Monday, December 11, 2006

“Fauxtography” Smackdown

Instead of giving out journalism awards, some are dealing out “the worst of” this year.

For the full article with photos click here.
Note/apology to readers: Unfortunately, blogger.com is not allowing me to upload any photos at this time, which is very frustrating--and takes so much away from this entry. Apparently that's what I get for free blogging.

Here are some examples of the biggest winners or losers according to HonestReporting.com:

Worst Director: Salem Daher, a.k.a Abel Qudar, or “The Green Helmet”
Daher is Lebanese civil rescue worker. He was said to be instructing cameramen to pose with casualties as well as having a body re-loaded into an ambulance for effect so he could re-capture the moment.

Worst Newspaper Caption: New York Times
The caption which ran in along with a series of other photos suggested the man pictured was dead. Bloggers wondered how a man killed in the strike could look so very much alive in the slide show's other images. HR said “Ironically, the Times had Hicks' correct caption for the same photo in a separate report on July 27. The Times issued a correction and apologized to Hicks for the bungle. In October, Hicks explained to Photo District News his view of the affair.”

Worst Cartoon of the Year: Martin Rowson of the Guardian
“The day after publishing this nasty cartoon, The Guardian apologized, but only because the Jewish stars in the illustration ‘might have been interpreted as implicating Judaism rather than the Israeli government in the present conflict.’”

Sympathy for the Devil Award: CBC
HR reports, “When the CBC aired a sympathetic interview with the family of Samir Quntar about the possibility of the Lebanese terrorist's release in a prisoner swap (watch the interview here), they all but ignored the brutal attack that landed him in an Israeli prison, and didn't bother interviewing any relatives of his victims. After HonestReporting-Canada took action, the CBC followed up, interviewing Smadar Haran Kaiser, the woman whose family Samir Qantar murdered (watch the follow-up interview here).”

Dishonest Reporter of the Year: Adnan Hajj
Hajj was given this title because he was reportedly caught altering a photo of explosions in Beirut. Mike Thorson uncovered this on a Little Green Footballs blog. He said in reference to another photo altered by Hajj that more destruction was inflicted by the IDF than what really existed.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Freedom of expression can get you canned

As I was just about to delete an email I received from MonsterTrak.com, I saw the heading “Keep your E-Image Clean.” So, I kept reading, and found that my paranoia about employers checking me out online was justified. MonsterTrak gives examples of people who had supposedly been sabotaged by their secret online lives:

A chemical engineering student at a university in the Northeast was eliminated from consideration for a job opening after a company recruiter Googled the student's name, discovering, among other things, that he liked to blow things up.

A student at a school in the Southeastern US was being courted by a small business owner for a key position -- that was until the owner saw the student's Facebook profile, which featured explicit photos and stories about the student's drinking and pot smoking.

A recent graduate of a small upper Midwest university was only a few weeks into her first postgraduation job when the boss called her into his office. He had discovered the young woman's personal blog, where she had been writing in detail about how miserable she was in her new position. She soon became a former employee.
MonsterTrak’s Career Coach, Peter Vogt, suggests that if you think you have potentially damaging materials on let’s say MySpace or Facebook, to take them off. He also said you should check the written content in your blog, making sure it is appropriate for professional eyes.

What if an employer reads a potential employee's blog and finds that their opinions differ from their own? How can that person know why they weren’t hired? Should people now censor everything they put online, making sure it doesn’t “offend” anyone? The line seems a bit blurry here.