If you haven't been following the Shaw-Pellegrin controversy, this might help you understand today's Ctein column better:
The original critique is here. (The BagNews links are still quite slow—still probably getting plenty of traffic.) The introduction includes descriptions of the contests the picture won.
Executive summary: Michael Shaw of BagNews was approached by the subject of a contest-winning photojournalistic photograph who felt the picture of him probably violated journalistic ethics. The picture was by Italian photographer Paolo Pellegrin of Magnum, from the series about gun violence in an area of Rochester, NY called "The Crescent" (also the title of Pellegrin's photoessay). Pellegrin had used a local photo student as a guide. The photo student introduced him to a friend, also a student, who was a gun owner, and Pellegrin posed the friend in a setting of his (Pellegrin's) choosing, holding his gun. The problem is that the picture was not taken anywhere near The Crescent, the gun owner is not in any way involved in gun violence, and Pellegrin allegedly miscaptioned and misrepresented the picture (and some of the caption material was plagiarized). Shaw et al. researched and wrote about the issue.
Paolo Pellegrin's response is here.
TOP's first article about it is here.
BagNews' followup article is here.
TOP's followup is here.
Ctein's appraisal of Shaw's ethics is just below.
I've indented the TOP links because, although they're pertinent to our readers, TOP is not a player in the controversy—we're just following along and commenting like everyone else.
The issue has been widely reported and commented on elsewhere, at places like A Photo Editor, Poynter, PDN, etc., etc. (as Ctein is wont to say, Google is your friend). Many sites, commenters, etc. have opined that Michael Shaw was negligent in not contacting Paolo Pellegrin prior to publishing his critique, in order to get Paolo's "side of the story" before proceeding. That's what Ctein addresses this morning. Read on!
Mike the Ed.
UPDATE: Got this comment from veteran pj Ken Jarecke: "Mike, I've been a fan of Paolo's, so I didn't want to write this. That said, here's my two cents. Ken."
Best take I've read on the subject so far. And Ken's post drew some particularly incisive and interesting comments, too. —MJ
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