Tragic images of children captured by photojournalists over time

In most cultures, children are valued as precious gifts of life — treasured icons of hope.

That stands in stark contrast to photographs circulated this week of a small, lifeless refugee child lying face-down on a Turkish beach with his bright red shirt, little blue cargo shorts and Velcro-strapped, sneakers. Almost immediately, the image became a symbol of the plight of refugees fleeing the Syrian crisis. When children are harmed, abused or neglected, the world gasps collectively — sometimes mobilizing to action. Such visceral stories are often best reported in words, sound and pictures. The news media did just that this week and the images struck audiences the deepest. We look back on other moving, iconic photos of children — often the casualties of life’s most bitter conflicts. Read more


As photos flood our screens, which ones hold our attention?

During a week when millions of viewers/readers keenly search internet screen, mobile devices and publication pages for photographic images of a botched Super Bowl XLIX pass, an encaged Jordanian ISIS hostage and a tragic Taiwanese TransAsia Airways flight 235, the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) released some pretty revealing findings of their own.

The question the study looked at is “What makes a photograph worth publishing in an age when images are shared in an instant, around the world?” The study has gone beyond the anecdotal to provide some scientific facts.

John Loengrad, former Life Magazine picture editors insisted that the picture editors see her/his roles as the advocate for the photographer,  “Other editors, with the story’s text in hand, may judge photographs by what they have read. Read more


Photo Sphere, a free and simple tool, gives interactivity and depth to stories

I have tried many programs and apps over the years to capture 360-degree interactive photographs. None has been as easy to use as Google’s Photo Sphere Camera app. Android users have had this at their fingertips for more than a year but the iPhone app is fairly new.

This is PhotoSphere’s instructional video. It really is as easy as it looks.

Photo Sphere tells me to aim my iPhone camera at an orange dot (the dot is blue on Android phones) on the screen. When I get it aligned, the camera snaps, and I do this over and over as I turn in a 360-degree motion. Once I get all the way around, I tilt up to capture the ceiling and down to capture the floor. Read more

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When writing about Ebola, what images should you use?

Lately, I’ve noticed the predominance two kinds of images with stories about Ebola — the virus itself and people in hazmat suits. I’ve used both for stories myself and wondered about the tone and message they’re sending. Unlike what we’ve seen from West Africa, in the U.S. there aren’t a lot of images of the two people with confirmed cases of Ebola. There are, mostly, press conferences, people in hazmat suits and the virus itself. It feels almost sci-fi.

Here are three front pages from Friday that show the Ebola virus super up close, via Newseum:


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On Tuesday, I tweeted this front, from the Times-Journal in Fort Payne, Alabama:

Earlier this month, I wrote about front pages from around the world that showed masked cleanup crews and health care workers. Read more

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Taking an Instagram Photo with an iPhone

Tips for broadcast journalists: When sharing breaking news on social, speed trumps beauty

Today’s multimedia journalists have to do it all on their own – report, write, edit, drive, set up live shots, and post to social media and the Web. Usually, that’s just considered a long list of stuff to do by deadline. But in breaking news coverage, the journalist has some tough choices to make.

The biggest challenge is getting the great video for the story that’s going to air on TV and being the first one to inform news consumers via social media. Here are some strategies to help serve both masters.

Let’s break down these tips into three categories:

  1. What to shoot
  2. Workflow
  3. How to distribute via social media

What to shoot

Shoot the most obvious thing news consumers will recognize right now. After all, we’re talking about breaking news and the situation may change by the time the newscast airs. Read more


Will Steacy photographed The Philadelphia Inquirer’s turmoil for 3 years

Will Steacy was in his New York apartment in 2011 when he got a call from his father in Philadelphia. It was bad news. After almost three decades at The Philadelphia Inquirer, his dad was being laid off.

The call was painful. Steacy, a professional photographer, had spent the last three years chronicling financial hardship at the Inquirer for a project he called Deadline. Starting in 2009, he began capturing images that depicted the Inquirer’s struggle to survive during an era of diminished ad revenue: vacant desks, trash bins piled high with newsprint, an old typewriter being used as a bookend. Steacy took a break from the project for a month. When he came back, the first image he captured was of his dad’s old desk. Read more

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How the Post-Dispatch’s photo staff is covering Ferguson

A demonstrator throws back a tear gas container after tactical officers broke up a group of bystanders on Chambers Road near W. Florissant Avenue on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. Photo by Robert Cohen, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

A demonstrator throws back a tear gas container after tactical officers broke up a group of bystanders on Chambers Road near W. Florissant Avenue on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. Photo by Robert Cohen, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

After three days of very loud and very angry protests, St. Louis Post-Dispatch Director of Photography Lynden Steele followed his staffers’ Twitter feeds, text messages and listened to scanner chatter for perspective.

By 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, as the end of the traditional news cycle drew near, he searched for an appropriate photograph that reflected a day of calm.

The Rev. Al Sharpton visited the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson in response to the police shooting of unarmed Michael Brown. Two peaceful services were held where followers raised their hands in the air and shouted, “Hands up, don’t shoot,” and then walked into the street. Read more

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Police Shooting Missouri

#IfTheyGunnedMeDown challenges the media and how it portrays people of color

Time | The Root

After police shot and killed teenager Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, a hashtag started on Twitter to push back at the narrative many mainstream media organizations often fall into.

“You’d be hard-pressed to find mainstream media showing Brown at his high school graduation or with members of his family,” Yesha Callahan wrote for The Root on Monday. “Ironically, all of those photos exist courtesy of Brown’s Facebook page.” Callahan continued:

As tensions remain high, not only in the town of Ferguson but also on social media, Twitter users created #IfTheyGunnedMeDown to make a statement on how the media draws a biased narrative when it comes to telling the stories of black men and women.

Read more

Tumblr page shows how much news orgs pay photographers

PetaPixel | Who Pays Photographers?

“Who Pays Photographers?” is a Tumblr that takes anonymous submissions about who pays how much to photojournalists.

On Wednesday, Gannon Burgett wrote about the page for PetaPixel.

As photographers, one of the most difficult aspects of using it as a form of income is determining what is and isn’t deemed appropriate compensation for our work.

An almost taboo topic amongst photographers and even more so amongst editorial clients, the talk of pay is one that rarely gets brought to the front-lines. Ultimately, this leaves those looking to get into editorial gigs have a much larger barrier to entry, as less information is known by both parties.

The page credits the Tumblr page “Who Pays Writers” for the inspiration. Submissions include the Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press and Texas A&M’s university newspaper, The Battalion. Read more

Nelson Mandela

The New Yorker still fact-checks more than you do

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 (or so) media stories.

  1. What happened between NBC News and Ayman Mohyeldin? NBC News said Friday it would return the reporter to Gaza. (HuffPost) | The clumsy move was less a conspiracy than a “news division making mistakes through ratings nervousness.” (CNN) | Here’s a Mohyeldin report from this morning. (NBC News)
  2. The new launches: “The Web site already publishes fifteen original stories a day. We are promising more, as well as an even greater responsiveness to what is going on in the world.” (The New Yorker) | The publication assigns one fact-checker to its website: “And not to be defensive, but that’s one more fact-checker than probably anyone else has,” Editor David Remnick says.
Read more
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