CNN explained the decision by saying that the photo "was being used on our air as we reported about the sexual assault," Shimrit Sheetrit, a spokeswoman for "Anderson Cooper 360," told AOL News. "We made a network-wide editorial decision to blur the faces of those around Logan because we didn't know if those in the photograph were involved in the attack or not."
Television analysts were surprised, since the image had already been seen worldwide, and that CNN did this without explanation.
"If you are going to withhold information or you're going to do something when it's obvious you're going to withhold information or obscure photos, it's good to offer an explanation of why you're doing that," said Tom Rosenstiel, author of "Blur: How to Know What's True in the Age of Information Overload."
Los Angeles Times television writer Scott Collins accused CNN of tampering "with the journalistic record without explanation, leaving it to viewers to guess whether the network intended to protect or incriminate the figures in the background."
CBS released the photo in its original state. It would not comment on CNN's decision to alter it.