Articles and pics like Dan's are exactly why I subscribe to both magazines. The fact that he is a staff member, as printed in the article, does bother me a little. I won't loosing any sleep over it though.
I recall seeing David Long on the cover in the past, so I don't think this is anything new at Eastman's. It's their magazine, they can do what they want.
The issue seems to really center around the prize, the Zeiss binoculars.
In virtually every contest I have read the fine print on, employees and even family members of employees are not eligible for contest prizes. Prizes are given by companies to encourage their customers to invest in their company. In this case, the prize encourages members to invest their time to write about, photograph and submit their stories, which profits the magazine.
A few relevant issues:
1) Writers contribute stories to the magazine, at minimal compensation, largely in hopes of having a story printed, but also in hopes of having the cover article and winning that prize. All writers should have equal opportunity to win the prize.
2) Who pays for the prize? Does Eastman’s purchase the binoculars, then give them as a prize? Does Zeiss provide the binoculars free of charge as part of their advertising? If Zeiss provides the binoculars, do they have conditions on if staff members are eligible for the prize?
3) Who choses the winner of the prize? If Eastman’s selects the winner, and the winner is on their staff (part time or full time or in negotiations to be a staff member) you can see where there is a clear conflict of interest. Other members who submitted articles, which profit the magazine, should be fully eligible and have equal opportunity to win the prize.
As a suggestion, if Dan was in fact a staff member (full time, part time or in negotiations), would be to award the “second place” article a pair of Zeiss binoculars as well. As a suggestion in the future if the cover article is of a staff member, the "second place" article would receive the prize.
Scott replied in post #7:
1) “Dan won’t be on full time staff until this summer if i have all of my facts straight.” Scott could you clear up if Dan was part time staff or in negotiations to be on full or part time staff?
2) “We are working on a blog and article series on how to get published. This is honestly a more relevant conversation.” In all due respect, to say that is a “more relevant conversation” dismisses the valid concerns which were very carefully expressed by the OP, and the topic of this thread.
Last edited by Umpqua Hunter; 03-09-2014 at 12:47 PM.
UH hit it right on the head.
I have never thought of getting in the magazines in any way or on the cover as a contest. When we all voted for the forum members stories in here to me that was a contest. Its the Eastmans magazine and what and who they decide to publish or put where in their magazines is up to them. Does anyone honestly believe Eastmans put his story on the cover just so he could get I pair of binos out of it? I certainly dont!
I agree with UH that there is more than one issue at hand. I also agree with a lot of you that most contest exclude employees and even family members of employees. Whether or not Eastman's did anything wrong, this post will be beneficial for them in the future as it is making evident on how the readers and customers felt about this. They will hopefully clear up these issues and move on from here.
I have not submitted a story ever, but in all honesty if I had this would probably affect me more because of the work that would have been put into the story. I would also have mixed feelings on why my story may not have been "good enough" that they chose an employee.
Out of curiosity, are there any rules for submitting stories that Eastman's have that would make this a non-issue? I mean if they have rules wrote and it doesn't exclude anyone, is there really any complaint to be had?
If it were me, I wouldn't have allowed that story to be on the front cover. No doubt it was a fantastic story with great pictures but when employees start winning prizes, it makes me, the subscriber, second guess whether it is worth it for me to send in a story.
When you vary from the prescribed mechanism, you invite scrutiny!
B&C / P&Y Official Measurer
The only cover that has ever really bothered me was the last EHJ #141.