By: E&P Staff
The American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) is bringing their case against a National Football League requirement that sideline photographers wear vests emblazoned with two corporate logos to one of those sponsors.
In a letter to Canon USA Inc. President and CEO Yoroku Adachi, ASNE President Gilbert Bailon asked the camera maker to “reconsider” its decision to place its corporate logo on the vests.
“Your insistence on a change will help us maintain the trust of our readers as unbiased recorders of events,” wrote Bailon, publisher of The Dallas Morning News’ Spanish-language daily Al D?a.
ASNE, Associated Press Managing Editors, and the Radio Television News Directors Association protested the vest requirement in a recent letter http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/search/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003615951 to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The vest, the groups contend, force journalists to become unwilling participants in the league’s marketing and commercial arrangements. The vest also includes a logo of Reebok, the athletic shoemaker paying for the vests under an arrangement with the NFL.
Bailon makes the same point in his letter to Canon’s chief: “We expect that you understand how important it is to our integrity as providers of news and information to both be and appear to be neutral observers. Labeling on apparel detracts from the appearance of independence and, frankly, damages our integrity.”
Following is the full text of the letter:
July 30, 2007
President and CEO
Canon U.S.A., Inc.
One Canon Plaza
Lake Success, NY 11042
Dear Mr. Adachi:
As president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, I write to raise an issue of concern to our members.
We have in recent days addressed this issue with the National Football League and thought it appropriate that we bring the matter directly to your attention as both an NFL promotional partner and provider of equipment used by many in our newspaper photo departments.
We are chagrined that the NFL has chosen as a matter of credentialing for its games to require that our photographers wear vests that include advertising logos, including one for Canon.
We expect that you understand how important it is to our integrity as providers of news and information to both be and appear to be neutral observers. Labeling on apparel detracts from the appearance of independence and, frankly, damages our integrity.
I’ve attached a copy of our letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for your information. As you may know, a number of other journalistic organizations have also written the commissioner on this matter, including the National Press Photographers Association, Associated Press Managing Editors and the Radio Television News Directors Association. Our request is that you reconsider the decision to have your logo placed on these vests. Your insistence on a change will help us maintain the trust of our readers as unbiased recorders of events.
Please be in touch if you have questions. Thank you for your consideration.
cc: Roger Goodell