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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Asked to do something unethical- II
Paul Alesse, Photographer
Centereach | NY | USA | Posted: 8:03 PM on 01.29.08
->> I think I would have avoided email altogether in favor of talking to her face to face. Email shouldn't be used at all for issues that are sensitive or potentially confrontational.

If you ask me that IS the immature and juvenile method of doing things in today's society.
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Justin Edmonds, Student/Intern, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 8:27 PM on 01.29.08
->> Paul I completely agree. After speaking with my boss (I'm a sports marketing intern) she explained that I should have spoken with her in person and avoided email all together. That was an error in judgment on my part.

I have resigned my position as photo editor effective immediately. I'm standing up for what I believe in. I've learned more in this situation than I would have in my 4 remaining weeks as editor. (We're on the quarter system and a new staff is selected and trained during the spring quarter)

My fellow photographers on staff understand why I'm doing this and have given me their full support.

College is a learning experience and I hope to take what I've learned and apply it at an internship this summer.

Thank you to everyone who offered your advice on the situation. I completely understand everyone's point of view and after taking that into consideration I made the decision I did.

Thank you!
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Paul Alesse, Photographer
Centereach | NY | USA | Posted: 8:28 PM on 01.29.08
->> Another thing that's a puzzlement. We all remember this one, I'm sure:
http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=24447

Now, I'm not saying that there is a line between acceptable alter and unacceptable alter, but it would take about a half million readers in the general public before one would realize that the photo was altered and it would literally take two different publications being held side by side and analyzed before it got picked up.

But, in this case, I mean c'mon... there's going to be hell of a lot of readers on campus that are going to know that the day was not filled with a beautiful blue nice nice sky on this day.

This professor is really sticking her neck on the line and jeopardizing the integrity of the entire university, no?
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Paul Alesse, Photographer
Centereach | NY | USA | Posted: 8:34 PM on 01.29.08
->> FWIW Justin, after reading all your posts, I applaud you for holding your ground. College is indeed a learning experience. My comment about using email as a way to handle issues was meant more of a general comment.

I'm not an editor, nor a photojournalist for that matter. I own a youth sports photography company and I'd be happy to have someone like yourself as one of my shooters any day.

I have a feeling this issue is just getting started. Keep us posted and let us know which photo inevitably gets run.
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Melanie Schiff, Photographer
Highlands Ranch | CO | USA | Posted: 8:45 PM on 01.29.08
->> Trying to put myself in this advisor's position, on some level she probably realized she was wrong, and as an advisor, felt embarrassed and humiliated in front of a group of people she is supposed to be mentoring. Her reaction was not mature or correct, but a spur of the moment outburst to defend herself and still feel like she has credibility to everyone working "under" her. Of course she's trying to change her story now.

My advice would be to continue on with shooting for the paper without the apology. I think she has already been publicly humiliated by being called out. Hopefully at some point she will come around and apologize, but I've found that even the bosses or decision makers aren't always the most mature. By letting things go (on some level), it shows maturity and dedication to your job, if nothing else, to the others working at the paper. Apologizing for your tirade will show her that you can be humble, and perhaps make her more open to your suggestions and an open discussion. It's important for everyone to learn lessons, but without feeling like they are being talked down to or lectured. Hopefully after all this, she will not make requests like this again, and really that is the most important thing--for everyone to learn. Maybe a month or so down the road, bringing someone in to talk about ethics would be more appropriate. It won't feel like an attack to show her why you are right and she is wrong.

You never know when you could cross paths again in your future!
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Bruce Ely, Photographer
Portland | OR | USA | Posted: 9:01 PM on 01.29.08
->> I'm curious if the advisor is still going to ask other students to do this in the future. I sure hope not. I'm not sure what was gained in this situation in the end. Just someone that knew right from wrong loosing his job?

Justin?
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Jody Gomez, Photographer
Murrieta | CA | USA | Posted: 9:16 PM on 01.29.08
->> Justin, thanks for reminding me that the right thing to do isn't always the easiest, and having the character to stand up for what you believe. I deeply respect you for that.

Jody
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Charley Starr, Photographer, Photo Editor
Ketchikan | AK | USA | Posted: 9:38 PM on 01.29.08
->> Justin,
I’m glad you see this as the learning experience that it is. It’s too bad your advisor didn’t see the teaching opportunity she had. Newsroom conflicts and difference of opinions are a fact of life. A good advisor would have taken the time to teach you the right way to deal with it. You are right but she is the boss. You do need to stick with your ethical convictions but you need to learn how to get your point across and educate the other side. As you learned a ‘tirade’ just pisses people off and makes the situation worse. My hope is that she didn’t mean for you to do something unethical and that it was a simple misunderstanding. Maybe she just wanted more tone in the sky so at the edge of the picture the white didn’t just fade into the rest of the page. No matter what she wanted she should have sat down with you and discussed it. Teachers are not perfect and the good ones know they can learn from the students also. As for the editor that thinks having a working professional come in to talk about ethics is a waste of time…I don’t know what to say! That is absurd! Having someone from the real world come into a college paper and talk about anything journalism related is a very valuable use of time and these days extremely warranted. That’s another lesson for you…there are a lot of idiots out there and some of them are editors. I’m guessing it’s someone without the backbone you have and is just trying to kiss up to the advisor! I’m sure you’ve learned a lot and I wish you luck.
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G.M. Andrews, Photographer
Mobile | AL | USA | Posted: 10:49 PM on 01.29.08
->> It's kind of disappointing to see so many Sportsshooter members jump down Justin's throat for HOW he did something.

And not commend him for WHY he did something.

Especially when so many photographers have left this site for because of all the members asking HOW to do something, when too few asked WHY.

Justin - I'm sorry that this particular experience has turned out poorly for you. Move on, and learn from this. You'll be stronger, and better, for it.
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Rainier Ehrhardt, Photographer
Augusta | GA | USA | Posted: 10:55 PM on 01.29.08
->> Well put G.M.

I'm not sure it's really such a bad thing that he might have burned bridges with the adviser.

By the looks of it I wouldn't want a bridge there anyways.

But as many have mentioned above, you took the road that you knew was the correct one, and you've learned from the experience. Good for you.
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G.M. Andrews, Photographer
Mobile | AL | USA | Posted: 11:01 PM on 01.29.08
->> Rainier, I'm afraid that bridge is built on shifting sand.

God only knows what else this advisor might think is "okay".
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Jeff Brehm, Photographer, Photo Editor
Charlotte | NC | USA | Posted: 11:09 PM on 01.29.08
->> Instead of us continuing to speculate on what the advisor does or doesn't think, why don't we invite her to post her side of the story? There are people who said in their posts that they've already looked her up in the school info. They or Justin could contact her and extend the offer.

If we're really journalists, don't we want to see both sides? I'd be surprised if she agreed, especially if she read some of the early posts. But it could be an interesting discussion.
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Darren Whitley, Photographer
Maryville | MO | USA | Posted: 11:52 PM on 01.29.08
->> I really wouldn't be surprised if the whole thing was a miscommunication. The sky does need a little work. It's a little lighter than I would go for, but I would have opened up the darker tones in the bottom of the image too.

It's quite possible that she wasn't asking for him to hand-color the darn thing. There is at least some tone in the sky, which means it's close but a little classic darkroom technique would help without violating ethics of photojournalism.

The threat of termination is a complete failure on her part. It's terribly rude to drop that on an employee as the first course of resolving a problem. If you value an employee, shouldn't you choose to have some sort of discussion to make sure there's at least an understanding of both sides before it's a complete war?

Perhaps she's not an adviser, but a dictator. So much for freedom of speech. We can't have dissent in a newsroom.
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Russ Isabella, Photographer
Salt Lake City | UT | USA | Posted: 1:00 AM on 01.30.08
->> Re-reading Justin's initial post, he states that the advisor told him if he wouldn't alter the photo in the way she requested, she'd get someone else to do it. This doesn't sound like a threat to fire him to me, but as her saying she's going to get the outcome she wants with this photo one way or another. Obviously this doesn't change the ethics issue related to alterering the photo, but there's been talk of how 'wrong' it was for the advisor to threaten Justin with his job, and I'm not sure she did that (or if she did and Justin said she did, I missed it when reading through both threads). As a professor (not of journalism), I can say a couple of things. First, no way this professor gets fired over this, at least not if she has tenure. Everyone here is on Justin's side and even so, it'd be hard to be certain the advisor commited an offense worthy of termination. From a newspaper, maybe, but not from a university. Especially when the fact is that termination for a tenured faculty member requires a level of failure to do the job that would have to go well beyond anything mentioned here, and usually requires a lengthy and well-documented history of such failure. Second, if it happened as Justin said (no reason to believe otherwise), the prof blew it, and the escalation definitely didn't help. Just as in a newsroom (I assume), it's the case that in the classroom (or in the newspaper staff room) when the issues are intense, people care deeply about what they are doing and egos are involved, mistakes can be made, people can say the wrong thing, overstep bounds, etc. This is somewhat unavoidable, and becomes more likely the higher the personal stakes. But when it's 'done well,' those same people take advantage of the opportunity to step back, think about what they've done and try to make it right. Failing to do this may be what the advisor is most guilty of, and again, the escalation probably didn't help.

Justin, I commend you for standing up for what you believe, and I'm glad to hear you feel you have learned from this.
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Justin Edmonds, Student/Intern, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 1:30 AM on 01.30.08
->> I was in utter shock when I just received an email from my advisor to the editor in which the ENTIRE STAFF was CC'd on:

"Is there any chance that Justin would go into the office and create havoc on our network? ....should we change the password"?

I can't believe this. I'm the one fighting for unethical behavior yet she thinks that I'm going to risk my education by doing such a thing. It is amazing what happens when you stand up for what you believe in. I'm glad that I am no longer associated with this publication.
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Russ Isabella, Photographer
Salt Lake City | UT | USA | Posted: 1:42 AM on 01.30.08
->> Justin: You've stood up for what you believed and stated a willingness to accept the consequences, both for standing up for your principles, and for how you chose to go about this. My advice to you at this point is to walk away. You resigned, remember? Walk away. Anything else just further stokes the flames, and toward what end? Serving justice? Proving that you've been treated unfairly? Setting the record straight? Doesn't look like there's much chance of any of these things happening at this point.
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Sam Morris, Photographer
Henderson (Las Vegas) | NV | USA | Posted: 1:48 AM on 01.30.08
->> Justin, I am behind you 100%, but get used to things like that. Especially if you stand up to someone protected by something as solid as "tenure."

I could tell stories, but it does no good. Get used to it. Have everything documented and make sure your I's are dotted and T's are crossed. And try to keep the lawyers out of it.

Relax. Take a deep breath. Try to think of it on a rational level - I know it's hard to do when someone is stomping their steel-toed boot into your convictions and beliefs, but it is better to consider the situation from a distance. Meaning, take your passion as a journalist out of it and just present the facts. Here are the rules, here is the way they violated them.

I wish you the best. Keep us updated.
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Rick Rowell, Photographer, Photo Editor
Vista | CA | USA | Posted: 3:49 AM on 01.30.08
->> Justin, I think you mean your the one fighting for "ethical" behavior. Please proof read before posting. Good luck, Rick.
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Jordan Murph, Student/Intern, Photographer
Honolulu & Los Angeles | HI/CA | USA | Posted: 4:09 AM on 01.30.08
->> Rick, I think you mean "you're the one fighting..."

Please proof read before posting.
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Jeffrey Furticella, Photographer, Assistant
Munster | IN | US | Posted: 4:22 AM on 01.30.08
->> Don't you both mean proofread and not proof read?

- furt
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Jordan Murph, Student/Intern, Photographer
Honolulu & Los Angeles | HI/CA | USA | Posted: 4:28 AM on 01.30.08
->> Right on!
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Aaron Rhoads, Photographer
McComb | MS | USA | Posted: 5:46 AM on 01.30.08
->> What the heck is going on there in Colorado. This, the kicking legislator, and earlier this year folks over there were upset over some teenagers smoking or kissing in a photo

Maybe South Park isn't a animated cartoon, maybe its a documentary.
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Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 7:56 AM on 01.30.08
->> Justin,

She should not have cc'd the entire staff, but it is a completely reasonably request to have security to the network changed when someone leaves an organization. That is fairly standard protocol. In your case, you self admittedly engaged in a "tirade" and then fired off a fairly inflammatory email.

G.M.,

Why not burn bridges? Because imho the entire affair was mishandled on both sides, and has obviously generated significant animosity, thus moving this from a situation where those may have been indifferent to where they may actively work against Justin if contacted in the future. If I was a future employer- particularly immediately out of school - I would be contacting the editor and the advisor. So either Justin leaves this off his resume - which I would not endorse - or he runs the risk of these people now poisoning his future employment. Yes, I would expect him to vigorously defend himself, but the others will tell their side too.

I just believe there was a better way to handle this.
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Joe Cavaretta, Photographer
Ft Lauderdale | FL | USA | Posted: 8:46 AM on 01.30.08
->> Perhaps some of the SS folks here who work at the Rocky or the Denver Post might want to print out these threads and hand them over the the education reporters at the papers. Whether or not your feel that Justin went about things in the right way, the fact remains: he refused to go along with an unethical idiot request, he lost his job (or felt the need to walk away from) as a result, and now this advisor seems to be trying to sully his reputation by making out to be some sort of a cyber loose cannon. Working at a college newspaper gives a person all sorts of great experiences and at a school that does not have a big program might be his only exposure to "what its like to put out a paper." It is not fair that he has to give this up because of his refusal to go along with this request that would get you fired at most places.
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John Plassenthal, Photographer
Vandalia | OH | USA | Posted: 8:59 AM on 01.30.08
->> I've always been a fan of "The West Wing", in "The Debate" Martin Sheens' character has a great line that goes something like: "Our country has grown to the point where there aren't many unnuanced choices, and those almost always involve a body count."

Justin, I applaud you for taking the high road and making a stand. However, I wouldn't let your resignation be the end of it. I would make sure you talk with the dean, provost, and even president to make sure they understand the unethical behavior that their professor is encouraging. If anything our universities should be advocating the strength of ethics, not eroding it. Encourage other members of the staff to go with you and get the truth out.

At the very least, journalism/photojournalism ethics is newsworthy and perhaps one of the local papers would be interested in the story. If the greatest disinfectant is the light of truth, then this one deserves at least a good scrubbing.
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Michael L. Palmieri, Photographer
Barnegat | NJ | USA | Posted: 10:12 AM on 01.30.08
->> Justin,

I am a little late to the party on this one so forgive me if my comments mirror those of others.

That said, as a former college photojournalism adviser (at the Daily Collegian at Penn State), I find this whole situation appalling. I would be more than happy to pass along to you the ethical guidelines and style book that I helped generate for the Collegian – both as a photo editor in college and then years later as an adviser.

Moreover, in the back of most AP style guides and certainly in the AP’s Guide to Photojournalism there is a clearly outlined protocol on digital ethics. The NPPA, most papers and nearly every PJ text book makes reference to this as well.

I know it might be tough on you and having resigned your post was a difficult – but probably correct decision. Hang in there and continue to make your voice heard on this issue. Others have mentioned that there are plenty of documented cases of other photogs who have misused digital capabilities as a means to manipulate and stretch the truth. Unfortunately most of the ethical situations that we face find themselves on very slippery slopes.

Keep fighting the good fight and know that plenty of folks are in your corner.

--MLP
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Colin Lenton, Photographer, Assistant
Philadelphia | PA | United States | Posted: 10:55 AM on 01.30.08
->> Justin,
I applaud you for standing your ground and then walking the walk by resigning.

What now? Go get yourself a local internship - it will look better on your resume then your time spent at the student newspaper anyway.
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G.M. Andrews, Photographer
Mobile | AL | USA | Posted: 3:30 PM on 01.30.08
->> Mark-

Do you think that an advisor telling a student to make up a quote for a story, or plagiarize a source for a paper, is acceptable?

Those kinds of things would get a student suspended, if not kicked out of a class, or a university.

And most instructors condoning academic misconduct would find their teaching opportunities limited, if not closed completely.

My original point was this: Too many people cyber-pilloried young Justin for his "tirade", whatever that may have been. I wasn't there, and I don't know what exactly Justin said, or how he said. But then, neither were most of the members of the this board. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

But I'll also give him kudos for standing up for his beliefs and ethics. As Colin says, he walked the walk.

How many of the rest of us would do the same?

-GM
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Mark Peters, Photographer
Highland | IL | USA | Posted: 4:46 PM on 01.30.08
->> No, I find it completely unacceptable. As you note, none of us were in the room for these discussions, but taking everything thing Justin has said at face value I strongly believe there was a way to approach this in a manner which would not have quite the potential to negatively impact Justin at the same time. Decorum and discreteness are quite valuable traits and do not necessarily come at the expense of ones values or the proper resolution of an unacceptable situation.

As a future employer I would expect many (most if not all) to hold individuals in very high regard that not only have high ethical standards, but be willing to make a sacrifice for them. I doubt there is much debate that this has occurred in this situation.

However, how individuals handle themselves, particularly how they handle themselves publicly or in situations of conflict is fair game for how a future employer judges the fit and/or qualifications of a candidate for a future position, as they will represent the employer if awarded the job. Anyone who has ever been through behavior based interviewing is aware that this, not the technical skill, can often be the focus.

I do not and will not fault Justin for refusing to take an action he believes he was asked to take which ran afoul of his professional standards - quite to the contrary, I will applaud him for that. I do and will criticize (though my critism is meaningless as I have no standing in the matter) the methods employed thereafter. A situation which I feel could have been mitigated to a position of neutrality at worst and positive at best was rushed headlong (and headstrong) into one for which a negative result is almost certain.

I will go so far as to suggest that even if the matter is taken all the way to the Board of Regents and the advisor is pilloried, the result is likely a negative. This matter has played itself out in a public forum - one which has a level of standing and following within the industry. Specific institutions and individuals (by naming the publication and institution you did not have to name names, they are quite evident to those who care to find out), have been identified and besmirched (it may well turn out rightfully so, but we have seen only one side.) Suitable responses to the question (or was there ever really a question or just a "look what happened to me" statement)could have been garnered through the posting of a rhetorical question, without even suggesting that the situation actually occurred. It is quite reasonable for future employers to look at this situation and ask if they hired this individual if every disagreement would become public fodder - if they could trust this individual to act with decorum and to first seek resolution within the confines of the organization.

This was not a matter for a public airing - until after the institution had an adequate opportunity to investigate the matter in a calm, reasoned manner. The approach taken effectively prevented that from happening.

I would certainly hope that this is but a blip on Justin's career path, and that should the matter come up in the future with a potential employer it will be used as an opportunity to demonstrate to this employer not only his high ethical standards, but also his willingness and capacity to learn from a situation and to demonstrate his acknowledgement of how better it could have been handled - what he has learned regarding conflict management and organizational behavior. If not, and I can only speak for myself, that if the only thing that came out of it was "I was right, I made demands, they failed to meet my demands, I quit", I would have a very negative view of the situation.

Just my $0.02, which is likely worth even less.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 5:03 PM on 01.30.08
->> One thing that bothers me with some of these responses are people pontificating on justin's reaction to this situation. sure we've heard one side of the story but this gloom and doom from some folks about it affecting the rest of his career is plain hogwash. let's not forget the fact of the matter is he's a kid, well in my book he's a kid. cut him some slack for god's sake. it's not like he's 30 years old and has been in the news business for 10 years.
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Rick Rowell, Photographer, Photo Editor
Vista | CA | USA | Posted: 5:56 PM on 01.30.08
->> Jordan, I used the quotation marks in the wrong manner. I think Justin is fighting against unethical behavior, not for unethical behavior. Proofread is one word, my bad. Yes this is off topic, but inappropriate? Some people need to reread the definitions. In any case, I wish you luck in the future Justin. I'm sorry you had to leave to make your point. From the sound of it, I don't think you would have been able to work effectively with this situation hanging over everyones head.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 6:20 PM on 01.30.08
->> Just to lay a little perspective on things, from Justin's post "..... in my 4 remaining weeks as editor...." Kudos for standing your ground, but quitting might have been more difficult if you had 10 years and a 3rd week of vacation on the line.

Hopefully a used copy of "How to Make Friends and Influence People" can be had at the book store.
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Adam Vogler, Photographer
Chanute | KS | USA | Posted: 7:01 PM on 01.30.08
->> Shouldn't the greater concern here be the fact that there is a journalism professor teaching students to act unethically rather than the reaction to it.

I can't count the number of times that I reacted with more passion than thinking when I was in my twenties. I know better now mostly because of some painful lesson I learned in the workplace. Being young is all about screwing up and learning from it.

It is appalling to me that someone is TEACHING students to behave in such a manner as Justin described. My feeling is that this is as bad if not worse than an editor telling a photographer to do something unethical. A working pro has a hell of a lot more chance of knowing better than an inexperienced student might not.

When I was a photo J freshman I had never heard of Sports Shooter or the NPPA. If I had been told by a journalism professor that it was OK I wouldn't have known any better.

How many students have been influenced by this instructor to behave in unethical ways and how much damaged might this do to all of our reputations as a result?

The fact that someone could have so adversely influenced students horrifies me.

Maybe the situation should have been handled more diplomatically and maybe it shouldn't have. We don't know. We can't know. We weren't there.

What I do know is that if there was ever a time to throw a screaming fit in the middle of the newsroom (not that Justin did this) it would be when being pressured to print something that wasn't true. An overreaction is WAY better than an under-reaction in that sort of situation.

If I had been in a similar situation I'm sure that my blood would be boiling and that I'd be seeing red. I hope that I would be able to hold my temper since I've learned (much to my dismay) that losing it accomplishes little if anything, but I can't fault anyone for reacting passionately to the situation.

The stakes are just to high.

For all of us.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 8:18 PM on 01.30.08
->> adam, thanks..but several of us posted those same concerns yesterday. I think Romenesko at poynter should be set loose on this. he'll rip some ass.
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Christopher Assaf, Photographer
Baltimore | MD | USA | Posted: 5:46 PM on 01.31.08
->> As one not adverse to "tirades" in college as a photographer and photo editor for the Kansas State Collegian (and maybe a few times as a pro) I can commiserate. Most instances involved, what I considered, sacrilegious attitudes toward the photographs or the photojournalists. My soap box became worn from pontification and preaching.

Many times I was right, but in most cases I could have handled things a little differently and not unnecessarily escalate some situations. In this email and message world, it is so easy to rifle off a message and have it sound different than intended -- or be too brash -- in hindsight.

Is it right to stand up for what you believe? Always. It is not difficult to completely appreciate and applaud what this young man has done. But, in extrapolating from my past, it might have been best to allow some time to pass -- whether briefly or overnight -- before responding or escalating the situation.

One thing I have learned: no matter how hard I try to get people to understand -- to know the intricacies of what we do, how we do it and why we do it -- most will never be able to fully grasp the work. They are unable to separate the work from their Mom with a Polaroid One Step at Christmas in front of the tree or sister holding a Keystone 110 in the Ozarks at Silver Dollar City. Each time it will be a firing squad in front of something. "Take a picture" still rings throughout homes and newsrooms -- even for people who should know better.

This is especially true in a "Photoshopped" world.
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 8:22 PM on 01.31.08
->> Wouldn't it have been great if the advisor was intentionally creating a "real world" situation to see how Justin would respond?

Justin,

The fact is that you are going to encounter things like this in your professional life. Standing your ground without pissing people off or falling on your own sword is a major life skill.

--Mark
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 9:04 PM on 01.31.08
->> Justin;
You will recall the other day I semt you s email as well as posting online.

In it, I strongly suggested several things - including the fact that a school administration isn't going to let a student take out a tenured professor. I also strongly suggested that you let things die down and let it alone.

So you did exactly the opposite.

I believe, without trying to come across as "attacking" you, that you loved the drama of the situation. THAT was the overriding and compelling factor for you..and you indicated in your original post.

Whatever "advantage" you gained by making this stand with a future employer, you will lose if they decide to ask the adviser for their side of the story. To an outsider (me) it looks as if you did it for all the wrong reasons. It shows a serious lack of maturity from my perspective.

You haven't listened so far, but, there is still one silver lining on this incident. If you'll sit down and really really think about what you've done...and WHY you've done it - then there is still great value in this incident. You're young, and you're not the first...heck, I wasn't the first...

Doing the right thing for the wrong reason negates the value of doing it, Juatin. As you'll discover as you pass through life, there will be WAY too many times you'll be put in situations where you'll be challenged and have to make choices.

I'll say it again, Justin: Learn from what you've done. Failure to learn means the probability that you'll face similar situations in a increasingly disproportionate regularity with a larger and larger price to be paid is almost guaranteed.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 9:57 PM on 01.31.08
->> geez michael, why don't you just get in your car, drive to denver and smack justin in the head with a pipe? did you feel better after posting that?
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Christopher Assaf, Photographer
Baltimore | MD | USA | Posted: 10:17 PM on 01.31.08
->> Mistakes have been made all around since this issue arose in the message boards. So who is to say what is the right course to take or the wrong one and to judge on which path was taken? But I know I have made mistakes and blunders throughout my career. Same can be said about being right or making the proper decisions. Both happened early and both happened late. Nothing is perfect and exact. This is not physics where only one way will make the formula work.

So why not talk from experience and about growth. No need to harp on what is right or wrong in the actual actions or whether advice was taken or ignored.

It is a very weighty issue to take on an authority figure of any type. In doing so, actions on either side of the road can be wrought with hazards and treachery or civility and truth. The path is difficult enough without the Greek chorus pontificating.
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Mike McLaughlin, Photographer
Neptune City | NJ | USA | Posted: 10:25 PM on 01.31.08
->> Chuck, I love you! ;P
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 11:14 PM on 01.31.08
->> No Chuck, I didn't. Not at all, friend. Tough talk? Yes.

But tough doesn't mean I don't care. Doen't mean that at all. I knew I would take some heat for posting. I can handle it so bring it on. But understand that I did it because I do care about Justin and what he did and what he will do. If I didn't care, I wouldn't have spent the Tuesday night tossing and turning and not sleeping for 3 hours and thinking about it.

Just think about it Justin... just think...

Michael
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Justin Edmonds, Student/Intern, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 1:52 AM on 02.01.08
->> If there is anything that I've learned about this situation it is that everyone has an opinion. I am not going to argue with anyone about the situation and don't feel the need to. I truly appreciate all the advice, suggestions and support that the industry and this community has shown me. The dozens of personal emails that I have received have been especially helpful. As I've stated before, I didn't handle the issue in the best way initially. However, I stand by what I am doing, and what I believe in. Frankly this shouldn't be an issue of how but rather what. I have learned from it and that is what I am able to take away from the situation.

With that being said I would like to stand and defend my peers, co-workers and friends who make up the staff at The Clarion. I want everyone to understand that my issue is with the advisor and her comments. This situation does not reflect the morals and ethics of any of the other students who represent the paper. As I've explained to the University, Photo District News, the National Press Law Center, our Editor-in-Chief and several other professionals throughout the county my intentions were not to step on my soap box and challenge the integrity of The Clarion. I am challenging the advisor and the comments that they made. I've worked extremely hard as photo editor to improve the paper, as have our entire current staff, and that should not change as a result of this issue.

I will continue to uphold my ethical beliefs and the ethics regarding photojournalism for the sake of the industry. I'm meeting with another University official tomorrow and I will inform everyone as we move toward resolving the issue.

Thank you,
Justin Edmonds
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Thread Title: Asked to do something unethical- II
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