So, apparently there was a figure skating competition this weekend. I can’t say I noticed. But overshadowing the ISU World Figure Skating Championship, in which Canadian skater Kaetlyn Osmond finished eighth, was the fact that The Globe and Mail put her picture on the front page. Since when was figure skating front page news!? That said, it seems the Globe wasn’t trying to entice readers to pick up the paper for its figure-skating coverage, but was living by the old adage that sex sells, with this gratuitous crotch shot of the 17-year-old skater:
OK, so I don’t know exactly how long a figure-skating short program is, but I do suspect it lasted long enough for the photographer to take several other shots of Osmond’s routine. The paper likely had a bevy of photos it could’ve ran from Osmond’s performance, but it went with the one in which she’s raising her leg, triple-salchow style. Although for what it’s worth, the skater’s not offended. As per the Toronto Star, she told a local morning show “I don’t mind the picture that much. It’s part of my program. Our skirts go flying all the time, so we’re used to it. We don’t find it that offensive.”
Know who does find it offensive? The Globe and Mail’s pubic, erm, public editor, who publicly undressed her fellow editors and offered a revealing look at the processes behind the paper in her column this afternoon. “In my view, the editors need to stop and think about these shots whether in skating, diving or gymnastics,” Sylvia Stead states. “The strength of these photos is that they show strong bodies in motion, but you should ask yourself if you would want yourself pictured this way.” Hmm, would we want to see an overweight, middle-aged desk jockey doing a leg-lift in a tutu? Think of the children, Globe and Mail editors!
Stead concludes “Greater care needs to be taken on the front page than on any other because it is essentially the front door.” Unless your photo editor runs a shot of an athlete’s rear end, that is.