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Final Edit

The image we rescued from the cutting room floor.

Final Edit Editor Illustrations editor Bert Fox tells why television lost out to text.

Cut It?
"In the course of photographing 'Exquisite Migration,' we felt we needed to bring the nomadic people's lives to the reader," says illustrations editor Bert Fox. "This photo intrigued us all along, but in this case, the idea of modernity moving into their lives was given to our readers in the text. So as much as we liked Russian cable television viewed by children in a ger on a plateau in Mongolia, it didn't find its way into the body of the story."

Or Keep It?
"All cultures evolve at their own pace," Bert continues. "These people live in gers and travel by horseback. Things like television and phones aren't part of their lives on a regular basis. We wanted to give our readers a snapshot of an evolving culture. Luckily, we were able to get this image in print through Final Edit."

—Rebecca Rivas

October Final Edit
Photograph by Gordon Wiltsie

Have TV, Will Travel

Fascinated by the sight of a satellite dish next to a felt tent, or ger, in Mongolia's Darhad valley, photographer Gordon Wiltsie made arrangements to spend the day with a nomadic herding family and their television (powered by a solar-charged car battery). This moment—a man and boy watching a Mongolian-dubbed Russian movie—was one of the quieter ones. "People from all around came to watch this TV," Gordon says. "I also met a guy who traveled around with a pony cart carrying his VCR, TV, and generator. He'd set up shop in somebody's ger and charge maybe a quarter to play one of the 20 tapes he had."

Gordon thought the picture captured an important facet of life in the valley, but in the end he and the layout team didn't think it fit in with the rest of the photos. "With my camera I was trying to paint a picture of a world that has existed for centuries. I relied on the writer to tell the story of what's changing and what the future might hold."

—Glenn Hodges

Check out Mongolian Crossing, the feature story for which this photo was originally taken.
Final Edit Photographer Zoom Inon more images by Gordon Wiltsie.

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