With Photoshop in common use among professional photographers, some controversy has arisen over how much, and what kind, of alteration a photojournalist can ethically make to an image.
Practices such as cropping, shrinking and compressing are widely accepted, but image processing that changes the
appearance of the image is more questionable. Adjustments to brightness, contrast and white balance can improve the esthetics or clarity of a picture, but some people may consider them to be deceitful.
It will probably be some time before universal rules of how Photoshop and similar software can be used in reporting the news. Until then, I propose Phootnote, a new image format for use on news websites.
A file in the Phootnote format contains two images: the unaltered raw image, and the post-processing image. The raw image may be cropped, compressed, and shrunk but no other alteration is permitted*. The post-processing image may be altered in whatever way the editors of the news organization deem appropriate.
By default, the viewers web browser would show the post-processing image, but the viewer can obtain the raw image by right-clicking on the image. This will allow anyone to judge the veracity a picture quickly and easily.
(Note that this format would be used on a voluntary basis by news organizations interested in reporting the news truthfully and accurately, while preserving the ability of photojournalists to produce high-quality images.)
*A possible exception would be obscuring the identity of anonymous subjects.