Monday, June 29, 2009

Washington Post Fakes Own Front Page For Profit

The Washington Post, (NYSE: WPO) which normally sells reprints of past editions from major news stories for keepsake purposes, has stooped to a new low, faking a cover to cash in on Jackson's death. To make matters even more absurd, Matt Schudel, in his article "Michael Jackson Obit, the Backstory" writes of the Jackson obit "...we had no advance obituary prepared." Really? The King of Pop, whom you deem worthy of a $249 framed "commemorative" issue of, had no advance obit of Jackson? Since Jackson, at the age of 50, was not expected to die anytime soon, despite many reports of health irregularities over the years, it's little surprise that an over-worked and under-staffed newspaper would not focus on preparing an obit, given the numerous rounds of staff reductions in recent times.

The fake cover - that is - it's not an actual cover from the newspaper the day Jackson died - can be had in a framed version for as much as $249.95.

(Continued after the Jump)

Here's the actual cover (with thanks to the Newseum, viewable here too), with a small piece at the top, which refers to Jackson as an "Object of Acclaim, Curiosity", which I can only guess doesn't make for much of a resale piece. (Click at right to see it larger and read it for yourself.)

Below is a screen grab of the Post store (viewable live here):

The Post should think twice about faking it's front page - re-writing history from its' actual front page to one that they can sell "commemorative" copies of.

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.


AdvRdr said...

D i s g u s t i n g !

Anonymous said...

The Post has a long history of treating their freelance photographers like dirt, why would you think that they couldn't go any lower?

Anonymous said...

"commemorative" issue, not a reprint

MF said...

What a joke - That's low!

MF said...

On the other hand the NYT actually is selling their original. Very lame - WP you should pull this item
and check yourself for a pulse.

Anonymous said...

Oh man, do I disagree. I don't know anything about the "lowness" of the post but have you ever heard of different version of movies that come on the DVDs you purchase? Is there REALLY a big difference between the two situations? Magazines and even cars have "special editions." For many reasons they may not have been able to have the large MJ on the front page of their paper edition but why can't they have a special edition front page online? I think MJ fans would rather have the special cover, anyway.

The rest of you should stop "swimming with the pack" and think for yourselves. Or, perhaps your bias against the Post is clouding your perspective on this issue.

Ok, I'm done offending everyone here.

Chicago photographer said...

@ Anonymous above:
Not much clouding here. There's a clear difference between a DVD movie made for entertainment and a news publication whose reputation is staked on uncompromising ethics. Rearranging its cover for a convenient sale is a compromise of those ethics.

And apparently The Post is becoming more and more worthy of ethical criticism. They are now in the midst of getting caught trying to sell access to policymakers:
The economic pressures on print media are indeed causing a great deal of ethical lapses. Though in defense of the talented journalists that work there, this seems to be the brainchild of upper management, having left the editorial department in the dark about it's financial intent.

Anonymous said...

@ Chicago photographer above:
Thanks for your response. However, its unclear to me how the layout and design of a newspaper cover is in and of itself "news" as your response seems to suggest. If the post rearranges facts or "conveniently" changes position from one edition to another to make sales, I would agree with you. However, in this case, they are simply elaborating on a story that clearly has the public's interest. What is unethical about changing the layout of its cover?

If this was a "special insert" they put in the paper does that change things? Again, the layout of the front page is not in and of itself news so big D if they take a "special insert" article and put the front page header on it. I'm sorry, I just don't get it.
-from above...

Newer Post Older Post