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Picture Editing for the Gulf Oil Spill

Disasters often produce incredibly compelling photojournalism. Iconic images are already emerging from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and those responsible for gathering, editing and publishing these often heart-wrenching photos have a great deal of ethical decisions to make.

Discussions are taking place in newsrooms around the world about how and why these images should be presented to you. Get a behind-the-scenes look at fundamental principles we grapple with on a daily basis as picture editors by reading the Poynter Institute's column HERE.

Images like the one above are unquestionably difficult to look at, but they drive home the impact of our actions, and draw us into issues that deserve our attention. We chose to prominently display this image on Friday, moments after we received it. On Saturday, it was the lead image in the print edition of the New York Times.

What's your assessment? Who is providing the best visual coverage of the disaster and what separates them from the rest of the pack? What could we do better?

While you're at it, take a few minutes and see what we feel are the most compelling images in our slideshow, which can be seen HERE.