Photojournalism

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PoynterVision: War zone photographers a breed apart

Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus’ death in Afghanistan serves as another reminder of the deadly calling that war photography can be. Recently, Afghanistan has become a dangerous assignment “on par with the height of the Iraq war or the current situation in Syria,” said Bob Dietz, Asia program coordinator of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Niedringhaus and her colleague, reporter Kathy Gannon, were shot by an Afghan police officer while they sat in a car that was part of a convoy monitoring the country’s elections. Niedringhaus died; Gannon was badly wounded, but reported Friday in stable condition.

Just last month, on March 11, Swedish journalist Nils Horner was shot at point-blank range while reporting in Kabul. Ten days later, four gunmen fired weapons in a Kabul hotel restaurant and killed Afghan journalist Sardar Ahmad. Read more

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APTOPIX Afghanistan Election

Anja Niedringhaus: Covering war ‘is the essence of journalism’

AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus was killed Friday in Afghanistan. In her 2012 book “At War,” she wrote about her work, and Nieman Reports shared some of her words: “For me, covering conflict and war is the essence of journalism,” Niedringhaus wrote.

My assignment, regardless of the era, is about people—civilians and soldiers. The legacy of any photographer is her or his ability to capture the moment, to record history. For me it is about showing the struggle and survival of the individual.

Conflict is not all that I cover. I like the Olympics and the World Cup. In sports, there is a start and a finish. With war, the story never ends. It keeps me coming back.

Here are some of Niedringhaus’ photos from Afghanistan from the last week. Read more

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Reuters uses activists as photographers in Syria

The New York Times

Reuters employs rebel activists and “in one case a spokesman” as photographers in Syria, James Estrin and Karam Shoumali write. In interviews with photographers there, they say there are more issues with the wire service’s practices:

Three [photographers] also said that the freelancers had provided Reuters with images that were staged or improperly credited, sometimes under pseudonyms. And while Reuters has given the local stringers protective vests and helmets, most said that the stringers lacked training in personal safety and first aid.

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Custom camera-mounted device lets Toronto Star photographers file direct to live blog

The Canadian Journalism Project

It’s hard to file photos from Toronto’s Air Canada Centre, Toronto Star visuals editor Taras Slawnych tells Mark Taylor: “There are lights around the arena and every time these neon lights and billboard signs go on it creates a lot of interference. Traditional ways of submitting with a WiFi card or some other way just didn’t work.”

So the Star built its own device, called AWAC — for “Automated Web Access Coupling.” It sits “on the hot shoe mount,” Slawnych says, and “basically provides the Internet connection, the routing of it, and then sends the picture to an FTP site. There’s a (HTML) script here that handles it and then there’s another script that sends it to a ScribbleLive blog and the (Toronto Star) archive at the same time.”

Slawnych says he’s not sure whether the Star will patent the device — other reporters “are trying to figure out what the hell we’re doing,” he says — but did allow that it was 3-D printed and that the Star has spent about $2,500 developing it. Read more

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White House photographers protest lack of access to Obama meeting with Dalai Lama

The White House News Photographers Association

White House photographers issued a statement Friday protesting the release of an official photograph showing President Obama’s meeting with the Dalai Lama. The handout photo was produced despite requests by news organizations to have the “closed press” event opened to photojournalists.

The group urged news organizations not to publish or circulate the official photo, which it called “a visual press release of a news worthy event.”

In a statement on its website, WHNPA added:

A government photographer is no substitute for an independent, experienced photojournalist. We are disappointed the White House has reverted to their old strategy of announcing a closed press event and then later releasing their own photo.

News organizations and the White House have been at odds over the Obama administration’s practice of locking out photojournalists from official events and distributing its own pictures. Read more

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USA vs. CHN Curling

Sochi photo coverage takes ‘patience, planning, logistics’

Harry Walker, photo director at McClatchy-Tribune Information Services, has a unique vantage point overseeing MCT’s visual coverage of the Olympic Games.

Raised in Savannah, Ga., Walker graduated from Morehouse College in 1980. He started his photojournalism career at The Columbus Dispatch, where he worked from 1988 until 1992. Before joining MCT, he worked as features and weekend photo editor at the Kansas City Star. He has served numerous organizations, with stints as a member of the National Association of Black Journalists’ Visual Task Force and as chairperson of the National Press Photographers Association’s Best of Photojournalism contest.

What follows is an edited version of our conversation about MCT’s ongoing Olympics photo coverage:

Me: So, Harry, you are nine hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. How is that an advantage or disadvantage for your MCT photographic reports? Read more

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U.K. newspapers decide photographers aren’t necessary

HoldTheFrontPage | The Guardian

Johnston Press’ newspapers in England’s Midlands region will no longer have photographers, Helen Lambourne reports. A source tells Lambourne “the papers would instead rely on freelance photographers, along with increasing use of submitted pictures from readers and reporters taking photos on their phones.”

In The Guardian, Roy Greenslade says concerns about quality probably won’t be relevant “at local weekly newspaper level.”

No event occurs – fires, fetes, road accidents, cats up trees, whatever – without someone being on hand to snap a picture. In the real sense of the word, newspaper photographers are therefore redundant.

Photographers “must surely recognise that their fate is due to a combination of the digital revolution and newspaper economics,” Greenslade writes. “It does make sense.”

Johnston Press owns newspapers throughout the U.K. Read more

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MLK_shepherd

Martin Luther King Jr. under shepherd’s watch: debunking urban legend

St. Petersburg Times photographer Bob Moreland took this photo in June 1964 after Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested during a St. Augustine, Fla., sit-in and was being transported to Duval County jail. The caption read: “Dr. King Sits in Patrol Car with Police Dog.”

As the country marks the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s day of celebration, I recall one photograph I have most often heard described as “eerie.”

It is one of those iconic images that, in almost every instance I have heard it described, the explanation provided is almost always wrong.

Most recently, during the MLK Heritage Lecture series at Poynter, two attendees asked me what I knew about the photograph. That conversation reminded me of a very similar one I had this summer with actor Forest Steven Whitaker at the National Association of Black Journalists Convention in Orlando, during the Visual Task Force Scholarship Auction. Read more

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obama & pete souza

PoynterVision: White House photo practices break promise of open government

Kenny Irby, senior faculty at Poynter, advises the public to critically analyze photos from the White House Press Office, particularly as it routinely denies photojournalists access to the president.

Founder of Poynter’s photojournalism program, Irby says he doesn’t believe the Obama administration is living up to its promise of “open government.”

Irby argues White House chief photographer Pete Souza‘s role is more that of a “propagandist” than a photojournalist since his job is to make the president “look good, make the president look presidential.”

In the past week, several news organizations, including the McClatchy newspapers, USA Today and the AP have said they will not use handout photos originating from the White House Press Office, except in rare circumstances.


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American photographer injured by shrapnel, other journalists hurt in Kiev protests

KyivPost

Olga Rudenko reports that at least 40 journalists were injured during protests in Ukraine Sunday. Joseph Sywenkyj, an American photographer who works in Ukraine, was among them, a spokesperson for The New York Times confirms in an email to Poynter. Sywenkyj shoots for the Times among other outlets.

Sywenkyj “was injured with shrapnel,” Danielle Rhoades Ha writes. “He received medical treatment and is out of the hospital.” Read more

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