Home>Highlight>Gannett selling photos online of children they photograph. Parents don’t like it

A Gannett newspaper selling now selling a photo of an Alpine, New Jersey family taken by Mitsu Yusukawa of The (Bergen) Record.

Gannett selling photos online of children they photograph. Parents don’t like it

Bergen man said he didn’t know The Record would offer family photo for sale on Internet

By David Wildstein, March 24 2021 5:55 pm

As newspapers look for alternative revenues sources to supplement an ailing business model, some parents are pushing back on a decision by Gannett to monetize the work of their journalists by selling photographs of children on their websites.

The front page of The (Bergen) Record on Wednesday featured the sale of a $3.7 million home in Alpine to Amit Modi.

Modi and his extended family, including his two young children, posed for a photo in front of their new home.

But Modi didn’t know that photos of his children and his home would be available for sale on The Record’s website – and he doesn’t like it.

“I didn’t sign up for that,” Modi said. “I don’t want them to allow people to buy photos of my family.  I thought it was just going to be in the newspaper.  I don’t want them sold.”

The Gannet newspaper chain, which includes the Bergen Record, regularly allows the public to purchase photos taken by their news photographers.

Last year, the Home News Tribune and the Courier News, also Gannett papers, got in hot water for selling reprints of photos of the home where the 20-year-old son of a federal judge was brutally slain last July.

Gannett and the USA Today Network ultimately withdrew the sale of the photos – which initially failed to obscure the judge’s home address and license plate number on her vehicle – from their website after being contacted by federal law enforcement officials, the New Jersey Globe has learned.

On Monday, the Bergen Record posted photos taken by a news photographer of a Montclair family who want public schools to be reopened for in-person instruction.

D.S., whose name is being withheld by the NJ Globe, said she was not told that images of her young children would also be available for sale on the Internet.

“I had no idea,” D.S. said.  “That’s very weird.”

D.S. later said that she and her husband “tend to not be public with our kids.”

“We don’t even post their pics on Facebook,” she said.  We feel pretty passionately about the open schools movement hence why we made the decision we made.”

D.S. said she spoke and texted with the photographer, Anne-Marie Caruso, and decided not to ask The Record to stop selling the photos.”

“While I don’t like the idea of a publication making money off of our photos, in reality anyone can print the photos off the website if they choose to,” D.S. said.

Still, some experts say that parents shouldn’t permit photographs of their children to be posted on the Internet that include identifying markers that could be used nefariously.

“If information is not redacted, it could focus people with ill-intent their way,” said Morris County Sheriff James Gannon, who spoke generally and not to the specifics of any particular photograph.   “It’s not prudent for parents.”

Gannett photographers made international news this week when the Asbury Park Press fired Gustavo Martínez Contreras for a misogynistic, anti-Semitic photo caption that accompanied a photo of a nurse preparing to administer a COVID-19 vaccine.

Gov. Phil Murphy, Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton), State Sens. Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch) and Robert Singer (R-Lakewood) and Assemblywoman Joann Downey aggressively rebuked the newspaper for objectifying the nurse, an Orthodox Jew.

While executive editor Paul D’Ambrosio has apologized, others, including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) are demanding a complete investigation.

Bergen Record editor Dan Sforza did not immediately respond to a 1:51 PM message seeking information on his newspaper’s policy of selling photographs of children.


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