tearing down the old Miami Herald building last week.
One Herald Plaza is now just a memory.
Now that the building is gone, those in charge at the Herald are now on a mission to destroy what's left of the paper and its last bit of credibility.
Last December, Cammy Clark, the Herald's long-time Key West bureau chief, lost her job after her position was eliminated.
For Keys coverage, the Herald now relies on dispatches from the weekly Florida Keys Reporter, and twice-weekly Keynoter.
Today's paper printed one of those dispatches: a story on Spring Break in Key West by KeysInfoNet's Larry Kahn. It ran on 3B of the Herald's local section.
The story that appeared in the Herald is essentially the same as what's on KeysInfoNet's website.
What caught my attention, however, was the photograph that accompanied the story.
Here's the photo that appeared on KeysInfoNet.com.
|Click images to enlarge.|
The caption reads: "What appear to be Spring Breakers at Smathers Beach in Key West say hey to a police horse. COURTESY ALYSON CREAN"
Apparently Alyson Crean never bothered to ask the ladies if they were, in fact, Spring breakers.
So, who is Alyson Crean? Is she a journalist?
Turns out she's a "public information officer; communications manager" for the City of Key West.
And according to her Linkedin profile, before she worked for the city, Crean was the Key West Keynoter's bureau chief.
By the time Alyson Crean's photo made it into the pages of the Herald, the bikini-clad ladies who appeared "to be Spring Breakers," were now identified as "Spring breakers."
|Miami Herald, March 9, 2015, page 3B.|
But here's where things start to get weird.
So, how did a picture shot by a Key West city employee end up being used by a Florida newspaper that once employed more than 30 full-time photographers?
Simple: it was free and didn't cost the paper a dime.
Crean's photo was first posted on the Key West Police Department's Facebook page, before making its way on to KeysInfoNet's website and then into the pages of the Miami Herald.
All this has me imagining the conversations that may have taken place in the Herald's executive offices last year as they talked about eliminating the Key West bureau: "Can we do this without sacrificing the quality of our reporting?"
"Oh, sure we can," someone probably answered, "but if not, who's going to notice?"
Everyone, Mindy, everyone.