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Ask The Post
Posted at 03:15 PM ET, 09/22/2011

Q&A: Subscriptions, sports photography and other reader questions

We’ve been getting great questions from our readers this week, both in the comments of this blog and on Twitter, using the hash tag #askthepost. Managing Editor Raju Narisetti has answered many in the comments section. And we’ve also reached out to editors in the newsroom to get responses to some of your questions.

We’ve included responses to several of this week’s questions below (note that questions may be edited). You can browse the full questions and answers (and submit your own) by clicking here or by using the hash tag #askthepost on Twitter.

Q: Why can subscribers pay their bill but not cancel their subscription online? — @ee1ah on Twitter

A: We asked Rich Handloff, the Director of Consumer Marketing at the Post and here is what he had to say:

We have found that many customers who want to cancel are unaware that you can change the frequency of delivery (7 days to Sunday only) or temporarily stop (for customers who may be going out of town for a few weeks or months.) By speaking directly with a customer, we can ensure the change or cancellation is exactly what they intended. We also like to get customers’ feedback on why they want to cancel so that we can learn how to best serve readers in the future.

Q: When I look at the Washington Post sports photos on the Sports home page and see photos of the Redskins, Nationals, and DC United, it appears to me the background in the images is altered by making it more and unnaturally blurry to bring out the foreground subject. I don’t think this is a big deal from a photo-alteration view, but I am just curious if this is done or if the photos indeed appear as they are taken. — @Bitter_Bill

A: from Michel du Cille, Director of Photography

I am amused by this question. A lot of people assume that we in newspapers alter images but we DO NOT. We have a very strict policy on altered images. The effect described as, “the background in the images is altered by making it more and unnaturally blurry to bring out the foreground subject....” There is a very simple answer; we choose to use a telephoto lens which naturally makes the background out of focus or blurred. Our photographers are equipped with Nikon telephoto lens that range from 200 MM (millimeters) to 600 MM.

Two things combine to create an out of focus background:A shallow Depth of Field and the extended Focal Length of the telephoto lens. These two elements are purposely used by sports photographers to “bring out” or highlight the main subject matter — the action.

If you would like to know more about Sports Photography consider taking our Master Class in photography: Great Digital Photography: Learn from the Pros, written by Michel du Cille and Bonnie Jo Mount.

Q: How does concern over media driving the narrative factor into editorial decisions, especially for stories on politics and campaigns? — @bgittleston on Twitter

A: from Managing Editor Raju Narisetti

We try to not be the story and are keenly aware that what we write, where we run it and how we headline it has an impact. A lot of editors spend a lot of time making sure we are getting these kinds of issues right.

Q: Was the reason for last week’s Groupon/Living Social editorial because the majority of the board lives in PG county? — @JonROtto on Twitter

A: from Managing Editor Raju Narisetti

PG County is a large part of our local circulation area with lots of Post readers living there.

By Washington Post editors  |  03:15 PM ET, 09/22/2011

Tags:  Q&A

 
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