Thursday, July 24, 2008

Grip and grin


When it comes to running photos in the newspaper, I am NOT a fan of the "grip and grin." Briefly, in my opinion, if a paper starts running posed shots of people pretending to be handing over checks, posing the purchase of the first ticket of the fund drive, acting as if they are talking on the phone, etc., they become like a computer virus -- spreading out of control. Every group that makes a donation will want the paper to come out and take a "grip and grin."

(Thankfully, we can now accommodate these images on our web site, in the feature called Your Pix and Flix.)

Anyway, I made an exception today -- not for the Telegraph Herald but for the Iowa Newspaper Foundation, of which I am president this year.

The occasion was delivery of checks for newspaper employees who were seriously affected by the Parkersburg tornado or last month's floods. The money was donated by newspaper employees and professional organizations across the country. More than $50,000 has been raised.

In the top photo, I am grinning and gripping with Dave Storey, publisher of The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, and Jennifer Asa, Iowa Newspaper Foundation executive director.

The bottom photo has Jennifer and me with Waterloo Courier regional editor Dennis Magee (left) and publisher Dave Braton.

Magee's situation is an incredible hard-luck story. His home was destroyed in the Parkersburg tornado; his family recovered household items and put them in storage in Waterloo. Then, less than three weeks later, those items were lost in the flood that hit downtown Waterloo.

Grip-and-grin shots notwithstanding, it was an honor for me to be able to present the checks on behalf of newspaper employees and their associations.

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