The Indian Express

 

 

All Saudis look the same. All of them.

Saudis. Image credit: The Indian Express

Saudis. Image credit: The Indian Express

 

 

The Indian Express also knows the best way to quit your job. You just need a chalkboard, some chalk and a desire for no future in the industry.

Resignation. Image credit: The Indian Express

Resignation. Image credit: The Indian Express

 

 

Finally, India Today is our representative from the magazine genre. Magazines have more time to process their stories. But you wouldn't know that from these images.

Manish Sapra is a human being. But using his image would have been too mainstream. So instead they went with five outlines with gears and then a lot people in their legs.

GMAC. Image credit: India Today

GMAC. Image credit: India Today

 

 

Did you know lifestyle habits can turn your heart into wood?

Lifestyle habits. Image credit: India Today

Lifestyle habits. Image credit: India Today

 

 

Finally, if any of the publications cannot justify their editorial choices, they could just claim they were hacked.

Hacked. Image credit: India Today

Hacked. Image credit: India Today


Updated Date: Feb 02, 2018 15:18 PM

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