When veteran newspaper artist and designer Charles Apple worked at the (Raleigh) News & Observer in the 1990’s, he and his colleagues had an ongoing discussion about how they viewed their own jobs.
As they drew up the artwork, maps and infographics that adorned each day’s paper, they’d talk about whether their work constituted “journalism” and whether they thought of themselves as “journalists.”
For Apple, who never hesitated to grab a sketch pad and head out to a crime scene or natural disaster, the answer was obvious. He considered himself every bit a journalist — just as the paper’s reporters and photographers did. But some of his fellow designers saw themselves differently.
“Their point was that they’re not really journalists; they’re just illustrators,” Apple told me from southern California, where he’s now at the Orange County Register.… Read more