No doubt about it — no matter how fabulous the material is inside a magazine, the cover most often determines whether or not a reader will give it a second glance. Each issue, we struggle to find just the right image that accurately reflects the cover story and yet is compelling enough to stand on its own, even without a cutline. For the spring issue, we agonized between two photographs for the cover story about Bucknellians in the Peace Corps. One photograph featured a Bucknell alumnus seated with a group of African women, and the other captured the gazes of three girls from Thailand. The alumnus in the photo spoke to the story’s overall message of Bucknell’s contribution to the Peace Corps, but the girls’ riveting expressions called to the story’s deeper meaning of why Bucknellians serve. In the end, we couldn’t escape the pathos and stark beauty of the girls’ image and chose theirs as the cover photo. Did we make the right decision? If you were the editor, which photo would you have chosen?
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