Thursday, August 10, 2006

An Open Letter to Ryan Schreiber of

UPDATE: No word yet from Mr. Schreiber himself, but I did a get a nice message from Fork managing editor Scott Plagenhoef who was kind enough to go back and fix the invisible hyperlink and give RFC a co-credit on the piece. (full letter posted in "comments" section) So Pitchfork is no longer "dead to me," but Ryan Schreiber, you're still on notice!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brad K:

Apologies for the confusion and problems with Pitchfork's use of Rory O'Connor's photos, I can assure you that there was no malicious intent or a desire to take advantage of either Rory or Radio Free Chicago. I have edited the story to include Rory's press organization as well as to underline the hyperlinks-- two things that should have been done in the first place. Again apologies for that: Had I known that Ryan and Rory had made such a deal I would have ensured those things happened on Tuesday. Ryan, whom I've yet to speak to about the matter (I left the office a few hours ago), made an innocent oversight.

The rest of the points you raised:

1. Why not thank RFC in the intro to the story?

Well, that would be unusual if not analogous for a publication to thank a photo agency or photographer in the lede to a feature. The photo credits as printed are pretty standard. Again, apologies: They should have been printed like that from the start.

2. "The piece is solely credited to "Pitchfork Staff," (which is a glaring inaccuracy)."

That's not inaccurate: The story was written by the Pitchfork Staff. Photographers got photo credits. Yes, it's a photo-heavy feature, but the byline/credits were all done exactly they way are for any Pitchfork feature, or any other publication for that matter.

3. Why was there a "clampdown" on photos at the fest?

A: So not to obscure the sight lines of the paying customers who, in most cases, skipped one mainstage act in order to secure front-row spots. It is true that last year there were no restrictions on press access to the photo pit. There was also no distinction between a VIP and a press pass, which meant that our writers could stand in the photo pit throughout a set, much to the disgust of some audience members. It's a growing pains issue, I suppose-- more press credentials/requests also means that we felt the need to enact these rules in order to prevent the photo pit from obstructing views throughout an entire set. Nobody was more saddened about this than our writers and other guests.

The "three-song" policy is hardly unusual -- every festival I've attended this summer (Roskilde, Lollapalooza, Pitchfork) has had the same policy, as did the recent Radiohead Chicago shows.

4. Press amenities.

We run an independent festival with no major investors. There is no large corporation pulling the strings, รก la most (if not all) large music festivals in the U.S. We also provide $30 admission for 41 artists, as well as $1 waters, etc. In other words, this thing is done afforadably-- and done so that way for the artists and attendees-- which sadly means that perks are minimized.

Press for this festival had the same access as they would to any other indie show in Chicago: Free access to the general admission section, so I'm not sure which events you're referring to when you say "of all the times I've had press privileges at concerts and other events, I probably received the least amount of access at the Pitchfork Festival."


Again, we meant no harm with what was admittedly a very sloppy job of crediting your photographer for his great work. I'm sorry that I had to address these additional issues in this apology and those comments should in no way reflect on its sincerity. It's not my intention to obscure the apology with defensive posturing but I thought it fair and respectful to address each of your concerns.

Thanks again for your help with this feature and apologies for the confusion and miscommunication. Please pass along our apologies to Rory.

Feel free to contact me with any future Pitchfork-related questions or concerns. Best of luck to you and Radio Free Chicago.


Scott Plagenhoef
Managing Editor
Pitchfork Media

8/10/2006 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger Brad K said...

just for the regards to my bitching about lack of press access at the Pitchfork Fest, I'm very familiar with the "3 song rule" for pictures. At big name indoor shows, this is definitely a must (flashes become annoying, space is limited, demand for pics too high, etc.). But an outdoor indie rock fest??? I dunno...seemed a bit excessive. Plus, Intonation this year was the complete opposite. Bigger photo pit, no photo restrictions, and a shared tent backstage with the artists, staff, etc. I know, I know...Pitchfork drew a lot more people, was a bigger festival, etc. Still, I think Fork could have done a better job with the press and photo areas. And the fact that they're a press outlet themselves means they should be working extra hard to take care of their peers.

8/10/2006 12:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

those photos aren't even that great, why dont you both have a slap fight?

8/21/2006 03:56:00 PM  

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