Sun outrage at Mirror use of picture

Pelham’s picture of Beckham

The Sun is outraged that one of the pictures in the supplement published by the Daily Mirror to celebrate winning Newspaper of the Year in the 2002 Picture Editors’ Awards was taken by Sun photographer Richard Pelham.

Pelham’s picture of England captain David Beckham put him among the finalists for the British Press Awards Photographer of the Year title.

The Sun was in touch with its rival’s corporate office on Wednesday morning to find out how it came to be projected as a Mirror picture.

Mirror editor Piers Morgan said his paper had been judged not just for its own pictures but for its use of photo-graphy, including other people’s.

He said Pelham’s negative had been used on the day England beat Greece and qualified for the World Cup.

"Chris Turvey [The Mirror] and Richard Pelham actually shared a few pictures that day which is a fairly common occurrence on sporting occasions. We weren’t claiming we got this award for our pictures only. It is for the way the paper has used photography as well as our own staff picture," said Morgan.

Presenting the awards on Monday, Prime Minister Tony Blair turned the tables on photographers by grabbing a camera and snapping the winners.

Earlier, Blair had showered the photographers with praise, describing them as "beguiling and interesting" and "among the nicest people you could possibly meet". He did admit, however, "you would rather have them on your side than against you".

Blair broke the news to Reuters’ Ian Waldie that he was Photographer of the Year in a live phone link to Japan, where Waldie is covering the World Cup.

His winning portfolio included a distorted picture of the Prime Minister looking like a bright blue devil and a close-up of Cherie Blair curling her fingers into binocular shapes. Blair jokingly warned Waldie: "I don’t want to see those pictures in public again."

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