Daily Mail lifts from WP, then asks its reporter for help finding photo

Romenesko+ Misc.

The Daily Mail liked Steve Hendrix's story in the Washington Post about an F-16 pilot who was ready to give her life on 9/11 so much that it rewrote it. They also liked his story from Thursday's Post, but needed some help finding a photo. They turned to Hendrix for assistance, which was a big mistake. Their email exchange is after the jump.

From: Bradford Noble

To: [Steve Hendrix]

Date: 09/15/2011 02:38 PM

Subject: Contacting Heather Penny

Hey Steve,

I work in the photo department at The Daily Mail and we are trying to chase down a picture of Heather Penny’s father to go in our story about her here, and I was wondering if you could put me in touch with the family? Or else know how I could get a hold a a photo of her dad, preferably one of them together.

Can you please give me a call at 212-543-XXXX or else respond via email. We are of course on deadline so sooner better – you know the drill.

Your article is great by the way!!


Bradford Noble


From: Steve Hendrix

Sent: 15 September 2011 15:16

To: Bradford Noble

Subject: Re: Contacting Heather Penny

Hi Bradford,

Yes, the Mail is becoming increasingly well known around here for the kind of stories you do, sometimes so similar in their entirety to our own. I do see your original piece on Heather Penney (beautiful line this: "jet fuel practically coursed through her veins." So much better than my own clunky "She had grown up smelling jet fuel.")

And I'm not surprised to hear you've got one coming on the father's role. We had one today! And I'm honored to see the same generous attribution.

To get a photo of her father, I'd track him down and ask him. That's how we do it.




From: Bradford Noble

To: Steve Hendrix

Date: 09/15/2011 03:38 PM

Subject: RE: Contacting Heather Penny

I know what you mean and laughed when I read your email. I’m just working here freelance but have the utmost respect for reporters like yourself who write great ORIGINAL articles.

Having said that, and at the risk of you hating me even more, do you have the contact information for the family?

Perhaps we can even get a DIFFERENT image.


Maybe a phone number or an email?

Bradford Noble

Photo Editor


From: Steve Hendrix/news/TWP

To: Bradford Noble

Date: 09/15/2011 03:54 PM

Subject: RE: Contacting Heather Penny

There's no risk of that Brad. Try this: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=white+pages


Steve Hendrix

My reaction? They do know how to be persistent. So why can't they do their own reporting?

Bradford Noble

As far as your email request for comment, I asked the writer at The Washington Post if he had some contact info but he didn't feel like sharing. So I tried to butter him up saying things I thought might help me get what I needed, but he didn't buy it.

Oh well. My Aunt Dookie always says, "If you don't ask, you don't get!"

Perhaps the writer at The Washington Post should ask his boss for a raise, he seems like a smart guy, and how savvy to get the gossip sites involved. Sort of that "Keep that story going no matter what the angle" kind of approach. How reality TV of him, Bravo!

I congratulate him on his journalistic aplomb.


> Earlier: Daily Mail lifts photos from The Batavian -- again

  • Jim Romenesko

    From 1999 to 2011, Jim Romenesko maintained the Romenesko page for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based non-profit school for journalists. Poynter hired him in August of 1999, after seeing his MediaGossip.com, a hobby site he started in May of 1999.


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