New Times, old photo?

May 14, 2010

In a much to do about nothing scenario, New Times co-publisher Alex Zuniga sent out e-mails that said both CalCoastNews and Arroyo Grande High School had broken copyright laws because they had put a New Times photo of the high school on their websites.

Meanwhile, school officials argue that their photographer took the picture and not the New Times photographer who has since published it as his work.

The controversy began when the New Times asked CalCoastNews to remove the photo from their site.

“I thought you should know about an unauthorized image that you are currently using with the Arroyo Grande athlete story, Zuniga said in an e-mail to CalCoastNews. “Somehow someone figured it to be a copyright free image for some reason. Obviously, it isn’t. So, if you could please let them know about that and have them replace it or taken down soon, I’d appreciate it.”

CalCoastNews responded by saying the image was from the school’s website and is a legal use.

“That would be true if the Lucia Mar School District owned the photo, but they also are using the New Times copyright photo without permission,” Zuniga responded,. “I have asked them to do the same thing (remove it from the website) with the image.”

Lucia Mar School District officials said they took the photo down while they worked to verify the creator. They plan to put it back up because they have since discovered it is not the property of the San Luis Obispo New Times.

Meanwhile, Zuniga said the school district has now agreed the photo is the property of New Times.

“We were able to talk with Alan (the head of the IT for the website) and the photographer who was initially thought to have taken the photo,” Zuniga said. “Both were able to clearly confirm that the photo in question is not theirs. Alan has taken the photo down but we’ve given them permission to use the photo in an existing slideshow, assuming they can technically get a photo credit on it.”

Update: The last quote from Zuniga was added on May 15. CalCoastNews removed the photo.

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There you go again

Once again you are lashing out without presenting supporting evidence. I did a little research – less than 10 minutes of research, in fact.

“Women get to do sales and copy edit and write restaurant reviews–even write about the Arts. But that’s as far as it goes at New Times”

Who are Kylie Mendoca and Kathy Johnston? Are they men with woman’s names, Dave?

These News reporters have written extensively for the New Times, including many cover stories it seems. This Kathy Johnston seems to be an award winner- a first place award for environmental reporting from the National Newspaper Association for a cover story in the New Times.

10 minutes using Google to show how you are once again promulgating nonsense.

As far as sexism at the New Times- who are your sources? Perhaps the single source you used to accuse New Times of stealing a photograph?- the source that was wrong, as I recall.

“Instead of working with her on breaking timely, important stories, our weekly alternative paper has another agenda and it is fueled by the fact that Karen is a woman”

Are your sexism accusations based on a single source? Is it a disgruntled former employee? How do you know that this is true? My research using Google has produced very little mention of you and Karen in their paper- what i found was mild and nothing like the bile I find here about them. How can we take anything you say seriously?

I am retired now but I used to work (on the business side) for a woman named Katherine Graham. She allowed “her boys” to use anonymous sources but their stories were right and true. Just like Kathy Johnston, a female news writer for New Times, they won some awards. By the way, Dave, my old boss would have fired your sorry ass for this crap.

You started throwing slurs based on the back of story that was wrong- really shoddy journalism, Dave. Now more accusations based on what? If we look at your track record I think it would safe to assume that you are once again wrong.

Yes, Karen has done some good work.

I wonder, behind the scenes of what you call “investigative journalism” how many reputations has CCN trashed unnecessarily. How many lives have you ruined based on gossip and innuendo?

As far as me not putting my name behind my accusations- I back up my criticisms with verifiable facts just as I did above. Anyway, if all your “sources” can remain anonymous, why can’t I do the same?

Kathy Johnston is part-time.

The publisher, executive editor, editor, and the four primary reporters at New Times are all male.

Anything else you’re indignant aboout?

Ok Ok. Point taken. Let’s call a truce and then I’ll go quietly into the mist. By the way I really do like your show. It’s quite good.

Thank you!

Is there anyone else from New Times who would like to post here Anonymously? Just checking.

OK, I’ve been accused of the horrific and inexcusable crime of deleting Comments I’ve made on this thread. So if it will satisfy PartyDude, Octavian, and the rest, allow me to put the Comments back out there in context.

First, I wondered why New Times is in such a pissing contest with CalCoastNews. I wish I could give you the background on this Comment, but for now, I choose not to, other than to say there has been a flurry of nasty emails coming our way from certain writers and editors at New Times. The challenge over our use of a photograph was just one in a series of incidents. I believe New Times is out to get Karen. Sorry to be so cryptic.

Second, I suggested that if Lucia Mar School District was indeed correct and that the New Times photographer was passing off one of their photos as his own, then he should be fired. The only thing more prevalent than lifting photos appears to be photographers who take credit for work they didn’t do. Turns out Lucia Mar was wrong. Photographer was right. Karen took the photo down.

Three, I took an admittedly cheap shot at Ryan Miller who having to consult his pastor. It’s a shot that only Ryan, Karen, and I understand. Again, I don’t want to go into too much detail, but it goes directly to sexism that pervades the male-dominated New Times newsroom. Since Octavian and PartyDude are so incensed, can either of you count how many reporters, editors, and photographers at New Times are women (not counting Arts & Entertainment)?

The answer is ZERO.

What else, guys? Oh, I’m guilty of deleting Comments. Yes, absolutely guilty. I wasn’t aware that was a crime. In truth, I realized after posting the Comments that I was only feeding the simmering New Times/CalCoastNews rift. Perhaps I was blowing off steam after dealing with yet another silly email from Mr. Miller and Mr. Starkey (I’ve kept the copies). Whatever, in the spirit of trying to tone things down, I took down my snarky posts.

So bring it on. Put me in The Shedder. Be indignant all you want.

All that truly matters is that investigative reporting flourish on the Central Coast. Karen Velie is far from perfect. I am certainly far from perfect. But Karen is trying her best to put the spotlight on the Bad Guys.

It would be nice if the Boys at New Times could help.

There. I’m done.

Goodness, there has been a lot of hot air written in this article since I last checked in

A few points-

A) Some of said that the story is entirely accurate. This is true only as far the reporter faithfully reporter what was told to her- she was told that the photo was actually the property of the school district and this article appeared with that as the central premise.

“They plan to put it back up because they have since discovered it is not the property of the San Luis Obispo New Times.”

This turned out to be not true- her source was wrong- according to the update at the end of the article they discovered it was a NT photo.

A loose analogy- Judy Miller also faithfully reported that officials said there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq- that’s accurate reporting but, in the end, she was disgraced because what she was reporter as true was wrong. The apparent truth is that CCN was the guilty party- they used an unauthorized photo. They proved it by replacing the original photo with the eagle photo.

b) As far as there being a controversy- according to the article, the NT sent a private e-mail about the picture- they didn’t have their lawyer send threatening letters which is what the Associated Press (for example) would have done nor did they publish anything about it (I could be wrong, I don’t read the NT that often) CCN is the one who started this silly thing.

c) as far as facts and opinion – “Karen waits for the right moment where she can leave her opinion out of it and just present the fun facts”. Her fun facts were based on sources that were wrong. As far as opinion remember Dave, apparently a CCN editor – posted the first comment after the story published bursting with vitriolic opinion

He said the photographer should be fired for stealing a photo (for something that he didn’t do but CCN did) , then erased that, made a slur about a NT editor’s religion (I still don’t understand that). That’s plenty of opinion from CCN, and nasty low down opinion too.

I don’t really think Karen (the reporter, I assume) did anything wrong, it seems her editors were hasty by not seeing how things would shake out and then embarrassed her by letting their grudges and prejudices get out of hand and post unprofessional responses.

Karen, Dave and George won’t take their own photo or hire a photog because they cannot afford one. Sure it’s easy to take a snap of the high school. But you have to do it. There is rarely a picture on this site that has not had its source from outside of CCN. Art or not art, NT spent the money to have someone take a picture. CCN did not.

Where did NT get the photo of the whale tail that they have attached to one of this weeks articles?

The most disturbing aspect of this story is the fact that Dave can “erase” his words on this site. He can’t do that on his radio program. If you regret the words, Dave, why not a simple apology or retraction?


I am already retired from employment

Middle of next year I will draw social security

At that time my home will be paid off

I will be happy to be your photographer or chauffeur as needed free

And will donate$ to your investigative reporting

Just deal with this petty BS and keep up the good work

You will be respected by many and despise by the few

Most of all you are doing a good few have seen and can only wished to see