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Morgantown, WV, Dominion Post's extreme photo alteration

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Clerk Typist, May 19, 2010.

  1. Clerk Typist

    Clerk Typist Guest

    The paper has a policy of not running photos of people running for re-election. See what happens:


    Amazing. Naturally, the editor wouldn't allow herself to be taped discussing the paper's bizarre policy.
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Forest for the trees.
  3. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?!?!
  4. The policy is not bizarre. We have the same policy.
    And the paper credited the change to the photo as an illustration.
    Would they have been better off not running the photo? Yes.
    But I don't think the "illustration" or the policy is that big a deal.
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    The policy is fine. Except in the zeal to adhere to policy, they went to an awful lot of trouble to trample on one of the basic tenets of journalism.
  6. I once had a freelance photographer in the office, working photos he had just taken of a football game. It was getting late on a Saturday night and he was still plugging away. He finally ended up with three or four quality photos. Showing them to me, he pointed out how much better they looked once he removed certain things from the background — telephone wires/poles, old fencing, etc.

    I didn't think much of it — an admittedly naive, ignorant and just plain stupid view.

    The next day, when I told one of our regular photogs about the photo manipulation, he was incredulous. Angry, actually. After an articulate explanation from him, I realized how wrong those photos were (even though few, if any, of our readers were likely to notice the alterations).

    I left that conversation with one unshakable belief: Don't manipulate the news, report it.
  7. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    Please explain why that's a reasonable policy. I'm not attacking it, I'm just trying to see the other side of things here.
  8. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    By the way, the lengths they went to adhere to that policy makes me wonder about their sanity.
  9. Clerk Typist

    Clerk Typist Guest

    If the policy is not bizarre, how do you illustrate a story on a political debate? A political convention? Anything during an election year involving the election?

    And I won't even ask if only those running for re-election are not pictured, while those running for office but not in office are. The editor's explanation of the policy makes it seem that way.
  10. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    They don't want to run photos of candidates running for re-election (except I assume in election stories or profiles) because it gives them publicity that the candidate who is not in office an bitch about and demand equal time.

    Say you run a photo of the mayor cutting a ribbon a ceremony donating a tree to a school. Then the opponent howls.

    Or say a woman who runs a realty company is running for the job and you run a big photo with a story on her being named West Virginia's top realtor. The mayor would howl.

    Still, the solution here was dumb and for a photo that's not even worth a flip to begin with.
  11. Clerk Typist

    Clerk Typist Guest

    So the other side howls. Listening to criticism is part of the job. So is dismissing it as stupid.

    A better policy is to only run interesting pictures, which this one was not until it was given the Soviet politburo realignment treatment.
  12. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    See, the beauty of my position on this is that I AM attacking it.
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