Having published The Animals’ Agenda magazine (1993-2002) I know all about producing magazines on the cheap. Magazine publishing is a tough world–particularly if you’re content doesn’t lend itself to advertising and the revenue it generates. The subscriptions you pay and the cover price you fork over generally meet one-third of the production costs. The Animals’ Agenda struggled to persuade advertisers to use us although we had an extremely loyal readership. Fortunately, I also had a wonderful group of people who worked with me.
Anyway, penury brought it’s own challenges and we often managed our meagre resources with gallows humour. For example, with zero budget for photographs we were forever begging, borrowing but never stealing for publication. An oft-repeated office joke at caption-writing time was “Animals [fill in name of animal] like these were [fill in how these animals were used].” Almost invariably we didn’t have a photo of the animal featured in the article or news report. Our creativity was often challenged with publishing photographs and writing captions which were as legitimate as we could make them but never misleading or misrepresenting the text it accompanied.
This is why I’m shocked but not surprised by the revelation that Veg News is allegedly caught with publishing photos of meat dishes and passing them off (some photoshopped) to look like vegan meals. I write allegedly purposely because I didn’t do the research but you can read it for yourself here.
It will be certainly interesting to see how Veg News responds.
Even though it’s only nine years ago that The Animals’ Agenda stopped publication it’s a lifetime plus with respect to how far and fast technology has moved on to making mass communication available for large numbers of people. I wish I had today’s means then. Further, this technology is such that it is virtually impossible to do anything underhand in any way without someone somewhere finding out about it and bringing it to everyone else’s attention, thank you very much.
By the way, Lantern published two anthologies of articles from The Animals’ Agenda which are still available. Indeed, not only are they still in print but they are also (mostly) current. They are Speaking Out for Animals (True Stories About Real People Who Rescue Animals) and A Primer on Animal Rights (Leading Experts Write About Animal Cruelty and Exploitation).
By the way, Erik Marcus makes a lot of sense here about VegNewsGate.