This innocuous story/photo(above) and CONTACT’s publication of same caused one peed-off photographer to unleash, anonymously, on the wrong editor….
He called himself Disgraceful and used the email address firstname.lastname@example.org …
It’s no secret all you do is copy and paste media releases from the Defence News room or the papers, but if you’re going to copy someone’s story and images, how about you take the time to get the byline off of the images, rather then putting your own name underneath them.
CONTACT Editor Brian Hartigan replied…
Tell me who you are (instead of being an anonymous web-site troll – using the oh-so-clever and respectful email address email@example.com) and I’ll tell you exactly why I didn’t use a by-line on that photo – even after looking for one.
You can stay anonymous and never know the real reason you didn’t get the byline – our you can tell me who you are and we can discuss it calmly and rationally.
You might actually be surprised why I didn’t use your by-line.
You might even be as pissed off as I am – at the right people.
Or let me guess who you are….
(thought you were clever using an anomalous email address – didn’t think I could see the IP address of the military server you were routed through:-)
– You are currently deployed in the Middle East
– You are probably the photographer who took the photo
Gee, I guess that’s probably close enough, since there aren’t exactly that many of you over there, hey [real name used in email reply].
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Then a follow-up reply from Brian Hartigan (because he couldn’t control himself)(and because firstname.lastname@example.org doesn’t work any more)…
Dear Disgracefulemail@example.com (I don’t like calling you these disrespectful names, but that’s what you chose to call yourself, so they will have to do).
Here’s why you are wrong….
re copy and pasting media releases from the Defence News room or the papers – wrong and wrong. I copy and paste press releases from the press release emails that Defence sends to my email inbox. I don’t have to assume because I know for a fact that since they are called press releases and since they are sent to the ‘press’ that Defence’s intent is that they want me to publish them. And since so many clever people in Defence went to all the trouble of crafting those press releases, one would imagine that there isn’t (or shouldn’t be) too much reason to edit them. But of course there is – because the clever press release writers and all the clever press release clearance people who meddle with it along the way don’t pick up the myriad spelling, grammar, syntax and other errors that are a common feature of Defence press releases – nor do they write in CONTACT’s ‘style’. So you are wrong as to where I copy and paste press releases from – and you are wrong in the implication that I just copy and paste without changing. In fact, even though I did actually copy and paste the story you are upset about (which isn’t a press release) from the place you suggest, I also went through that story and edited it a fair bit too, if you were bothered to read it and compare (maybe you’d learn some proper English from the changes I made, like the incorrect use of the word ‘then’ (should be ‘than’) in your own email).
Now, re the byline for the photo – perhaps you would care to explain to me where I might find the byline on this particular photo.
Actually, before you do, perhaps you’d care to check how many other photos on the CONTACT web site have no by-lines. You won’t find many, because it is actually my policy to give them.
So why didn’t I give a by-line in this instance? Here’s what I did in trying to find it… first, I clicked on the “Image Gallery” link beside the photo in the story. Oops! that didn’t work. Then I copied (so I got the spelling right) the word Murwillumbah from the story and went to the Defence Image Library and pasted Murwillumbah into the search bar – and, oops, the photo is not there either. Then I did a generic search for ‘middle east’ and scrolled through hundreds and hundreds of photos, in chronological order, all the way back to 1 January. Still couldn’t find it. Then I right-clicked on the badly pixellated photo in the story, saved it to my hard drive, opened it in Photoshop and checked ‘File Info’ – oops, not there either. Surely you would have to agree, I made every reasonable effort to find your by-line? Which, by the way, is not in the story either (did you write to the Defence web master, using firstname.lastname@example.org to complain to him too – or are you just picking on me for some reason) – nor is there a by-line for the author of the story. So tell me this – why does the photographer deserve a by-line but the story writer doesn’t? And here’s a similar question I keep asking myself and maybe you (being an expert on by-lines) can answer – why do Defence photographers get (and obviously demand and get precious about) by-lines, but videographers don’t. You see it’s my policy to give credit where it’s due, wherever and whenever I can – but Defence doesn’t supply by-lines for ‘hometowners’ or for video clips. Why don’t they? I’d use them if they were provided.
BTW, you are also wrong about me copy and pasting from papers (unless you’re talking about Defence papers, where it’s allowed/facilitated/invited), because that would be a breach of copyright.
Speaking of papers – I’ll shout you a beer for ever newspaper other than the Tweed Daily News that published this photo/story. I’m pretty confident that’ll be a cheep shout 😉
Finally, I take very serious offence at your false accusation that I put my own name to the story you are talking about – or to any other story I didn’t author. Sure, my name appears among the automatically generated admin stats at the top of the page, but that’s because I am the admin of this web site and I do actually deserve a by-line for putting the page together, with all it’s layout, editing, administration, fact-checking, link checking, political-bullshit-deleting, hosting, cost etc etc etc – of which I’m very proud – and defensive – especially from anonymous trolls like you.
P.S. Of course, when the photo eventually turns up in the Defence Image Library (where I will now be keenly awaiting its upload), you won’t be anonymous after that. Didn’t think of that, did you Mr Getfucked@bigpond.com 🙂
Then the troll came forward (but I won’t name/shame)…
Brian, The author and photographer didn’t leave that comment on the Murwillumbah 4 post, I did. As I’m sure you understand, we all get a little hot under the collar when we perceive that someone has wronged us or our mates. I should have checked the sources to see if Defence released that story with a byline before jumping to conclusions and having a crack at you, so I apologise for that. I’d appreciate if you didn’t skewer the photographer/author, as they had nothing to do with it.
No worries mate. I appreciate your honesty and accept your apology. I totally understand and accept that we all sometime get a bit miffed about our work or our mates’ work not being appreciated – and since I truely am on your side, whether you believe it or not, I hope you now appreciate that I feel just as hot under the collar about my work.
Sir Jeffrey Armiger is dedicated to the eradication of BE. Follow Sir Jeffrey on Facebook here.
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