I try to be accurate, I really do. With all the different assignments and places a photojournalist does in a day, week, month, year, or past 12 years, one of the most important things isn't what I do with the camera, but what I do with a pencil and paper.
Every photo that is published in the Sandusky Register and is taken by a staff photographer is accompanied by a caption. And most captions include the date, a person's name and a place. Some include breeds of animals.
Some of you may remember the "Blue-winged Teal" incident from about 10 years ago, but if not, here's a recap. Young staff photographer Jason Werling was working an assignment where there were bird watchers doing just that. The rookie photographer, not a bird expert, decided to ask a bird expert to identify a duck by looking at the digital image captured on the back of his digital camera. The bird expert said it was a Blue-winged Teal and that is what was published in the next day's newspaper. Many other readers, some bird experts, wrote letters and called the newsroom to let us know the duck flying in the picture was a hen mallard and not a teal. My mistake, always get a second opinion.
This takes us to now where on today's front page we have a photo of a dog, a very cute dog, and a Furry student reading to it. I had thought I heard the dog was a Labradoodle, but was mistaken. Here's today's letter...
"Thanks for putting our "Casey's" picture on the front page - she deserves some praise as she is a trained therapy dog and also goes to several grade schools for kids to read to her.
Oops! Your reporter, as do most people, labeled her as a "Labrodoodle", her father will be surprised to learn that, as he is a Golden Retriever, ergo, Casey is a "Golden-doodle".
You stand corrected!"
I will have to apologize to Casey's dad as he tries to find this Labrador that may or may not have fathered his curly-haired Casey. I might be able to buy him off with some Milk Bones.
From now on, dogs will be called dogs and ducks will be called ducks.