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Maybe I've just had Web design on my mind, but the placement of this pop-up ad on the Haaretz Website yesterday was pretty unfortunate given the rest of the stories on the page:
Somehow I don't think there are too many opportunities for white water rafting in Gaza right now.
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10:06 AM ET
January 5, 2009
Speaking of bad placement
Not sure if this is the right place to post this comment (If not, kindly direct me to the right place for future comments),
Speaking of bad placement...
Who dropped the ball on image QA on the Jan/Feb issue of FP? Carla Power's piece titled "Faith in the Market" was interesting, but even more interesting was the cover picture.
The image depicted individuals prostrating (praying) on an image of a line graph, which in and of itself is the artist's interpretation of the article, fine....but the placement of the shoes/sandals at the head of the individual prostrating is a completely insensitive and ignorant depiction. Given the most recent shoe incident with President G.W. Bush, you would think by now that everyone, and needless to mention a FOREIGN POLICY MAGAZINE, would at least understand that in Middle Eastern/ Muslim culture a shoe is a dirty/insulting thing. How one would even overlook the fact that you blatantly depicted Muslims praying on shoes, in some cases prostrating on the sandals themselves, is beyond me (I really hope your international editions caught that before they went out). Given all your new changes and what not, it may be evident in itself that FP needs to either hire a "token" Muslim that can at least help in QA, or someone who has full knowledge of Muslim culture and etiquette that can assure that you don't shoot yourself in the foot before you even get to make your point. I know your previous owner had offices in Beirut, did you just stop talking to them?
I understand you can’t please everyone and I’m sure you may end up getting negative comments about the other pictures. Some people just may be too sensitive, and there is not much you can do there. But there is a difference between something that is totally unacceptable (to the point that it is a direct insult) and something that is an “artistic interpretation.” FP always comes up with good pieces that challenge the readers to view different perspectives. The article was good in that sense, but FP failed to demonstrate its knowledge of Muslim culture. I’m not saying go cater to everyone, just make sure that you research your delivery enough to allow your message its full potential. If you end up insulting the reader, you’d have wasted your time on deaf ears.
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