It's not often that we get a full-throated explanation of the thinking that goes into a story or a picture.
Kudos to TIME managing editor Richard Stengel for explaining why he went with the cover picture of a mutilated Afghan woman. His blog discusses what went into the decision. And you can read in his words the agony he and his staff went through. But in the end:
bad things do happen to people, and it is part of our job to confront and explain them. In the end, I felt that the image is a window into the reality of what is happening — and what can happen — in a war that affects and involves all of us. I would rather confront readers with the Taliban's treatment of women than ignore it. I would rather people know that reality as they make up their minds about what the U.S. and its allies should do in Afghanistan.
Stengle's blog is worth reading and worth remembering as we continue to find ways to explain to the readin/viewing/listening audience how and why we journalists do what we do.