This post on the Reuters blog detailing guidelines for the journalistic use of Photoshop is a good read for anyone interested in the issues surrounding digital photography, post-processing, and journalistic integrity. The brief takeaway:
Adjustment of Levels to histogram limits
Minor colour correction
Sharpening at 300%, 0.3, 0
Careful use of lasso tool
Subtle use of burn tool
Adjustment of highlights and shadows
Eye dropper to check/set gray
Additions or deletions to image
Cloning & Healing tool (except dust)
Airbrush, brush, paint
Selective area sharpening
Excessive colour tone change
In-camera saturation styles
I find the inclusion of in-camera settings on the ban list interesting, it’s a point that’s brought up often: what’s the real difference between increasing saturation in post versus setting the camera parameters to +2 saturation? These are strict interpretations that might surprise some “purists” who think that as long as the camera captures it, it must be real.
The sections on set up/staged photos and controlled environments are good reads too.