Signing-up for the March for Science

18056736_1325941194126810_7354717257702260811_nThe Earth Day 2017 celebration coincided with the March for Science yesterday. And marched we did, along with thousands others. The crowd was a far cry from the mediocre turn up on the Earth Day rally I witnessed five years ago (when a right-wing media-watch organization also swiped my photos).

I had tentative plans of attending because it fell on a Saturday, and my weekends are sacred. and I’ve done my fair share of rallies even way back as an undergrad. But after my roommate invited me to an impromptu sign-making workshop at Artomatic, I didn’t want my sign- and training in science- be easily discarded and just go to waste. So yesterday afternoon, under DC’s grey and rainy skies, armed with our signs, umbrellas, and rain coats, off my roommate, her mom, and I went to the march. We knew it would be a wet day and we were prepared for it, because, science!

I’m still recovering from the past days’ activities. There’s another march scheduled next Saturday called the People’s Climate Movement. I’m still unsure if I’ll go, but here I am already brainstorming ideas for a sign.

March for Science Capitol

Stolen photo update: second stolen photo discovered

Earlier today, I wrote about Tim Graham of Newsbusters blog plagiarizing a picture I took.

Having no clue of what steps to take, I emailed Jay Rosen for advise but haven’t heard from him, while a few of my Facebook friends offered their support and advice. I also turned to Romenesko tonight via Twitter, who kindly twitted my request for advice to his followers:

https://twitter.com/#!/jadz/status/195659856718467072

https://twitter.com/#!/tziegmann/status/195664398436675584

Somehow it reached Tim Graham, who apologized through the social network site and updated his article to include a link to my blog:

https://twitter.com/#!/TimJGraham/status/195688222230196224

I was tired, ready to go to bed and decided to deal with the whole issue tomorrow. The going to bed part has not yet happened. Obviously I am still up. After thumbing through Graham’s blog, I discovered another photo of mine that he used without credit. It is a picture of Captain Planet and a woman on the stage, which Graham used on his blog preview page. This time it’s different though. NewsBusters did not use the image URL from my Facebook photo album page, but simply cropped the image, saved it on their server and used it as if their own.

A screen capture from Tim Graham's blog preview page. Note thumbnail picture of Captain Planet is the same as below.
Original image copied from author's Facebook photo album

Two photos snitched from me by a media expert and former journalist. I hope there’s not a third out there. After all that transpired today, my dream to become a journalist seemed to have died a little.

Media expert and journalist stole my photo!

In a changing media landscape where bloggers are given flack for lack of credentials, a journalist and media expert uses a picture I took without permission, credit, or at least, ‘link love’.

I just busted Newsbusters for stealing a picture I took which they posted on their website. In Tim Graham’s blog post “WashPost Disguises ‘About 40 People’ Hung Out at DC’s Earth Day Rally!“, he made no mention of any source of the picture of the Earth Day celebration which he compared to a crowded March for Life rally last January. Yet take note he linked to traditional news outlets like the CNN and the Washington Post.

Are bloggers not to worthy of permission or credit?

The original photo posted by Tim Graham/NewsBuster without credit

By checking the image URL he used, I confirmed that it is identical to the image URL of the picture Iposted on my Facebook photo album. Another blogger who has the same political stance as he does also used some of my pictures, who linked to my blog that created a blog ‘pingback’ that notified me via email.

NewsBusters is a blog whose goal is “exposing and combating liberal media bias”. Thus I find it ironic to be exposing and combating them for a media malpractice.

This mistake would have been more tolerable had it been committed by someone not familiar with journalism ethics. But the erring writer is not an occasional blogger. At present, he is the director of media analysis for Media Research Center, the host organization of NewsBuster. He is also a former correspondent for the White House and has published two books about the media.

I may be no superstar blogger and still aspiring to break into journalism and the communications field, yet I try my best to follow one of the main tenets of journalism, which is source attribution. I’ve done so, be it on this blog or the newsletters I send out as part of my day job. Otherwise, and to the extent possible, I produce my own content to build my own portfolio, and take pride in my work.

I braved the dreary weather last Sunday at the National Mall, took pictures of the event myself and posted it on Facebook and on this blog. I may have the convenience of living and being based near the National Mall, but so is NewsBuster’s host organization, Media Research Center. It is based in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. It is a short car trip over the Anacostia River to the National Mall. Or just a 25-minute Metro ride on the blue line to the Smithsonian station- without any Metro station transfer involved. I know the Metro has its shortcomings, especially the less frequent trips Sundays. But that is still no excuse.

The internet and smartphones have democratized the media. New media tools have given rise to crowd-sourcing and social media making it much easier to produce online content. But if I were serious about the craft of journalism or would like to strengthen my own propaganda work, I would have gone to the National Mall that Sunday and documented the event myself. As the saying goes, keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer.

Perhaps the only valid excuse from Tim Graham and NewsBusters/MRC is that the unusually wet and cold weather may have deterred them from dropping by the National Mall to take their own pictures. This may also be acceptable for many Earth Day supporters Graham criticized in his blog.

Celebrating Earth Day 2012 in Washington D.C. (photos)

The power is yours! Captain Planet, a cartoon character, graced the event
Earth Day celebrants braved the cold and wet weather.
A band performs despite the small turn out of audience at the National Mall.
2012 is the 42nd Earh Day.
Americans now link extreme weather to climate change, a recent survey says.
Booths lined up the National Mall
The wet weather may have discouraged people to attend. An online broadcast of the celebration was available, however.
Visitors pass by a sculpture at the National Mall in Washington D.C.