New York Times Changes Headline About Banker Photographer

Last week, the New York Times ran a story about foreign exchange trader Citigroup Chris Arnade who spends his free time photographing Bronx prostitutes. The newspaper originally ran the story under the headline, “A Banker Who Unwinds by Photographing Prostitutes.

Based on that headline alone, readers might think the story is about a ”1-percenter” who  spends his free time exploiting women in the bottom ranks of society.

But it turns out the headline didn’t exactly represent what Arnade was doing. After some complaints, the Times changed the article to  ”A Banker Whose Photos Tell the Stories of Bronx.”

Here’s the explanation from City Room Bureau Chief Andy Newman:

 

We have changed the headline to the less flippant “A Banker Whose Photos Tell the Stories of Bronx Prostitutes.” (The original headline was “A Banker Who Unwinds by Photographing Prostitutes” — which, to be fair to the headline writer, is justified in the post where Mr. Arnade says “I’ve always liked artistic pursuits, to help me relax from the stress of the job.”)

Readers seem quite divided as to whether Mr. Arnade’s project, and our piece about it, is noble and empowering or crassly exploitative.

Which headline do you think best represents the story?

Check out Chris Arnade’s Flickr page and follow him on Twitter at @Chris_arnade.

Comments

  1. Chris Arnade says:

    Actually the story first hit the city room online edition the afternoon before with the title “telling the stories of hunts point, one portrait at a time.” and was changed for the print edition to the more salacious title

    As the subject of the article I preferred the very first title that I believe reflects the goal of my project.

  2. I do gotta say that when it goes along with the photo, I don’t see it as an exploitative thing. On it’s own, I’d interpret it in a smutty way, but context goes a long way.

    I assume it does better on twitter with the first headline, for the opposite reason.

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