7.12.2007

Lady Bird Johnson reversed:
Turning over in her obit?

NPPA's website calls our attention to an intriguing case of "the flips" occurring in Lady Bird Johnson's obituary Thursday. An interesting and timely piece, it explains how the reversed image happened, and how the Dallas Morning News got it right. Definitely a tricky situation and an important reminder of why we all have to be very careful out there.
Lady Bird Left, Lady Bird Right. Which One's Correct?
AUSTIN, TX (July 12, 2007) - Texas newspaper readers this morning may have been confused about which way the late Lady Bird Johnson was facing when she was photographed standing in a field of wildflowers, because it ran facing to the left in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the San Antonio Express-News, and facing to the right on the top of The Dallas Morning News.

The Dallas paper is the one that got it right.

...

"In the digital world, we don't have negatives to check as original source material. In this case, the Center's Web master, a credible source, sent it to us. Often, as in today's case, it's after an editor sees the photo published differently elsewhere that we may wonder if something's not right."

...

"When photos are intentionally manipulated - clearly that's not the case here - we consider it unethical and a breach in our credibility," Lutz wrote to readers. "In this case, the photo's still beautiful but it's just not right."

The correction was published on the Star-Telegram's Web site with the headline, "Hold This Photo Up To A Mirror."

So how did Dallas get it right? "Ken Geiger, the former director of photography, and picture editor Paula Nelson, had the foresight at least five to seven years ago to purchase one-time rights for use of the image knowing that it could eventually become a fitting and beautiful front page memorial photograph," David Leeson at The Dallas Morning News said tonight. "Add to this excellent archiving with proper notations and that explains why we had it right," he said.

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There appeared to be at least one other photo of Lady Bird that got a lot of varied use...

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