Everybody gets to participate in gathering the news

Saturday, August 4, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 2:21 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Tom Warhover is the Columbia Missourian's executive editor for innovation.

Dear Reader:

It’s not every day that you get a headline like “helicopter crashes” in our fair town. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure the last time I saw one of those birds flitting above the tree line. But crash we had on Tuesday.

Chip Zike says he was one of the first people at the scene. He watched as the site filled with police, rescue and aviation officials and with members of the media.

Chip’s none of those things. He runs a photo studio, Zike Photography, and makes his living shooting weddings and such. But it was his photo that ran online with the Missourian story Tuesday. There was no photo with the print edition.

Chip’s photos didn’t feature great composition. The photo that ran online didn’t capture some human emotion or interaction. It was a “mug shot” of a dead helicopter. There are a dozen ways to say no to running the photo.

But how many times do you see a helicopter in a field in our town? I haven’t been here (or alive) long enough to say never. But I’m guessing the number of copter crashes is hovering somewhere around the zero mark. Until Tuesday.

In the list of news judgments

J-school students carry in their textbooks, uniqueness is right up there with immediacy and proximity. Chip’s photo carried information. It should have run in both Missourian versions.

When I was a young city editor in Virginia, a tornado came through town. A few days later, the executive editor was livid even though we had provided pages of coverage. He had discovered that a resident in the area had dropped off film — remember film? — showing the actual tornado. The pictures weren’t developed the first day, and, when they were, editors said they were too grainy to be of use. The exec ordered the picture to be run, even though the immediacy of the past was long past.

Today, people have a much greater ability to interact with the media. Professionals, witnesses and even a security camera have recorded the horrible events in Minnesota when the bridge collapsed. If the media don’t listen, why, there are plenty of outlets for citizens to take control.

Chip wasn’t planning on shooting a downed helicopter. He says he was driving down the Interstate 70 outer road when he saw a bunch of police cars flying the other way. So he turned around.

“Sometimes I get a feel for it and just get up and go,” Chip says. It’s not the first crash scene he’s photographed. “My wife says I have a sixth sense. I dunno.”

I do. It’s called news. And you don’t have to have a degree from a journalism school to find it.

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Elizabeth Parton August 11, 2008 | 2:10 p.m.

I understand this is an old print, but I hope if there are people doing a search on Chip Zike with Zike Photography this will ward them off from future business with him. This man contracted me to shoot a wedding he had himself doublebooked for on May 31, 2008 at the A.P. Green Chapel in Columbia for Trevor and Sarah. I shot the entire wedding and reception, I handed Chip Zike the memory card with all the pictures on it at the end of the night in exchange for a check from him for $750.00, when I deposited the check several days later the check he wrote was on a closed account! After several attempts to reclaim my money he won't answer or return phone calls or has yet to reimburse me the money he owes me plus the fees I was charged for the bad check going through my account.

This man is a fraud, and if you search him on you will see there as well there are others who have been taken advantage of by him as well.

(Report Comment)
Chip Zike August 31, 2008 | 5:41 p.m.

This is Chip Zike. let me point out some things Mrs.Parton is not bringing up. Prior to all this I had paid for a Bear Hunting trip for her husband and father that I can provide proof of and never got paid for. I have emails from her stating her husband was sending payment but never recieved it. This was around the time they went to Arizona and the reason I know that is because when i sent her the trip details she emailed back again which i have stating when they returned from Arizona he would sent it, but like I said they never recieved it. I also Shot alot of the wedding myself and there were alot of people there that seen that.

(Report Comment)
Elizabeth Parton September 15, 2008 | 12:11 p.m.

Let me rebuttal the arguement from Chip Zike...the so called Bear Hunt was agreed to be paid when actual documentation was provided. Prior to the booking of the Bear Hunt there were several attempts to attend a bird hunt in which Kenny Parton was advised "Yeah call me and meet with me" after several attempts Kenny Parton gave up. Chip would never answer the call in regards to the bird hunts. The bear hunt would been gladly paid for and taken had documentation from the bear guide service been provided as requested via phone conversation to Chip Zike. However would you attempt to send someone $300 for something you have no proof of? And as for proof, all he provided was a scanned copy of a written check.....anybody can write a check, scan it and send it....and never mail it. Kenny Parton has been on several hunts previously with other guides/outfitters and prior to submission of payment he receives paperwork for filing for the tags and for the guests that are going to be staying. No such paperwork was ever received.

As for the wedding, He took a total of 37 pictures. By his choice, not mine. I was under the impression I was hired to shoot the wedding because he was shooting another one, yet he kept coming back.

If this was his way to rebuttal for the bear hunt that is unjustifiable and up to the date of the bear hunt the trip still would have been paid for and taken had documentation been provided. But Kenny Parton and his father from Arizona did not want to be out plane fare, fuel, and their time for making a bogus drive to the "bear hunt."

It is a matter of morals. The bear hunt was always brushed aside in conversation...he would never contact Kenny Parton for verification they were goin. And after reading a few other articles on the internet about Chip Zike and his faulty guide service things all came together. There was not a bear hunt.

Point of all this, Chip Zike is a fraud, it isn't just myself who makes this claim. If more than one person makes claims such as this and the people are unassociated with one can they all be wrong!?!?!

(Report Comment)
Elizabeth Parton September 15, 2008 | 12:14 p.m.

One last thought, if I felt I were in the wrong and had wronged Chip Zike for the alledged bear hunt why would I choose to point out his fraudulant acts of business? I am an honest and moral person and simply do not want others to get scammed since Chip Zike refuses to pay me the $750 he owes me. If he really feels I owe him for the alledged Bear hunt then I should be provided document from the outfitter stating reservations were held for Kenny Parton and his father and be funded the difference. I am that fair. If in fact paperwork can be provided.

(Report Comment)
Amber Hanneken September 15, 2008 | 12:41 p.m.

What does any of this have to do with a helicopter crash story from over a year ago?
I think you two need to resolve this face-to-face.

(Report Comment)
Lea Welter September 16, 2008 | 2:49 p.m.

I would like to comment on this all. I think the point Elizabeth is trying to get out there and i personally understand why is that he is not honest in his business that he does. I learned this first hand. I understand her frustration of being owed money by Mr. Zike and him not making good of it. He owes me money from my wedding that he did not show up to and then said he sub contracted out. Nether showed to my wedding. I was paid in full and had done no wrong to Mr. Zike or anyone with his company. He has promised on numerous occasions to repay me and still has not done done so in the last 3 months. It is frustrating. I personally want to get it out there to people that he may not be being honest with you either. Trust me I have talked to several brides and brides to be that have or were going to do business with Zike and they were less than satisfied. It is VERY frustrating. Your wedding day is the most important day of a girls life and to have someone promise to be there and NEVER show or call for 2 weeks to tell you why is very unnerving. Wedding photos are priceless and let me tell you, it burns me up everyday knowing this happened and it could happen to others. And believe me if Elizabeth feels like i do, she would love to meet him face to face. The problem is, he wont show or call you back.

(Report Comment)
Elizabeth Parton September 19, 2008 | 12:54 p.m.

Wow! True words spoke by honest people! YES INDeed Chip Zike does NOT return phone calls or show up face to face. Hard to settle something with a person like him.

(Report Comment)
Hunter of ducks November 4, 2008 | 12:39 a.m.
This comment has been removed.
Luke Mueller December 9, 2008 | 9:49 a.m.
This comment has been removed.
Screwed Over Hunter December 9, 2008 | 10:03 a.m.
This comment has been removed.
Elizabeth Parton September 2, 2009 | 4:59 p.m.

At last!!! Apparently Channel 17 news in Coumbia is running a story on this scam artist whom is out on probation for 2 years at this time, however he is still scamming people!!! I hope someone else is spared from his horrible ways and he is brought behind bars!!!!

(Report Comment)
Miss Nobody September 3, 2009 | 12:58 p.m.

Check out all the most recent talk about Mr. Jack *aka* CHIP ZIKE at the following web site

I invite anyone that has had any problems with this low life to JOIN in on the ONGOING conversation.

It's good to see society finally trying to put this MANIPULATOR behind prison bars!!!

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 3, 2009 | 1:32 p.m.

Miss Nobody:
If you are going to try to misuse this board to punish a wedding photographer, who you have problems with, at least make certain that your posted topix-site does in fact work properly.
Out of curiosity I will seek out the "17 News" story on-line.
Have a nice day, and say cheese when you look at the birdy.

(Report Comment)
Miss Nobody September 4, 2009 | 9:08 a.m.

If the Topix link doesn't work then try this one, or simply Google Chip Zike Topix. It is very entertaining reading material.

Punish a wedding photographer?!?!? HUH? Nah, not my style. I just want to see Chip Zike get his dues.

(Report Comment)
Miss Nobody September 15, 2009 | 10:24 p.m.

ABC 17 will be airing the "most horrific scammer" story that Chip Zike is responsible for on Wednesday, 09-16-09 at 9pm. I hope you are able to tune in Ray Shapiro. Along with thousands of other viewers. If you have watched the news at all you will have seen the promo running.

Chip the walls are closing whatcha gonna do??

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 15, 2009 | 11:46 p.m.

Miss Nobody, (who I suspect is really a Miss Somebody), you have piqued my interest.
I look forward to catching that ABC 17 broadcast tomorrow night.

(Report Comment)

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