Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Photo in Trib of American Flag is WRONG -- Photo editor must be on vacation! Fire the intern then.

The Trib's photo placement of an upside down American Flag is offensive.

URL: http://pittsburghlive.com/photos/2005-09-05/0906flag-g.jpg

If I published that paper -- I'd fire the person responsible.

The photographer is not to blame for taking the photo. Shoot the photo, fine. Generally the photographer is not responsible for the placement of his/her images within the page of the final paper. But, then again, I don't know the workings of the Trib.

I would imagine that yesterday was a vacation day for the regulars, being Labor Day. Hence, some inexperienced editor or intern had a job to do.

If that image is the only one that had to run in the paper -- it could have been displayed with a 90-degree turn showing the flag in a march upward, to the top of the page.

Old true story: When I was in a photo editing class at a top journalism school (hint: Pitt plays football there this Friday night) each student needed to subscribe to different daily, big-city newspaper. However, the professor insisted that none of the students subscribe to either of the Pittsburgh newspapers.

There, now I've slammed both the Trib and PG in one blog posting -- and there isn't even a joke involved.

I predict that page B8 of the Trib from Sept. 6, 2005 , will be used as a classic, textbook example of how NOT to publish photos of the American flag.


O said...

My understanding is that an upside-down American Flag is a distress signal. Any idea of what the context of the photo is?

Mark Rauterkus said...

Right O. The photo is taken from the parade marchers -- but is from the other side of the street. Simple perspective thing. Okay. But, the editor of the page screwed up in the final outcome.

Rob said...


I just looked at the photo enlarged. It doesn't look right from a perspective viewpoint. The people walking with the flag are angled wrong in that orientation. If the photo was going to be used at all, it had to be used as it was oriented.

Mark Rauterkus said...

The photo should NOT have been used in a newspaper.

As a major compromise, if it NEEDED to be printed -- it might have been less offensive if it was run in a vertical format with a flip. Right, it doesn't look "right" -- but then again, it is an overhead shot.

There is NO way the photo could be run with a 190-degree flip.