Monday, May 17, 2004

Staying vigilant

Most of you are familiar with the ruckus caused over the Boston Globe's publishing photos that it believed was evidence of U.S. soldiers abusing Iraqi women.

The pictures turned out to be porn, and the Globe ombudsman wrote a column last week explaining how a picture of the photos (from a distance) shows the sexually explicit acts. What she discovered was that the photo was never flagged for discussion by the glass-office types.
Although several staffers saw it, no one set that process in motion; one raised a question but the message was not received in time.
I hoped that one late question asker was a copy editor. But Chris Chinlund, the ombud, told me that wasn't the case. It was a photo desk editor.

So why didn't copy editors flag this, too? My guess is that people assumed the photos had already been checked out by the higher-ups by the time they reached the desk.

It's a good lesson on why we should ask the questions once, even if they might have been asked before. Get that assurance.


At 1:47 PM, May 18, 2004, Blogger DFW Blogger said...

Don't you find the admission to be a little on the flimsy side? Those photos were well documented as porn stills for months on the internet. I mean, literally, three to four months before they were published by the Globe.

At 2:16 PM, May 18, 2004, Blogger Nicole said...

That definitely puts the reporting on the flimsy side. Imagine how much better the story would be if it proved the police were being duped. Instead of having a controversy about publishing porn, the Globe could have covered the police's controversy over having a porn news conference.


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