1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

ME calls out photog in print: good call or bad?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by murphyc, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. murphyc

    murphyc Well-Known Member

    Last Sunday the managing editor of The Olympian in Olympia, Wash. wrote an editorial about a photographer admitting to lying in the aftermath of recent high-profile attacks. I will admit up front I'm friends with the photographer and have freelanced with this particular paper quite a bit in the past. In light of the information that came up last weekend (second link has that story), I am extremely disappointed and upset with my friend for his lack of honesty. Whatever discipline is taken -- from nothing to firing -- would be justified, IMO.
    But the bigger question to me: was the ME right in calling his employee to the mat in public?
    Here is the editorial:


    Here is the story from last Sunday which includes some more context:

  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    He should be fired.

    I don't see how you could ever trust him.

    And, yes, it's appropriate to call him out publicly. The protesters apparently knew or suspected that he had shown the photos to police and the paper had denied it for years, so it's not something you can sweep under the rug when the truth comes out.
  3. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    If you are an editor or publisher providing false or misleading info to the paper for publication is part of the job - as a reporter, it will get you canned.
    A) lying to a supervisor B) unauthorized use of the company's property C) appearance of conflict of interest.
    You have to call them out by name, otherwise every photog at the paper could appear guilty.
  4. Cubbiebum

    Cubbiebum Member

    Torn on this one. What he did was definitely wrong. At the same time it is said that it was a split second decision. He lied about it for three years which is the real issue but that could very well have been a matter of personal safety. If he admitted to it he could very well have been attacked. He was already getting attacked based on speculation.

    He should be reprimanded which being publicly outed has already done to a degree but I don't think he should be fired based solely on this. He made a mistake. If he is good at his job then he should be able to keep it.
  5. Cubbiebum

    Cubbiebum Member

    Story says it was his camera and his memory card. I don't see B. but the others are true.
  6. mrbigles01

    mrbigles01 Member

    I agree with all of the above, have to call him out and have to take some disciplinary action. For what its worth I think that the ME's editorial is actually very well written and tries to give this guy as much slack as possible for making a bad choice in a really difficult situation. If he, the ME, had really wanted to he could have thrown the photog under the bus in a much more egregious way.

    I do feel for the photog however. I doubt very much that the police asked him politely for help, in these kinds of situations they are seldom polite or rational. Bad situation all around, but I 100% agree with the decision to make this a public thing. Any media organization exists and derives its power from its cache and credibility with the readership. When you screw up you have to be up front, sweeping things under the rug only makes them worse when they eventually come out.
  7. murphyc

    murphyc Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure the "his" in the story automatically meant it was Overman's equipment. When I worked with Overman in the past, he was always using the paper's equipment. Granted this was about six years ago and the paper has changed ownership twice since then, but my guess is it was the paper's equipment.
  8. murphyc

    murphyc Well-Known Member

  9. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    If I were the ME and he admitted that he showed the photos to the police, I would have had a discussion about how to handle that situation in the future.

    If the hooligans complained, I would have said if they don't want to get arrested for committing violent acts, don't commit violent acts.

    It's the lying I could not forgive.
  10. Cubbiebum

    Cubbiebum Member

    It's the addition of saying his memory card that makes me think the photog owns them. Why mention the memory card unless it is to distinguish that it was his equipment?
  11. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I don't think it matters if it was his equipment or not, if he's taking pictures in the employ of the paper, the pictures are the property of the paper, published or not.
    Now if he was going out and shooting stuff on his own time, maybe it would be something else.
  12. farmerjerome

    farmerjerome Active Member

Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page