Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Wasington Post(.com) - Cross Sharing

"Nah, the dot-com-ers won't get any play in the paper..." was what I heard more than one Washington Post photographer and reporter say. "We're seperate companies anyway, we share content with them, but they're not filling our pages with art."

Sorry, think again.

The article in question is Geek Pride Blooms Into a Real-World Subculture, from Sunday's paper, which played on the front page (A1). Someone knowledgable about DC photojournalists would know that the photographer...err...videographer credited is Travis Fox. An award winning journalist who is deservedly well liked all around. Fox is definately a good guy. I can't, however, recall ever seeing credits play as his have in the Post, and as a harbinger of things to come, this is worth dissecting, not just for DC journalists, but also other papers who look up to TWP as how "the big guns" do it.

On A1 (that would be the front page), the following photo appears:
And it looks fine. I've reduced it downwards to make it look as close to identical to how it appeared on the page. If you'd like to see how it appears as scanned showing the paper's halftone pattern, click here. If you do take a look, you'll see little image degradation. A critical look will reveal some issues, but overall, it looks really good.

However, below you will see the image from their website, (a 425 pixel-wide 100% portion of that image) note that it's severely degraded, and definately looks like it came from video. Clearly, they had to do a fair amount of work on the image for it to appear on the front page.
To see the full 608 pixel wide image as it appeared on the website, visit the link above, or click here.

What is also interesting is the inconsistency of the photo credits. The Washington Post has previously ran credits from TV stations on their front page, where the credit looked like: "AP via WABC-TV" or something similar. This time, however, and specifically on the front page, they've omitted the reference to it being from video, but they did attribute it to their sister company. See below:
However, after the jump, the credit style changes to:
. Interestingly enough, that photo, which I've also reduced downwards to make it look as close to identical to how it appeared on the page (from a clarity standpoint) looks fine.
If you'd like to see how it appears as scanned showing the paper's halftone pattern, click here. This continues to be an example of how the multimedia conglomerates (remember, The Washington Post Co also owns Newsweek, Post-Newsweek Interactive, Kaplan, and so on) will be cross-utlizing their assets wherever possible.

That's something to remember when you think about the work you're doing for your clients.


Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kudos to TWP and their "suits" for figuring out more ways to squeeze blood from their creatives.

What's next; photographers and artists as busboys and janitors?

I wouldn't put it past them........

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