Just about everyone saw, at some point yesterday, that terrific iPhone picture — by Stefanie Gordon of Hoboken, N.J. –Â of the space shuttle Endeavour breaking through the ceiling of clouds and climbing towards the blackness of space.
Stefanie took the picture plus some video, and tweeted it. And, of course, the striking image went viral.
Well, guess what? The geniuses at the St. Petersburg Times managed to score it as lead art today.
Managing editor for presentation Patty Cox tells us the Times paid Stefanie $100 for the picture.
I first saw Gordon’s photos on mnsbc.com about 4:30 yesterday afternoon. We had several images of our own and the wires to choose from for the front page, but this was the only one I had seen all day that made me say, “Wow! Cool.” That was a view we hadn’t seen before.
I started following the photographer, Stefanie Gordon on Twitter, but then realized I couldn’t send her a direct message unless she followed me. About that time. Channel 10 in South Florida tweeted that they were going to interview her.
As I was pursuing contact routes through tweeters Gordon and I have in common, picture editor Patty Yablonski called the station and asked a producer if he’d have Gordon call us. Gordon called about 7:40 p.m., but was reluctant to give us permission because she was considering copyrighting the photo. She agreed to think about our $100 offer said she would call us back. She called Patty about 9:40 and then e-mailed the photo and an invoice.
Designer Tom Bassigner substituted our original photo choice, and Ron Brackett, senior editor/nights, wrote a short story about it, which we published on an inside page.
Once again, it was great late-night work by a terrific team.
Take heed, folks. This is the sort of thing we’re going to be doing a lot more in the future. And it’s a great thing.
Average daily circulation for the St. Pete Times is 292,441.
The page image is from the Newseum. Of course.
I’m in the process of writing about today’s space shuttle fronts. But this one really deserved a separate post of its own.
A longer post — with pages from other papers — is written now. Find it here.