The traditional rules of journalism require the photo to illustrate the moment, when context matters (are people wearing masks currently?). Therefore a file photo is unacceptable in this case, and the image should be current. (Yes, professional news organizations are hip to this requirement--and the photo staff reminds them, since they would like to remain employed).
Speaking as a professional photographer, it’s a lousy image choice for the story line. I’m sure there are far better images that say, “populous states”. Three people doing a selfie, three people on the water in a sail boat with Alcatraz in the background just doesn’t cut it. Poor photo editing. I sent an email to the photographer to ask if he could read the name of the boat off his high resolution file. It’s a very unusual request but who knows. I might just get an answer.
Believe it or not I just got an email from the photographer. He enlarged the part of the image with the boat name on the hill and thought he read “Joint Advintur”. So maybe it’s Joint Adventure? Anyone in SF know if that boat?
So many Ericsons in the Bay Area! I went with at friend to look at a boat in Alameda last weekend and the dock had three! That one had no main. Many young people in the Bay Area are using boats as floating apartments.