Thanks for the kind words on my work and I am sorry to confuse and disappoint Don. If in the least interested, my thoughts on Lenswork and its editorial positions are pretty well documented in a couple other threads that were beaten to death. It doesn't really matter anyway. The question was one of ethics and I am sorry to let my personal feelings get in the way. I think it is safe to say that my answer to the original question whether directed at Lenswork or a highly respected, neutrally edited magazine is a big NO.
Originally Posted by donbga
A publication that reports news is responsible for maintaining neutrality in its reporting. Editorials, however, are opinion pieces and are not expected to conform to a 'neutrality' convention, though most editorial boards for quality newspapers exercise a great deal of thoughtful deliberation before choosing their positions.
A scientific publication is responsible for ensuring that opinions or conjecture follow logically from the facts, or data, that are relevant. They use a structured peer review process and strict conflict of interest guidelines to ensure this. I would assume this is what Monophoto is referring to in his example.
Pretty much any other publication can do anything they want. It is fairly unreasonable that we or anybody else would expect Lenswork to be devoid of editorial (which means opinion) content when it is neither branding itself as unbiased nor as scientific. The idea that anybody would publish a magazine that they are personally responsible for and that is their financial responsibility as well but need to maintain some aloof separation from is strange. It makes no sense. Peer-reviewed journals are not run by the finances of the editors.
Brooks' mission statement for Lenswork indicates that he is not interested in gear. However, he increasingly refers to gear in his opinion pieces as he tells us how current, generally digital, gear enables him to do more of what he wants. He's walking a fine line in those pieces, and to me they aren't what I'm interested in and they detract from the publication for me. But I will certainly defend his right to put whatever he wants in his magazine. I will also defend my right to choose whether to resubscribe. I subscribe for the simple reason that every year there are at least three portfolios worth the subscription price to me. Brooks' editorials have about the same success ratio with me, which isn't really so bad compared to other publications I read. And I love Bill Jay's column.
The related question of what advertising is appropriate is even less reasonable. It's advertising. The person(s) with the financial responsibility for the publication can choose what is advertised. If it is their own work, they are choosing to reduce revenue direct to the publication in hopes for revenues elsewhere. Their finances, their decision.
I think the bottom line is, if there is a better way to run a publication that meets a person's idea of how things ought to be, they should start it themselves. Go team. I've wondered about a peer-review photography journal that was all portfolios. Would it work, and if so how? I'm not clear how that would play out or if it is just a bad idea. At present, Lenswork, with an editorial board of two, is the closest thing to this.
Originally Posted by billschwab
If you check some of the early issues of B&W you will see that Henry advertised his photographs of automobiles. I suspect that is was because he was short of advertising.
Last edited by James Bleifus; 04-23-2006 at 08:00 PM. Click to view previous post history.