I’m not sure how I feel about it. I did or commissioned similar things for feature or analysis pages at my last paper. The cover is a different country, but still not sure it doesn’t tell a good story well. This isn’t a daily newspaper, after all, and they do often use more obviously manipulated photos on their fronts.
The New York Times’s Media Decoder carries a response from the duty editor at the Economist, Emma Duncan, who makes much the same points.
Is it just me or does her explanation ring true?