Herald political editor Tom Fiedler's startling announcement to a group of students and professors at a UM seminar on journalism ethics: Tropic magazine, Fiedler told the group while holding up a copy of the June 27 issue, had breached accepted standards of ethics by altering the cover photograph, which showed anti-homosexual activist Ralf Storrs posing in a church as a preacher. Fiedler railed that the man wasn't a preacher and the photo hadn't been taken in a church. In other words, the image had been electronically manipulated to smear Mr. Storrs. The assembled ethics students were aghast. And Fiedler was dead wrong. The photo was taken in a church, and Storrs had no problem with it. In fact, when we contacted him, Storrs was highly complimentary of the photographer's professionalism.
You Read It Here Second
As a public-service feature of this column, we will occasionally acknowledge those hard-working reporters and editors at the Herald who exhibit the good sense to pick up stories first published in New Times and have the chutzpah to pretend they discovered them on their own. Such as:
New Times headline: "The Idea and the Bureaucrats" (about efforts to ship hurricane-downed trees to Haiti). Publication date: October 28, 1992. Herald headline: "Fallen Trees May Be Shipped to Haiti." Publication date: November 9, 1992. Elapsed time: 11 days.
New Times headline: "HIV in the First Degree" (about the State Attorney's Office bringing unprecedented attempted-murder charges against an HIV-infected man accused of rape). Publication date: December 9, 1992. Herald headline: "Rape Trial Considers Lethal Use of AIDS." Publication date: July 6, 1993. Elapsed time: 209 days.
New Times headline: "Sewergate" (about Dade's crumbling sewer system and the threat of environmental catastrophe posed by the system's cross-bay pipeline). Publication date: March 31, 1993. Herald headline: "When the # * Hits the Fan." Publication date: April 25, 1993. Elapsed time: 25 days.
New Times headline: "No Deposit, Big Return" (about freelance parking-meter entrepreneurs whose activity in downtown Miami has cost the city thousands of dollars). Publication date: May 19, 1993. Herald headline: "Panhandlers Park in City Lots." Publication date: August 11, 1993. Elapsed time: 84 days.
New Times headline: "The House That Curtiss Built" (about threatened demolition of the historic Glenn Curtiss mansion in Miami Springs). Publication date: July 21, 1993. Herald headline: "Landmark Faces Risk of Demolition." Publication date: August 8, 1993. Elapsed time: 18 days.
"1 Herald Plaza" is now open for business and is accepting all tips, rumors, internal memos, confidential documents, et cetera. Anonymity guaranteed! Call the editors or a staff writer at 372-0004. Fax: 372-3446.