Storm chaser/photographer Mark Farnik has been criticized for his photo of a young tornado victim from Nebraska – what he calls “the most powerful, yet most difficult to make and look at image of my photojournalism career.” Farnik writes on Facebook:
While photographing anyone who is dying is challenging, there is no greater heartbreak than to have your subject be a small child. After I was done making images, I went back to my vehicle and I completely broke down in tears. This moment in time will live with me the rest of my days.
But I stand unwaveringly by my decision to make this image. It is an uncomfortable image. It is a painful image. It hurts me to look at it. But damn it, it’s important. This little girl’s life was important. SHE MATTERED. And the human element is the essence of photojournalism; photojournalism would cease to have any meaning or impact without people in it.
* “In the last 24 hours my life has changed…” (facebook.com)
* “I am going to do a fundraiser to pay for the funeral services” (facebook.com)
* Farnik on June 4: “I need some highly photogenic and destructive tornadoes to make it rain for me financially” (coloradoan.com)
* Storm chaser who photographed dying girl takes heat (washingtonpost.com)
Ten years ago this month, USA Today tightened its sourcing rules after the Jack Kelley fabrication scandal.
On June 18, 2004, Joe Strupp reported in Editor & Publisher that reporters at Gannett’s flagship paper who want to use anonymous sources have to reveal the person’s identity to a managing editor. “The managing editor has to make a judgment that the source is absolutely essential to the story and the value to readers outweighs the potential damage to our credibility,” then-editor Ken Paulson told Strupp.
Update 2: A reader sent me USA Today’s current sourcing policy, last updated in January:
1. The identity of an unnamed source must be shared with and approved by an executive editor, managing editor or editor designated by the editor in chief. The source approval editor must be confident the information presented to the reader is accurate, not just that someone said it. This usually will require confirmation from a second source or from documents — but not in all cases. When a single confidential source is cited without further support in the story, the editor approving the source must be confident that information presented is based on first-hand knowledge and is authoritative. Once anonymous sourcing has been approved, approval notification, typically in the form of an email, should be sent to the editor-in-chief and standards editor.
— Steve Contorno (@scontorno) June 18, 2014
H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest calls himself an accidental sole owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and philly.com. (His partner, Lewis Katz, died in a plane crash earlier this month.)
I did not intend this. It just happened. But I feel good about it. I’ve spent a lot of time in philanthropy in the Philadelphia area. Of all the things I’ve done, I can’t think of anything more important than the newspapers.
Lenfest says he’s now looking for a publisher. “We are looking at candidates. I’ve contacted two already and we are setting up interviews.” (Brian Tierney won’t be considered for the job, he says.)
Times-Picayune’s Carlie Kollath Wells writes: “CNN had the ‘gains weight’ info up for at least 30 seconds around 9:59 a.m. CST today. The caption was then updated to say ‘pope reduces schedule, cancels meetings.’ Then CNN settled on something generic like ‘pope has health concerns.'”
* “I remember writing this at the city desk as if it were yesterday,” says Shawn Hubler, one of the Times reporters who covered the OJ chase. (laobserved.com)
* A member of the Society of Professional Journalists’ board questions an ethics code revision meeting in Columbus that will cost up to $11,000. “Not surprisingly,” writes Michael Koretzky, “SPJ leaders have told me I’m being ‘melodramatic.'” (spjnetwork.org)
* How New York Times Magazine’s underwater babies were photographed. (nytimes.com)
* Hot topic? Americans are split on the Oxford comma. (fivethirtyeight.com)
* “Bullying” Brian Tierney demands bigger numbers from philly.com – even if it means counting each photo in a 20-page photo gallery as a separate page view. (You really want this guy as chairman of your foundation, Poynter?)
(bigtrial.net) | (phillymag.com)
* “I think mostly everybody, except sociopaths, cares about cute animals,” says BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith, “and most people want to know what’s going on in the world.” (harvard.edu)
* News organizations are the new j-schools. (cjr.org) | Gawker Media’s first “Recruits” class graduates. (capitalnewyork.com)
* Erin Burnett confesses that she was at one time “essentially a Willow Bay stalker.” (mediabistro.com)
* Washington Post’s Dana Milbank on Politico’s Dylan Byers: He “swallowed the Heritage spin — hook, line and sinker.” (washingtonpost.com) | “Nice effort, @Milbank.” (@DylanByers)
* Journalists who cover federal health care agencies complain that they’ve been stonewalled, barred from talking to health agency staffers or required to submit questions in writing. (harvard.edu)
* Eric Cantor should consider a talk-radio job, says Tim Noah. (msnbc.com)
* Retired print editor Jack Limpert writes after reading Clay Shirky‘s latest: “Print is under pressure but it does have a real business model, one that brings in real revenues.” (jacklimpert.com) | “Fuck you, Clay.” (@ryanchittum)
* News consumers claim they want vegetables, but the truth is they really prefer candy. (theatlantic.com)
* The funniest college press headlines of the year. (collegemediamatters.com)
* Former Boston Globe and GateHouse exec Rick Daniels joins Providence startup GoLocal24. (bizjournal.com)