Corbis, one of the largest photo agencies in the world, has agreed to acquire Demotix, a crowd-sourced citizen journalism photo agency that was founded in 2008. Corbis had already picked up a piece of the young agency through an investment last year, but now it has decided to purchase the whole company outright. The acquisition price was not disclosed. Read more…
Yesterday we shared a piece by photographer Kenneth Jarecke on why Instagram isn’t fit for photojournalism. Now, from the other side of the aisle, Jeff Bercovici of Forbes writes that Time had great success after hiring five Instagrammers to document Hurricane Sandy:
The resulting collection on Lightbox, Time’s photography blog, was “one of the most popular galleries we’ve ever done,” says [Time DP Kira] Pollack, and it was responsible for 13% of all the site’s traffic during a week when Time.com had its fourth-biggest day ever. Time’s Instagram account attracted 12,000 new followers during a 48-hour period.
One of Benjamin Lowy’s photos even ended up getting selected for the cover, although it’s one of three covers Time is running this week [...] While the level of resolution isn’t perhaps what might be achieved with a camera, says Pollack, “It reproduced beautifully. There’s almost a painterly quality to it.”
Pollack tells FolioMag that the decision to use Instagram was based on distribution speed rather than aesthetics.
A couple months ago we shared an app called Foap, which allows people who take pictures with their phone to put the images up for sale for $10 a pop. If Foap is the bane of microstock photographers, then Scoopshot is the bane of photojournalists.
It’s an app that helps phone photographers easily sell their images to news organizations. After all, when a local story happens, it’s often random passersby that are on the scene first with phones out and camera apps loaded. Read more…
He pulled up to the little media circus and found his three colleagues. No one was sure what was happening. Cars had come and gone all day, the others told Rec. No one knew if Kaczynski was there, or had been taken someplace else.
As they spoke, a white Ford Bronco came out of the trees and passed by.
The windows were tinted and you couldn’t see inside. Two local high school students who were hanging around shouted, “That’s him!” and jumped in their car.
None of the other photographers and journalists at the site took the bait. The four UM students huddled. Ely thought he could make out the silhouette of a man “with hair sticking up all over the place” in the back seat. They decided to break with the pack and follow.
Newsweek ended up purchasing 1-week exclusive rights to their highly sought-after photos for $26,000, and the images have made over $40,000 through the years.
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.
A French photographer who goes by the pseudonym Mani was recently in Homs, Syria documenting the urban warfare between government forces and rebel fighters. The video above, broadcast by Channel 4 News in Britain, shows the amazing footage Mani was able to capture by fearlessly putting himself in the midst of skirmishes.
While the world has become used to grainy shaky and gruesome footage and images from Homs fed through whatever Internet connection is available, Mani’s crystal clear and incredible footage gives perhaps the clearest and most frightening account of what Homs has been like for the past three weeks.
CNN created quite a stir yesterday after laying off a dozen photojournalists due to the rise of citizen journalism and the availability of cameras. Here’s a humorous response to the story by Stephen Colbert, who gives us a glimpse into the “uncompensated future of news”.
Roughly 50 staffers at CNN were given pink slips today, including nearly a dozen photojournalists. In an email to the staff, Senior VP Jack Womack cited the accessibility of cameras and the growth of citizen journalism as reasons for the terminations:
We also spent a great deal of time analyzing how we utilize and deploy photojournalists across all of our locations in the U.S. [...] We looked at the impact of user-generated content and social media, CNN iReporters and of course our affiliate contributions in breaking news. Consumer and pro-sumer technologies are simpler and more accessible. Small cameras are now high broadcast quality. More of this technology is in the hands of more people. After completing this analysis, CNN determined that some photojournalists will be departing the company.
CNN’s citizen journalism initiative, iReport, has proved extremely valuable as a source of imagery during things like disasters and protests. However, it has also received criticism for not paying for submitted photos — even those that are subsequently broadcast worldwide.
Here’s a fascinating video in which Italian photographer Ruben Salvadori demonstrates how dishonest many conflict photographs are. Salvadori spent a significant amount of time in East Jerusalem, studying the role photojournalists play in what the world sees. By turning his camera on the photographers themselves, he shows how photojournalists often influence the events they’re supposed to document objectively, and how photographers are often pushed to seek and create drama even in situations that lack it.
You might start looking at conflict photos in the news a lot differently after watching this.