Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Does This Offend You?

THIS COVER was recently honored as one of the best mag covers of the year by the American Society of Magazine Editors.

Since the majority of you weren't offended by the "Douchebag" headline, I doubt you guys would be bothered by a line pointing to the former New York governor's crotch with BRAIN in bold caps.

Anyone? Is this good journalism?

(Click here to see this year's top cover finalists).

17 comments:

Elise Bowder said...

At first glance, i was shocked by the cover. Then i noticed it was Eliot Spitzer and thought it was funny. However, humor doesn't mean good journalism. The question is was this cover in good taste or is it inappropriate? I'm sure that some people, certainly guys, would be offended by the message the cover is sending - guys think only with their dicks. While other people would think "this guy was involved in a sex scandal so it's okay to make sexually explicit comments about him." Maybe it's not the best example of what I would call good journalism but it definitely caught my attention. If I had the choice of running that cover or not, I probably would have ran it.

Pete B said...

I found it funny as a guy and am not offended. If people believe everything they hear and read, then it is my opinion they are ignorant. Clearly the cover is saying he was thinking with his wrong head, it doesnt say all guys.

Ashley Kormos said...

Honestly i have no idea who this guy is, but when i first saw it i immediately thought he obviously someone important who got in trouble with some sort of... ya know. I guess if that's the way the author meant it to be he or she did their job, but I don't think i would qualify that as "good" journalism. It seems pretty tasteless and trashy kinda like a tabloid, and i usually don't associate those words with good journalism.

Christie Francis said...

I'm not sure how to determine whether or not this is good journalism but after clicking on that link to see the other covers, I'm not sure why this was one honored.

This doesn't offend me in any way and although today in class I said that the 'Douchebag' article would not offend me, it I had to choose which was more offensive, this one is definitely not it.

Colin K. said...

I find this to be good journalism. The cover is there to be the 'hook' of the magazine. The sole purpose of 'hook', whether it's an introduction to an article or a magazine cover, is to draw the consumer in and make them want to know more. This photo does exactly that. It leaves the reader eager to find out the story behind the cover.

Kirsten Stamn said...

AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I love this. Honestly, with all the crap that man pulled, he's fair game. Let the media rip him to shreds to warn the next man who thinks about abusing his power.

Joe said...

Yeah that is a good point. Offensive or not, he brought it on himself. Also, it's the truth! You can't front about that. Whatever. You could go on and on about how base our society has become and oh my god there's a war going on and what do we care about anymore. But it's happening. And it's not changing. Offensive magazine covers, newspaper headlines, whatever. It doesn't matter.

katie tully said...

It is humorous, to say the least. He deserves this negative attention, although I can see why some would be offended. And I am kind of baffled as to why it would be voted as one of the best mag covers of the year by the American Society of Magazine Editors.

TomStevens said...

I wasn't really shocked at all by this cover, or offended for that matter. At first glance it almost looks like this is some kind of poster that would be in a college dorm or perhaps a bumper-sticker on facebook. From a journalistic perspective, I think this is brilliant, at least for my demographic. I know nothing about the former New York Governor, I couldn't even have told you that it was him, but looking at this cover instantly appeals to my type of humor and makes me want to read whatever they have to say about him.

Jessica Lista said...

Honestly, I was not offended by this cover at all. Actually, I found it hilarious. I feel this would draw many people and because of its humor, many people would want to read it. I think it was a hilarious approach to this issue. I know I would love to read the article inside once I saw this picture.

Kristin Kitts said...

Offensive? Not at all. Tasteless? Potentially, depending on your point of view (mine? not at all; it's true in Spitzer's context and it's hilarious). Does it grab potential readers' attention? Definitely.
Is it good journalism? If you want to get technical and think about it in the context of the principles of journalism that we've focused on, not really. But it does what any good lead-in would do: it grabs you and makes you want to find out what's going on. So, in that aspect, yes - definitely some good journalism.

danzee88 said...

I suppose my only thoughts would be this: what if they ran an image of, say, a blond woman (famous or not) and put 'brains?' next to it? Would that not get flagged down as sexist and offensive? if not then this is fair game i'd say. As someone said in class on tuesday, either everything is ok or nothing is. (obviously with some level of moderation...i guess i'm really just heading in a cycle of ambiguity)

nancy barber said...

I think this cover is funny, especially since it's Eliot Spitzer. I don't think this is offensive, but I don't know if it's good journalism. It certainly gets your attention though.

Gina Osting said...

At first glance I was a little shocked, but as long as the man deserves this type of attention and gave permission to the magazine to put him on the front cover like this, then I can hardly find a problem. It's a common conception of males anyway, and is probably less offensive than the Douchebag headline.

Geo said...

Two things about your comment, Gina:

1. Spitzer probably did not OK the cover. He shouldn't have even been notified that they were doing it.

2. Should the media decide who gets this type of attention? Who should?

- George (the teacher who loves the cover)

Megan McCue Journalism said...

I think this is funny but still derogatory and probably shouldn't have been run. Publishing things like this and it being okay just pushes the line for worse things to run. I don't think it is good journalism.

Lauren Grant said...

I was offended and I would be upset if I was walking down the street and saw this on a news stand. Douchebag is a word, this is a picture with an arrow pointing to a guys crotch. Its bad journalism and hard to explain to a five year old who wants to know who this guy is and why the word brain is being pointed towards his crotch.