Friday, May 27, 2005


Boston magazine’s parent company, Metrocorp — also known, in a fit of conglomerate confusion, as Metro Corp. — is lavishing money and resources on the alternative newspaper Dig, also known as the Weekly Dig. The resultant advertising, including on the T’s red line, indicates there might be a little too much money being scooped up, with too little oversight.

For instance, the T ad playing up the “news” the Dig runs is a handsome piece, with the paper’s distinctive bright orange box perched at a sharp angle in front of Boston’s State House. The implication, of course, is that Dig is doing serious political coverage. You can take it seriously.

No news box is allowed there, though, so the image is actually a photo illustration: a Dig news box pasted atop another picture.

Look closely. The back of the box is planted firmly on the sidewalk. The shadow casts strongly to the right. But the front of the news box, which faces away from us, toward the State House, is floating bizarrely off the ground.

A faked ad photo is not news. But there’s something unavoidably untrustworthy when a faked photo is used to tout news — and it’s not even faked well.

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