Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/03/17

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Subject: Re: [Leica] The scarcest resource on earth?
From: "B. D. Colen" <>
Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2001 21:12:02 -0500
References: <>

imx wrote:
 When Nikon, Canon, Fuji, Kodak or Tokina or
> Cosina or (fill in any name) announce a major new product, they assemble the
> press at luxurious locations. 

Absolutely true.

>They often pay the airtickets, hotel expenses

Not for any self respecting U.S. journalist on any major publication -
Time, Newsweek, U.S. News, or major news papers or wire service. Period.
The news organization pays its own way precisely so there is no
suggestion of a quid pro quo. I know that when I was at the Washington
Post I was not even allowed to let someone buy me so much as a lunch -
and that included long-time sources and PR people with whom I had
ongoing relationships.

> and you get lots of equipment to use , often to keep.

Keeping equipment could be a firing offense and the kind of publication
listed above.

- -----
There is an enormous difference between the "trade press" and what I
would term the legitimate press - and one of the reasons the legitimate
press is sometimes considered legitimate - or used to be so considered -
is because the legitimate press long ago did away with the practice of
accepting these kinds of freebies. I know, however, the practices in
Europe are quite different: In many major nations there reporters are
allowed to accept meals, transportation to events, etc., from
corporations. Pharmaceutical companies, for instance, pay to send
European medical writers to major medical meetings. That does NOT happen
in the U.S. with reporters for major publications.

- ------

I have already gone on record as saying that I do not believe Tom A. is
in anyone's pay or sway, or under anyone's influence. He calls them as
he sees them - and there is certainly no problem with his taking what
ever he wants to take from anyone as he is NOT a journalist, with a
major publication, or any other publication to my knowledge.

But let's keep the record straight on what is or is not the general few
toward taking freebies beyond fancy lunch spreads at press conferences -
by the way, I have even gone to cover dinners where, if I had a seat at
a table and was going to eat, I made sure I paid for the dinner I was
there to cover.

Not only is it important that a journalist not be corrupt or corrupted,
it is also important that he or she avoid the appearance of corruption.

B. D. Colen

P.S. Yes, of course, the photo departments of major publications often
have arrangements with various photo equipment manufacturers to try out
equipment, and sometimes even take equipment. HOWEVER - the photo
department does NOT cover the photo industry. In that case the photo
editor is a major CUSTOMER whose business the companies want to woo or
keep. That's a different matter. (But, IMHO, also fails to pass the
ethical smell test.)

Replies: Reply from Marc James Small <> (Re: [Leica] The scarcest resource on earth?)
Reply from Nathan Wajsman <> (Re: [Leica] The scarcest resource on earth?)
In reply to: Message from imx <> ([Leica] The scarcest resource on earth?)