Report: Newsweek Palin Cover Photo a Violation of Contract

November 18th, 2009 4:43 PM

Newsweek's effort to take a stab at former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on the heels of her book tour appears to be backfiring - at least from a legal standpoint.

Recently, the latest cover of Newsweek took an image of Palin that originally appeared in Runner's World magazine. Palin has criticized the posting on her Facebook page, as NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard reported. "The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now," she wrote.

And Newsweek's Jon Meacham insists the magazine did nothing wrong - that this is just the nature of what they do at Newsweek.

"We chose the most interesting image available to us to illustrate the theme of the cover, which is what we always try to do," Meacham said to the Huffington Post on Nov. 17. "We apply the same test to photographs of any public figure, male or female: does the image convey what we are saying? That is a gender-neutral standard."

But the claim that nothing wrong was done in publishing the image is not quite the case according to a report from AOL Daily Finance's Jeff Bercovici. Bercovici has discovered the photographer of the Palin photograph, Brian Adams, breached his contract with Runner's World magazine.

"But a spokeswoman for Runner's World confirms that Adams's contract contained a clause stipulating that his photos of Palin would be under embargo for a period of one year following publication -- meaning until August 2010," Bercovici wrote.

"Runner's World did not provide Newsweek with its cover image," the spokeswoman said to Daily Finance. "It was provided to Newsweek by the photographer's stock agency, without Runner's World's knowledge or permission."

Bercovici also reports Time magazine had expressed interest in reusing the original Runner's World magazine photograph.

"A source with knowledge of the situation says multiple outlets, including Time, approached Runner's World after the photos first appeared on its website in July to inquire about obtaining the reuse rights," Bercovici wrote.