Philip Langridge & His Paperclip ChainFriday, May 18, 2012
In 2004 I was working for a local magazine that was the brainchild of an art director called Arto and an editor/writer called Lyndon Grove. Considering where journalism and magazines have been going in recent years with competition from the “it’s free” internet this pair was ahead of its time if not completely free of strict journalistic ethics.
For the average person out there (and this might have been the case until recently), this person would not understand that if a good newspaper or magazine interviews a movie star, politician or rock musician, under no circumstances would the paper or magazine pay the subject of the interview.
But ethics in journalism began to creep inexorably towards at least paying the subject if you have a look at some early films (from which magazines and papers took their cue) where all the cars would inexplicably be Plymouths. How could that be? Then we learned about paying and placing a company’s products in films. Nobody would question this anymore.
Magazines and papers would never tell their subjects what the article in question would be like. These subjects would have to wait for publication. Giving them an advance look at one time was anathema.
The folks at Achievers (Arto and Grove’s glossy magazine) would approach real estate agents, business people, etc and would tell them, “How would you like to have an extensive article about you and your business in a magazine that will make it seem like it is all editorial? But, of course, just like paying for advertising you would pay us to place the “article” in the magazine. We would guarantee a positive piece with pleasant photographs.”
Achievers gainfully employed me for a couple of years until it folded. If you look at the Vancouver Sun’s section on real estate you might wonder if what you are reading is editorial or simply slightly couched advertising.
Sometimes you might read articles about kitchens in a shelter magazine and coincidentally you might note kitchen appliance ads on the same page. Coincidence? Probably not.
Philip Langridge heads the Churchill International Property Corporation in Vancouver. The pleasant and handsome man is a fan of Winston Churchill. He gave some of his children middle names featuring some of Churchill’s names. To me Langridge had a healthy obsession and when I was told by Arto to imitate Churchill’s portrait by Karsh I complied and had lots of fun.
The day of the session in my studio we were missing one crucial object which was Churchill’s pocket watch chain. Luckily I had lots of paper clips and made a chain from them.
The Phoner & Journalistic Ethics