By: Joe Strupp
How much demand does it take for a news photo to be truly historic? A thousand requests? 3,000? 5,000?
At last count, The Record of Hackensack, N.J., had received some 10,000 e-mails, phone calls, and letters from around the globe asking for its photograph of firefighters raising an American flag amid the rubble of the World Trade Center. The demand has led to tight rules for releasing the picture that?s already being touted as a sure Pulitzer Prize finalist.
“We?ve gotten requests ranging from firefighters in Alaska who want to put it on a fundraising T-shirt to [Sen.] Hillary Clinton?s office looking to put it on a postage stamp,” said Jennifer Borg, vice president and general counsel for The Record. “Our rule has been that it cannot be used to make money or appear on anything that can be sold,” Borg said.
The Record also set up a page on its Web site, http://www.northjersey.com, where anyone can download the photo for free, as long as it?s for personal use. While the paper is not charging for the picture, shot by Record staffer Thomas E. Franklin, it?s asking that donations be made to one of a number of related charities, including The Record?s own disaster relief fund, which has raised over $300,000 to date.
The newspaper is screening charities seeking use of the photo; New York-based Corbis SABA will be distributing it for editorial use.