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Making sure you look at the whole picture.

Kevin Argue, a photographer and friend in Toronto, Canada, brought this amusing story to my attention. It just goes to show that cutting staff may save money, but at what expense?

The annual Kinsmen Santa Claus  parade in Peterborough, Ontario is a regular if unremarkable event with over 80 floats and various marching bands. This year, a seasoned staffer from the Peterborough Examiner was on hand to photograph the parade, and produced amongst many shots one of the float from a local Catholic High School. This particular float was replete with hot tub and students. As said float approached the photographer, one of the students wearing brightly coloured sports top and checked boxer shorts jumped high with his arms in the air, sending sprays of water in all directions. It made for a lively image, and a definite candiate for publication. And published it was, on the front page, on the Canadian wires, and in a Toronto commuter morning paper. Unfortunately the high school concerned were not best pleased:

The newspaper prior to be pulled.
The image also ran in the Toronto Metro

Some very red faced people in the newsroom explained that staffing cuts had been to blame for the fact that “Peterborough Pete’s” penis had not been spotted by the photographer or any of the editors on duty, but they tried to pull all the copies from the news stand as soon as it was brought to their attention.

Hmmm. Personally I think it is highly unlikely that a “seasoned” photographer would have missed this when editing his images. Perhaps he was trying to make a point about how bad the staffing issues are in Canada. I know that Kevin would be the first to agree with him if that were the case.

Anyway, thanks Kevin for the pointer. And the moral of the story is: always check your copy, whether written or image, before putting it to bed.

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