LETTERS: Bernstein and Hillary, Liberals and ‘Crowdsourcing’

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By: E&P Staff

After a brief vacation, Letters returns (return?) today. We are between online editors right now but we are happy to welcome Pauline Millard today, so we hope to present more letters than ever now (and maybe even our long-rumored blog).

Here is at least part of today’s mailbag.
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Says He Did NOT Claim Credit

My name is Reza Deghati , I am an independent photojournalist, working for National Geographic magazine from 1991, worked in eighties for Time Magazine and Life and other major European and US publications. Author of dozen photo books on geo-political issues….

I am of Iranian origin, French citizen and living in exile in Paris. Currently I am in Kabul in my foundation teaching the Afghan journalists and helping to keep alive the independent media.

During the regime of Shah in Iran, I was imprisoned and tortured for three years for my “subversive ” photographs….

After my exile i have never stopped my opposition to the regime and always have been a fervent advocate of freedom of expression .

In a recent [E&P Online] article on May 18 about Pulitzer prize photograph of execution of Kurds in Iran, you have published an interview with Mr. Joshua Prager [of the Wall Street Journal who helped find the photographer who took the picture].

My name was mentioned in the article: “Dine led him to a former UPI Brussels bureau photo editor, Charles McCarty, who had distributed the photo at the time on the wires. McCarty, who died several years ago, led Prager to a UPI photographer who knew an Iranian freelancer, Reza Deghati, whom he said had often claimed credit for the photos.

“He didn’t really tell me straightforward what his role was,” Prager said of his first meeting with Deghati. “In time, I came to learn he had sent the photo to Paris Match magazine, which published it in September 1979.”

It is unfortunate that Mr. Prager whom i helped in his investigation, hoping that he will bring to the world the real story, especially the innocent photographer who was executed, has chosen a different way by spreading the false allegations. As a lecturer and teacher of journalism in various university and institutions, as a photojournalist who has worked in much volatile conditions in the past, as a colleague — I hope that you will correct the false allegation against me and against all the values that our profession is defending .

Reza Deghati
Kabul

Hillary & Bernstein

Thanks for your story on Carl’s book selling tour. Between Woodward and himself, these guys have cashed in on 15 minutes of fame more than anyone in history. Their most famous reporting was overly stated. There were far too many reporters taking “joy” from an event that was criminally wrong, but far from being monumentally bad. I think that comes from the liberal mindedness of Woodward and Bernstein. I have trouble following the thinking of either one, because I now am thinking of the dollars and cents they want to make from their “works” rather than any journalistic merit it has.

Thanks again,

Bill Edson


Carl Bernstein’s bio on Hillary Clinton offers zilch. That is selling books and making money is the motive. By now only a dumb American would not know Bill and Hillary’s personal lives. Hillary Clinton has done an admirable job as a Senator from N.Y.

And her ideas are noble. She is by far the most experienced politician. She has laid down ideas on what she would do to bring back a decent standard of living for all Americans. She is still into delivering universal medicare for all Americans. Americans found skepticism when she had talked about the medicare plan years back. But today the same Americans see the urgency of such a plan. She has come out with a solid plan to deal with Oil and Gas corporations, large drug companies and large companies and to provide jobs for Americans. She has also initiated a plan to make it possible to gain better education.

Americans will no doubt be well served if she is given the chance to be the next President were she to win her partys nomination. She delivered for N.Y. She will without any doubt deliver for all Americans all that will bring back a decent standard of living and living in peace.

Nazir Patel


Left Over?

Nancy Cleeland [who accepted a buyout at the L.A. Times] is the latest illustration of the circumstance that mainstream journalism is filtered through a left-leaning lens. It really be good to see the large news organizations get over their huffy defensiveness about this, and acknowledge that the kind of people who go into journalism as a career overlap a lot in their outlook with the kind of people who staff the social sciences faculties of higher education, or who design programs for publicly-funded social services agencies, or who go to work for Democratic political campaigns. They’re not bad people, and their point of view is worth considering, but it must always be remembered that their journalism has an ideological mission.

I think this is fairly comprehensively understood by consumers. Journalistic institutions, however, appear to remain in denial about it.

Mark Richard
Columbus, Ohio


L.A. Times columnist Al Martinez is right: he does deserve a better way of ending such a long and honorable career than to be compelled to take a buyout. Yet Mr. Martinez has company in newspapers around the country. Being good and being there long doesn’t cut it with budget slashers who lack any appreciation of what good writing talent means to a paper. Ultimately, the Times will learn price of its rush to rid
staffers.

Wes Pedersen
Chevy Chase, MD


Crowdsourcing sourcing

Happy to see the News-Press deservedly rewarded for a courageous, risky and ultimately successful experiment in investigative journalism. That said, crowdsourcing actually refers to a much broader category of business methodology. In fact, journalists came rather late to the party. I coined the term itself in a Wired article from June, 2006. The quickie definition is on my blog, upper-left-hand side: www.crowdsourcing.com.

Note, the word is a portmaneau?crowdsourcing, no hypen. If your copy desk gripes, tell them to google the two variations. Common usage agrees with my intended style.

Thanks!

Jeff Howe


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