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Photojournalism

Introducing Columbia Visuals, A Viz Journalist’s New Best Friend

columbiaIf a picture is worth a thousand words, then a blog covering all aspects of photography is pretty much priceless.

At least that’s what the Digital Media department at Columbia Journalism School is aiming for with its new project, Columbia Visuals. This new blog is meant to give advice for all visual journalists an online home. Basically anything that affects your career as a photographer or videographer — everything from copyright information and inspiration for great storytelling to practical tips on how to cover high-stress events like protests, for example — is fair game for Columbia Visuals.

Yesterday I spoke with Abbey Adkison, the Digital Media Coordinator at the NYC-based, storied journalism school (where she is also an assistant adjunct professor) about the blog, which just had its official launch Sept. 16.

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How the Chicago Sun-Times Photographer Layoff Created Two Unique Blogs

rahm front pageThe Chicago Sun-Times has been without its 28 full-time photographers for roughly four months now, after announcing a shift toward more video content and an all-freelance photography department.

The day after the layoffs were made public, former Sun-Times columnist and current Time Out Chicago media columnist Robert Feder broadcasted on Facebook that the struggling paper planned to train its reporters on “iPhone photography basics” to avoid any lack of visual content. There were protests. Some readers threatened to cancel their subscriptions.

So the question is… how are things in the photography department at the paper these days? Well, over the last couple of months, two photojournalists started blogs to chronicle life after the layoffs.

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Bring Your Multimedia Savvy to Wired.com

Wired.comAccording to its website, “Wired is the first word on how ideas and innovation are changing the world.”

With 17 million unique monthly visitors, Wired.com is the go-to source on everything tech-related. Across the site’s channels, readers might find a piece on autonomous cars in “Gear,” a space photo of the day in “Science,” the latest gaming news in “Entertainment” or a how-to on building cell phone jammers in “Design.” Wired.com also publishes opinion columns and original video programs, like “The Window: How the Wired World Works.”

Have a great multimedia idea in mind? Editors welcome pitches as long as the content is unique and relevant to the site’s tech culture theme.

For more info, read How To Pitch: Wired.com.

Sherry Yuan

ag_logo_medium.gifThe full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Enhanced News: When Does Photo Editing Go Too Far?

A week ago, the World Press Photo of the year award went to a digitally enhanced photo taken by Paul Hansen. It’s a really compelling photo, one that SpeigelOnline writers Matthias Krug and Stefan Niggemeier write “conveys a beauty that seems almost innappropriate.”

The fact, though, is that every digital photographer enhances their pictures. Even just adjusting the colors to make it pop on screen is changing the story, altering reality. Of course, in a newsroom, any blatant manipulation of a picture — even one of the protagonisst of Krug and Niggenmeier’s article, Claudio Palmisano of 10b Photography in Rome, notes that they never ‘alter pixels’ — is a violation of journalistic ethics akin to making up quotes or sources. 

But in a digital landscape, where catchy headlines and niche journalism seem to be key components of profitability, it’s hard to distinguish between what’s bias and what’s best practice. 

Is adding a dramatic light just an attention grabber or an opinion? I’m not so sure. The nature of storytelling through words or images is such that just by picking a subject, it becomes interesting or ‘newsworthy.’ The only underlined sentence in my undergrad copy of Susan Sontag’s On Photography is this:  Read more

Pitch Your Multimedia Ideas to SI.com

Sports savvy freelancers who have a knack for multimedia are welcome to pitch their ideas to SI.com, where all sections are open to freelance pitches. Photos, videos and podcasts are all game, and can be pitched separately from the rest of a story.

Executive editor B.J. Schecter advises freelancers to pitch specific angles that “go beyond the action on the field” or explore new or untapped issues. Still, if a writer comes to SI.com with a scoop on a player in a major sport that the site has yet to uncover, Schecter will listen. “Anything that’s a really good story,” he said of the perfect pitch. “If it’s a mainstream thing we haven’t touched on or you have special access. I’m always looking for a good story.”

Get all the details in How To Pitch: SI.com. [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

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