Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Photojournalist as Dick

[Media] Chris Detrick, staff photographer at The Salt Lake Tribune, frequently contributed stunning images of the aftermath of the Crandall Canyon Coal Mine collapse last summer. With Tribune credentials, Detrick provided some outstanding pictures of grieving family members of the six miners whose bodies remain trapped in the Emery County mine, and survivors of an additional three workers who died in a failed rescue attempt.

Detrick's photos exuded passion for his subject, such empathy for the suffering of others.

So, when it came time to make a Halloween costume for the party circuit last month, Detrick reached again for that compassion and came up with this costume: A bruised and bloodied dead miner.

Here are the photos, as posted on Provo Daily Herald photo editor Ashley Franscell's blog.
Franscell is Detrick's girlfriend. She dressed up as astronaut gone-haywire Lisa Nowak.

One source says "there is a groundswell of disapproval from Trib staffers, but a few who think it's pretty funny."

What do you think? (Holly Mullen)


  1. What do I think? I think you must have run out of real news. I think it's Halloween, which -- by definition -- is about death and bad taste. I think this is a Halloween costume, for god sakes. I think if the Tribune is annoyed by this costume, they don't have any more important issues to worry about than the City Weakly. And I think it's hilarious that the dicks at a whiny alt-weekly are calling real reporters dicks.

    Get over it, Holly. Go find some real news and maybe you'll get hired at a real paper someday.

  2. I guess Rim and Slot thinks that spelling Weekly as Weakly is original, too. Go, Holly, you even went out of the way to describe this insensitive Trib miner as a photographer, but Rim and Slot calls him a "real reporter". What this city needs isn't a real newspaper, but real readers.

  3. All I know is the photos and post have been removed from Ashley Franscell's blog, "Depth of Field." As rim and slot observes, the photos in question may not be real news, but their sudden removal must mean they're nothing to be real proud of either. Just sayin'. -- Holly Mullen

  4. Perhaps Franscell removed the photos from her blog because she did want anyone else to violate her copyright and post the photos on their own blog. I don't think they have anything to be ashamed of. I however think that you should be ashamed of spending your time posting blogs calling Detrick a dick. Maybe you should spend some time stealing photos of all the women who went to parties this year in Victoria Secret costumes and accuse them of being sluts.

  5. to chris:

    Dressing up as a mining victim is equivalent to a police officer dressing up as a Trolley Square victim, a doctor dressing up like a cancer patient or a priest dressing up like a little boy.

    The reason you get the photos you do is by an implicit trust between you and your subject. I hope feel the repacutions to your career 1/millionth to that of the miners you photographed and then ridiculed.

    Because if that's the case you'll find yourself shooting photos at Kiddie Kandids.

  6. amen, anonymous! really friggin' well said. i bet he never even thought about the families, who would only be too happy to have a bloody body to lay to rest with a little dignity. it's injury to insult, and i guess this is what a young photographer who has never had any heartache in his life looks like. i wouldn't want him covering my family tragedy. can't believe they're still letting him work at the tribune.

  7. "rim and slot"= Chris Detrick and Craig=Franscell

    Thou doth protest too much and it is obvious who you are.

    Instead of talking about the issue you are trying to divert attention away from the act. People that posts BLOGS have no expectation of privacy. If you are grown up enough to commit an action and blog about it then you are big enough to deal with the consequences.

    Chris, are you man enough to be in that costume and go visit these families that have no body to bury and tell them how awesome you think you and your costume are? Will you go visit the recovering hero miners who were hurt trying to save those human lives in your "funny" costume?

  8. That's what sheNovember 17, 2007 at 7:01 AM

    I don't know Chris, but I know newsrooms. I've worked in three of them and I know that the way most reporters, photographers and editors deal with the stress of the job is with a dark sense of humor.
    My guess is that his was meant to be a joke between friends, and would have been just that until Holly decided to publish the photos here. Something tells me there weren't too many miners' families checking out Franscell's blog.
    You're right, the photos are nothing to be real proud of. Guess Franscell had the descency to take them down but I see you're still displaying them proudly.
    No wonder the Tribune canned your ass. Looks like you found your calling as moral compass for this muckraking rag though, so it all worked out.

  9. Well, Holly, as lot of us here at the Tribune question the choice of costume.
    More of us would also question your capacity for malignant hubris, but anyone who worked with you more than a week would not be surprised.
    So glad you left the Tribune before you were fired. Sure wouldn't want that fragile arrogance of yours to be shattered by the reality of your pettiness.

  10. Yeah, and I guess the way an air traffic controller copes with the stress of that job is to dress up on Halloween like a dead 9/11 plane crash victim?

    I don't see the logic, "that's what she said." Bad taste is bad taste.

  11. I want to apologize for my insensitive and tasteless Halloween costume. I am very sorry if I caused any additional grief to the family and friends of the miners.


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