Posts Tagged ‘journalism’

Fred Ritchin’s Thoughts on the Future of Photography… and the World

Here’s a slightly-oldie but a very-goodie: New York University photography professor Fred Ritchin gave this keynote address last year at the “What’s Next?” event put on by Foam. He shares his thoughts on the past, present, and future of digital photography and how it impacts the world around us.
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The New York Times on Why It Published New Impending Death Photo

The New York Post sparked a firestorm of controversy last week after publishing a photo of a man about to be struck by a subway train. People around the world were outraged that a photographer decided to photograph what had occurred, that he had sold (or, in the photographer’s words, licensed) the photo to a newspaper, and that the paper decided to publish it with a sensationalist front page story.

The New York Times found an eerily similar story on its hands this week, but its handling of the situation — and the subsequent public reaction to the article — has been drastically different.
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Citizen Journalism Photo Agency Demotix Snatched Up by Corbis

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.
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Instagram Photograph of Hurricane Sandy Selected for Cover of Time Magazine

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.

Why Time Magazine Used Instagram To Cover Hurricane Sandy [Forbes]


P.S. It seems that by “Instagram photo”, Forbes and Time are referring to the fact that they were shared through, not captured with, Instagram.

Scoopshot Wants to Turn Mobile Photogs into Citizen Journalists

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.
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How Four Journalism Students Snagged the First Photos of the Unabomber

Vince Devlin over at the University of Montana has the fascinating story of how four UM photojournalism students snagged the first photos of Ted Kaczynski (AKA the “Unabomber”) back in 1996, beating other media organizations and making the cover of Newsweek:

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.

The Unabomber Boys: 10 years ago, UM students captured first photos of reclusive terrorist [UM]

Small Town Newspaper Succeeding by Prioritizing Photojournalism

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.

Small Paper Prioritizes Photography, Wins Awards (via APhotoEditor)

Fearless French Photojournalist Reveals the Horror in Homs

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.

(via NYTimes)

Every World Press Photo Contest Winner from 1955 Through 2011

Buzzfeed has published a gallery showing every winning photo from the World Press Photo contest from 1955 to the present. It’s a powerful set of photos that paints a pretty grim picture of humanity.

Every World Press Photo Winner From 1955-2011 (via kottke.org)

Stephen Colbert’s Take on CNN Layoffs and Citizen Journalism

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”.


Thanks for the tip, Eduardo!