Anyone who grabbed a copy of the New York Times on November 27 will see a female areola and a bit of nipple. The frontpage photo features an image taken by Tel Aviv-based photographer Rina Castelnuovo that went with a story about Israeli women's fight against breast cancer. The reactions about the published photo were mixed, some said it's powerful while others said it was like a peep show.

The article that came with the image - showing a woman's Star of David tattoo, a scar post-lumpectomy, and her areola - covered the high rate of breast cancer in a country where preventive mastectomies are not so common. The story was part of a series of articles titled "The Cancer Divide" that the newspaper published.

"It was an unplanned moment. I was taking the young woman's portrait and we were chatting about her cancer and the scars.The inclusion of the areola, she said, was not intentional," explained Castelnuovo via email to New York Mag.

The photographer also revealed that she asked the subject of the photograph and they both agreed that the image was all about a young woman battling cancer and nothing more.

At the New York Times, there was consensus that they did the right thing and attracted readers to an important story.

Everyone brings something different to the experience of looking at a photograph. This is an extremely powerful image. It's newsworthy and it tells a truth," said Michele McNally, assistant managing editor for photography of The New York Times, when asked by the publication's public editor Margaret Sullivan.

"It's directly on point to the story," she said. "It conveys a lot of information. It brings the reality to light. It's also very beautiful - the lighting, the composition, the tone," McNally added.

Tom Bodkin, the Times' creative officer agreed.

"It was a beautiful photo and perfectly illustrated the story. There was some concern but that logic was persuasive," Bodkin said when asked by New York Mag.

On November 24, the newspaper also published a photo of a lifeless body of Michelle O'Connel, whose death in 2010 was ruled as suicide, framed with her shoes and gun that was used for her suicide or murder. In the series of articles for the cancer human interest stories, the publication also ran photos of half naked women from Uganda. According to New York Times, there is no pattern or trend but the images are different from each other.

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