What’s so funny?

Some newsroom folks yesterday began gleefully circulating via email an anonymous blog post from angryjournalist.com. They seemed to believe it was funny and/or apropos. Following is the originating email.

Sent:   10/14/2008 7:22 PM
Subject:        mmmmm…….

I wonder what paper this posting on angryjournalist.com came from:

The photo department at my newspaper is a joke. There are more “photo editors” than there are photos in the daily paper.

These scumbags sit around and watch TV and always manage to royally fuck up something every single motherfucking night. Then they have the balls to cop an attitude about it. Everyone makes mistakes now and then – have the balls to admit it once in awhile and apologize.

Listen up assholes, YOU ARE PHOTOGRAPHERS AND PHOTO SCANNERS. Grow the fuck up and get to work already. Since you think you’re so much better than the reporters and editors then I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see you try to do my job. Oops, wait, you can’t even properly perform the tasks for which you receive a weekly paycheck.

Oh, and stop blaming late, incorrectly named, too small/too big or missing photos on “this stupid system.” That excuse is pathetic and we see right through the little power games you play.

I’m so glad most of you jackasses are leaving. We don’t need you in the first place. Someone finally woke the fuck up and realized the lazy, insolent and arrogant photo-fucks aren’t needed to pick and choose “the best” photos. Do you think reporters and editors can’t judge a decent photo?

You are NOT journalists. You give creative, hard-working, competent photojournalists a bad name.

Reading this made me wonder: Is this funny? Maybe one of these guys could explain the joke? Do they think this is representative of our photo department? Do they agree with the poster that photo editors and photographers are not journalists?

I have always felt that the hallmark of good people and a great company was how they pulled together when times got tough. Obviously management here isn’t doing much to bring the team together. But it is pretty disappointing to see newsroom staffers adding to the toxic atmosphere by circulating or, perhaps, authoring crap like this.

The exodus of talented people has already begun. Good people from every department are on their way out.

Tags: , ,


4 Responses to “What’s so funny?”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I’m sure this isn’t about photo staffers at The Star-Ledger. Since I am one I know they are more than just photographers and photo scanners. The majority of the staff are versed in a variety of software — from non-linear video editing suites such as Final Cut Pro to photo editing programs like Photoshop CS3. Many of them are adept with complex still camera, professional-quality video cameras, digital audio gear, and a variety of transmissions systems for delivering their work from the field to the office. What’s more, they don’t just take happy snaps or hold a video camera. Most photographers, photo editors and technicians are able to use a variety of tools to tell stories. Programs like Soundslides enable them to combine stills, music and audio interviews into slideshows that have been posted to NJ.com and other web sites. Sometimes these audio/visual stories are built by photographers, but most photo editors can also do it when necessary. What’s more, they may be called on at any given time to trouble-shoot html for a blog post or how to force a reluctant photo into our antiquated Harris system. Heck, photo editors have even constructed entire web sites, composed music and created digital graphics to professionalize are video productions.

    And they do this while having to eavesdrop on newseditors who don’t want to tip them to stories or being hectored by folks from every editorial department regarding missing photos, late assignments, the need to scrounge a headshot, etc. etc. etc. In their free time any of them may be required to negotiate a deal with a TV station or magazine for an image or video shot or collected by the staff. Yeah, the photo department generated tens of thousands of dollars of revenue for the newspaper last year.

    Me, I spent years as a reporter and news/feature editor. I’ve dummied pages, covered town council meetings and even done paste-up. I’ve won a few awards for my work, but that pales in comparison to what has been done by the folks around me. The photographers have won virtually every photo award available in this country while covering events that have taken them to distant and dangerous locations. But their accomplishments in the field or studio wouldn’t have received nearly as much recognition without the support of technicians who helped keep their equipment working and photo editors who labored to make sure the best images were used in the best way in the newspaper. Besides fighting for size, crop and position, photo editors work hard to try and make the pictures bright and colorful on newsprint (no easy feat). Then they may be called to prep those same pictures for reprints on different stock or publication in books (the photo department did four in a little over 12 months (Rutgers football, Devils anniversary, Rutgers women’s basketball and Giants season) and are working on two more now.

    Sure the editors and photographers at the Ledger sometimes stumble or fail, but they are often the first to acknowledge they could have done better.

    I am absolutely certain this insulting post can’t be about the photo people at The Star-Ledger because they don’t do everything they do, they haven’t accomplished everything they have accomplished, they haven’t succeeded at near impossible projects, demonstrated expertise across all facets of the journalistic spectrum (several editors and photographers have even written articles published in the newspaper), and won acclaim across the newspaper field while being reminded on an almost daily basis that they aren’t needed and that any chimp with an instamatic and one working eye could do their job just as well or better.

    Besides, the people departing our photo department in the coming weeks aren’t jackasses. Likewise, they aren’t leaving because management figured out that anyone can pick a decent photo. They are leaving because they have capabilities and opportunities that will permit them to work elsewhere. All, photo editors, photographers and technicians are taking with them a wealth of expertise, knowledge and story-telling ability that would be difficult to replace even if we were allowed to hire replacements.

    Are they journalists — YES THEY ARE. Proved beyond a doubt for even an idiot to see.

  2. I love the internet. Anyone can post anything they want without having to put their name under it. Impunity makes cowards of us all.

    I wonder if the person who posted that immature, hateful and unprofessional rant has the nerve to say that to me – face to face? I am not hiding behind the “internet”. I don’t speak for the photo department. I do this on my own, and I invite them to stop by and drop all those F-bombs on me. Face to face. Frankly I don’t think I’ll hear from the coward that posted that anonymous BS, or the folks that got that email – like some 7th grade note passed around homeroom. Which, come to think of it, is the way of the online news world now. (Good for “hits”)

    My name is Tim Farrell and I am a proud staff photographer of The Star-Ledger.

    Gotta problem? My cell phone is 201-401-2147. Want to talk?

  3. My name is Matt Rainey and I stand right next to Tim Farrell shouting the same pride !

  4. Bill Perlman Says:

    I am also a member of the staff at The Star-Ledger and I am Bill Perlman. I stand right next to Tim and Matt and invite the coward to say that to our faces

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: