Tuesday, June 06, 2006

World Cup press story

Anyone wondering how much mania there is in the rest of the world there is for the game of Futball, check this out.

      This morning, eagle-eyed readers of the British papers saw the "shot all England had been waiting for," according to one tab: Wayne Rooney doing a bicycle kick. What you didn't see was the same picture in every paper, and therein lies a story.
      Behind the scenes papers bidded on the shot, which was captured by a freelancer and immediately put up for auction. The Daily Telegraph paid some £10,000 for it according to a high-placed source; the Sun got secondary rights for £5,000. The Guardian, which did not have it, balked at paying for a news photo, though the practice is common in the U.K. with celebrity snaps.
      The goods were also handled in a quite high-tech way: The freelancer reportedly made copies onto USB mass storage devices — those "penclips" that are becoming ubiquitous — and handed them over in exchange for hard, cold cash. I am told, quite relaibly, that one of the devices would not be relinquished until the purchasing editor went out and physically drained his bank account — apparently, a check was not good enough.

Photographers can get thousands for one snapshot.

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