Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cincy | Memo reportedly confirms print expletive

Anonymous@12:44 p.m. says Cincinnati Enquirer Editor Carolyn Washburn e-mailed the following memo to staff yesterday afternoon.

Sent: Mon 4/16/2012 4:10 PM
From: Carolyn Washburn
To: Cin-News Users
Cc:
Subject: in case you are getting calls about a photo in Sunday's paper

A photo ran on the state government page of a protestor holding up a sign that used the word f#*&. It was caught on the press and replated but it still went out to several thousand homes.

Here is how I am responding.

Yes, the photo was completely inappropriate, on many levels.

I learned about this after midnight Saturday when someone in our operation saw this photo and alerted us. We stopped the presses to change the photo and threw out thousands of papers still sitting at our dock. Unfortunately a few thousand papers had already gone out to carriers.

I deeply apologize and am working this morning to understand why this photo was chosen in the first place and why it was not caught sooner. I take this very seriously.

Again, I apologize.

Carolyn

Earlier: A WTF error in print at South Carolina's Greenville News.

37 comments:

  1. I think this is going to fall on the photographer who turned the photo in and the editor who put the photo on the page. Should be easier to track down the Greenville mishap.

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  2. Is the Enquirer pagination done at a hub now?

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  3. I suppose this is what happens when you get rid of all your staff.

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  4. This is a good example why the future lies with alternative media who are not afraid to risk offending someone. Newspapers still feel they must maintain their 12-year-old reading level.

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  5. Is Cincinnati at one of the design studios yet?

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  6. Word around the water cooler is the language "a few thousand" may be vague. Cincy being handled out of the Louisville Design Studio.

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  7. Talk about the fox investigating the chicken coop. Washburn can't be conducting an investigation of her own department, one known for its right-wing, family-values orientation. Besides, Buchanan rejected her as one of Cincinnati's 10 Women of the Year. She's going to take out that rejection on some poor out-of-town paginator who was too overworked to notice that the photo sent along with the story was booby-trapped.

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  8. OH F***!
    WE RAN F*** IN THE PAPER!
    What the f*** are we gonna do now?!
    Let's blame the f***ing photographer who took that compelling photo! He/she shouldn't have taken such a great f***ing photo!

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  9. Hmmm...
    We, as a news organization, report the news, not edit, create or censor it. This sign was made and held up by a protestor, and it was supposedly part of the story (I didn't read it).
    It isn't like this particular word is foreign to anyone who read the paper, but heaven forbid that we offend one of the few readers we have left.

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  10. I'm thinking RTC staffer with zero news background let this slide ;)

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  11. I'm guessing RTC tech with zero newsroom background let this image slide thru. just saying! lol

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  12. I don't think this has anything to do with hubs.

    This was a local photo on a local page. The chain of responsibility starts with the local photographer, then the city or local editor who put the photo on the page and finally the page designer in the hub. It's possible the city or local editor didn't see the photo but they should have and still bear responsibility for it.

    Has anyone seen the photo? I would love to see a copy of it.

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  13. Let's just suppose that that photo in dc5 (the archives) was in color and the wording on the sign was in light blue. Let's just suppose that when they went B&W with the photo, the F-word showed up front and center. It's not the photographer's fault. It was a file photo shot in November and the F-word was not visible in the archives. So who is CW going to go after? The design hub has left the building....

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  14. Crocodile tears after getting rid of so many pros.

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  15. You reap what you sew. (intentional spelling error)

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  16. Once again a pressman found it and not the editor, hell if I sen it, I would let it run, not my pay grade to fix it, lazy editor not doing his job, what else is new

    HP

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  17. Hey 7:28 pm are you supposing or laying out what happened? Wow, a FILE photo of an event that happened in November being run with a story five months later? That points to much worse things than the F word being in the paper. That points to a "let's just fill inside space and go home" mentality.

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  18. There's likely no local photog to investigate/blame. The photo ran with a Columbus Dispatch story. Don't know if it was an Enquirer file, AP file or something the Dispatch sent along via the OHNO newspaper sharing network. The subbed-in photo ran at 6 columns, so presumably the original photo did, too.

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  19. Previous poster says it was an Enquirer file photo.

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  20. My hunch is that some of the papers with the "fuck" photo were not destroyed. Perhaps a few pressmen/women kept copies?

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  21. You can bet money the Press guys kept a bunch of papers. I know the guys, they will put them out their
    HP

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  22. Six columns on B4? Out of how many columns on the page total?

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  23. As fun as it is to point fingers, f@#%ing errors happen, even when fully staffed with experienced professionals, if there's not enough time or staff built into the system to fully examine each and every piece that goes into the products. What reduces those chances for errors is a true team effort, where everyone's got each other's backs . What enhances those chances for errors is an every-(wo)man-for-(her/him)self mentality plus not enough time/staff to do the work. @#% happens. Apologize to the reader, put a Band-Aid on the offending part of the process, and move on.

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  24. … and, really, before we get our shorts in a bunch about this, can we have a show of hands of all the fifth-graders out there whose parents let them watch The Hangover and Game of Thrones? That's what I thought.

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  25. Yes errors happen, but the entire design, copy desk and local news desks at the Enquirer have been gutted. A few years ago, the Metro Editor would have reviewed that foto. However, there are only two editors left on Local News desk and they are totally overworked. The local news designer, somewhat ironically, retired Thursday. He would have caught something like that. The copy desk chief, who also would have noticed something like that, also retired Thursday. Ain't no one left to review decisions etc. Washburn inherited a decent, not great paper and web site, she has turned both into a joke. I suggest a name change from The Enquirer to The Columbus Dispatch. A few reporters who left the Enquirer for the Dispatch now joke that they have more stories running in the Enquirer now than when they worked there. What a shame and a sham.

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  26. This is a dry run for the day these staff-slashers ask themselves how a major libel got past their gutted city and copy desks.

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  27. “Fuller” use of photos is the future at the Enquirer according to a statement made by Buchanan when she announced moving printing to Columbus.

    Shrinking the size of the paper, cutting newshole by a rumored six percent and “fuller photos” like those used Sunday may appeal to the comic book crowd (especially those with expletives) but for people actually seeking information they'll likely be following others who increasingly find it somewhere else.

    Less words, more pictures! Yeah, that’ll "taste" great.

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  28. I'm at a different site, but I know the day is coming for us.

    We used to have dedicated pressmen who would have caught this sooner. It was their hometown newspaper, after all. But they got laid off in a press consolidation. We used to have copy editors who would have caught this. But they got laid off in the hub consolidation. We used to have seasoned, veteran night editors who would have caught this. But they "retired" last week.

    What say you, Gannett? Is this the wave of your future?

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  29. I managed the service department that would have caught the mistake but they have all been layed off now. I'm in Cincy and I heard it was someone in Pre-press who caught it. Anyway, yes there are some floating around and there were about 65,000 off the press. Not that many out the door though. It should have been caught before it was ever on page. The picture was huge.

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  30. Someone wrote that "fuller" use of photos is the future at the Enquirer, per Buchanan. Really? If they run a file photo from November that big on an inside page, how big are they running live photos? That just seems ridiculous, unless the art warrants it, of course.

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  31. Our readers will find format and graphic changes, including fuller use of color and photographs, a more compact and easy-to-handle size, bolder section fronts and inside pages that are easier to navigate. Content will provide more in-depth coverage of topics that our readers are passionate about and provide information that can’t be found anywhere else,” said Margaret Buchanan, president and publisher of The Cincinnati Enquirer. “

    http://www.gannettblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/urgent-enquirer-in-final-deal-for.html

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  32. Front cover of the AZ Republic today has a photo of the Coyotes-Blackhawks NHL playoff game. A fan behind the players has a sign on the glass that says, "U suck! FUMF (as in F *** you mother f***er.) Um, oops?

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  33. 4:05 Here's a link to today's Arizona Republic front page.

    I would not have seen the FUMF if you had not pointed it out. And, I confess, I wouldn't have even known what that stood for.

    In any case, here's a link to the page on the Newseum's site. This link won't work after today, however.

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  34. How many more fiascos under this file clerk's watch will there be before the Enquirer smartens up and moves her elsewhere?

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  35. This would be totally righteous in BNQT, dude.

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  36. It's amazing to see first-hand how people across the board in the newsroom pretend to respect her in personal encounters. Even though she's from Cincinnati, everyone knows she's just another brainwashed automaton serving out another corporate assignment. I'm afraid that the damage wrought by Buchanan and now Washburn is irreparable. The paywall will be the last straw.

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  37. I see three or four firings....the photographer, whoever selected the photo, the page designer and whoever edited and released the page. Thinking back to the days of the "electronic photo editor" they would have caught this in a second. What kind of robot was doing the color separation? So lets make it five.

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