Have you noticed a definite uptick in journalistic ambition in the L.A. Times? Credit the annual rush to squeeze in big projects while papers are fat with holiday ads and to beat the Dec. 31 deadline for the Pulitzer Prizes. Last week's Judy Pasternak four-parter on the Navajo land kicked off the end-of-year period. Today's four-page special section of photographs by Carolyn Cole showing AIDS orphans in African continues the trend. Cole's photos are dramatic, but also a prime example of what the future Times should do mainly, if not exclusively, on the web. In my paper, every photo on the inside pages was ruined — out of color register by a full sixteenth of inch. That's huge — LA Observed's resident photographer called it the worst she had ever seen on an LAT photo essay. When faces and colors are blurred by that much and the picture runs big, the photo is unreadable. It costs many thousands of dollars to go up four pages in a special section, and perhaps the editors should have just sent readers to Cole's slide show and voice narration on the website. There it looks impressive.
After the jump: what this photo looks like in my paper at home.
Photo: Carolyn Cole/L.A. Times