The company that bought the Miami Herald’s photo archive has put many photos — including journalists’ press card snapshots — up for sale on eBay, and some former staffers are unhappy about that.
Here’s what Amy Alexander writes:
The fact that I do not have control over my former staff photos is problematic, since the company’s choice to put it out to bid took place without my knowledge or consent. The fact that a price is being attached to my image, too, is problematic, mostly for issues of ego rather than safety or privacy. Why are my images going for $32.88 — why not a cool $33…or $40?
I asked Washington Post columnist and former Herald reporter Marc Fisher if he knew that his press card photos from the 1980s were being peddled online. He replied:
I knew that the Herald had sold off its photo library to some company that was selling off the entire contents on ebay, but my previous searches of the motherlode had only come up with older Herald colleagues, to whom I had sent word of the firesale, and a few of them did buy their pix.
Now that I see mine, it’s both a kick to see them and a bit of an outrage that the company we entrusted with our images has just dumped everything into the hands of some eBay merchant. I have concluded that images of my former self aren’t worth $32.88, so when the sale expires in a few hours, I assume the pix will vanish into the same giant dumpster that now contains the rest of the glories of One Herald Plaza.
The Herald photos were purchased by John Rogers Archive in Little Rock, Ark. The Arkansas Times reported last October: “Over the past three years, [the] Rogers Photo Archive in North Little Rock has been on a buying spree, purchasing the vast photo morgues of 11 great (and greatly cash-strapped) American newspapers, including the Chicago Sun-Times, The Denver Post, the Boston Herald and The Detroit News.”