Glance through the winners list of this year’s prestigious Photography of the Year International awards, and one newspaper may jump out at you: the Dubois County Herald. The small town newspaper doesn’t even have its own Wikipedia article, but its photography has it placed next to big names like the The New York Times, and Los Angeles Times. Wired has a great article on how The Herald has succeeded by focusing on photojournalism rather than neglecting it, as many papers have done:
Shirking expectations of both its size and location, the paper has produced some of the country’s best documentary photography and most thoughtful presentations since the late ’70s.
[...] The paper, a tabloid instead of a broadsheet, has created a following mostly because of its now-famous Saturday photo stories, which combine thoughtful reporting and powerful photography. They’re run ad-free and take up the entire front page plus five additional pages inside, sometimes more.
[...] Because the new Saturday cover features were driven by photography, it was often the photographers who were out finding the stories instead of the other way around. This earned them a newfound respect that has since trickled down.
Today, photographers not only have a real voice in the Saturday features but also in the entire news cycle, bucking a trend of second-class citizenship that still plagues other photojournalists across the country.
Despite the financial downturn in the journalism industry, the paper has had no layoffs and has given its staff a raise every year.