Today while procrastinating I saw a link on the Atlanta Journal Constitutions’s Twitter feed about a bleach fight at a Walmart. The story itself is on a news blog, ripped off from another news outlet’s story, but that seems to be the norm these days. Whatever.
Anyway, I got through about a sentence of the story before the minute little part of my brain who still gives a shit about ethics in the media started going nuts almost immediately. Take a look:
That’s a photo of a goat.
Not only is that a photo of a goat, THAT’S A PHOTO OF A GOAT FROM THE “PEOPLE OF WALMART” BLOG from August 2009. It’s even watermarked.
And then there’s the caption:
This farm animal wisely walked past the aisle containing chemicals and furious shoppers.
Um…. no it didn’t.
So, not only does this photo have absolutely nothing to do with the story and add nothing to the story, it’s ripped off another blog and the yet the caption would lead less detail-oriented readers to believe that it was taken at the same time as the bleach fighting incident.
I’m pretty sure over in Athens somewhere ol’ Captain Ethics Conrad Fink’s eyebrows exploded.
This might be acceptable from some crappy news blog on the internet somewhere or in a Fark comments thread, but not from a reputable news publication such as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
For shame, AJC.