December 22, 2006
BLOGGER 1, OLD MEDIA 0:
SHOCKING news - Shock is dead.
Hachette Filipacchi Media CEO Jack Kliger pulled the plug on the controversial picture magazine Shock yesterday after only eight issues. Eight people including Editor-in-Chief Mike Hammer were handed their walking papers.
"I'm still stunned," said Hammer late yesterday afternoon. . . . The monthly Shock is based on weekly French magazine Choc, which was one of the more successful launches in France in years.
The American version became ensnared in controversy almost from Day One when it ran a picture of an American soldier cradling a wounded Iraqi girl who was fatally injured in a roadside ambush.
The photographer, Michael Yon, objected, claiming that the photo had been purchased from a photo agency that had never obtained the proper rights.
Hachette apologized and offered to make a settlement, but when talks broke down, the photographer launched a campaign that succeeded in getting the magazine yanked from some large retail chains.
That hurt the magazine, since it was designed to be supported mainly by newsstand sales.
Maybe it's stuff like this that accounts for the sudden wave of anti-blogger sentiment from old media types? Or is it that beleaguered AP editor Kathleen Caroll, still stonewalling the Jamil Hussein case, is on the Pulitzer Prize Board? Surely the press is above that kind of sucking-up.
UPDATE: While the Wall Street Journal's Joseph Rago was sneering at blogs, the WSJ's Bill Grueskin was noting that he's comfortable with them. I've corresponded with Grueskin a good deal over the past few years, and he's always struck me as comfortable with blogs and willing to pursue opportunities for symbiosis.
Plus, a funny take on bloggers versus the Associated Press. Heh. Bet it won't win a Pulitzer, though.
And read this from Stephen Spruiell, too.