Monday, February 04, 2008

Memphis (F)liar II

AC Kleinheider posts that the misleading photo of Rep. Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville) published in the Memphis alt-weekly Memphis Flyer didn't originate with the Flyer, something the Flyer failed to mention. So the paper lied to the public about the legitimacy of the photo and apparently stole the 2005 idea. And here's their editor's explanation via MediaVerse:

Perhaps in this case we should have explained that it was photo-shopped. Apparently it wasn’t obvious enough for some readers.

Bianca Phillips wrote the straight news item, which appeared in the paper this week without the photo in question. The photo was just a way to have fun with the story online. Bianca had nothing to do with it.

That's the wasn't obvious and they should have made it so. Dare I say that the readership of the Flyer would be inclined to assume the worst about Campfield? All the more reason to keep the 'straight news item' and the 'fun' photo away from one another. It was a straight news item (though obviously slanted). Why would you want to have 'fun' with such a serious story?

As of this notation at the original story that the photo was altered. No apology to Rep. Campfield there either.

Maybe the Memphis Flyer should take a lesson from the Nashville Scene (also an alt-weekly) who had fun with a picture of Pedro Garcia last March to go along with a much more serious piece regarding his tenure (adult site). However their cover art of a smiling Garcia vandalized by black marker was obvious to all as altered. Maybe you didn't think it was funny but you didn't confuse the lengthy, legitimate story starting on page 23 about his tenure with the 'having fun with it' artwork. The altered photo didn't appear next to the online article at all. In fact I couldn't find a copy of the 'fun' cover art at the Scene's site and had to tell people to pick up the hard copy if they wanted to see it. Thankfully I saved my copy.

And thanks to AC's linking I learn there actually is a Memphis Liar web site watching the publication and pointing out the errors. Glad I don't have that job.

1 comment:

Richard Thompson said...

FYI: Mediaverse®.

On the Flyer issue, a couple of things:

1)There should be some comments directed at the guy who actually photoshopped the picture -- not at the Flyer, which did not do the deed.

2)The Flyer did not publish the picture in the print edition. Regular readers of the Flyer know that publication treats its Web site like a blog-version of the publication itself, which means that it takes some chances online that it wouldn't do in print.

And lastly, if the Flyer is guilty of anything (besides misspelling Campfield's name in the caption), then it is guilty of not properly attributing the photo to its author. And bloggers, of course, know plenty about that sin.