Visual journalism


Photojournalism ethics needs a reexamination

The latest in the world of photojournalism contest ethics and photo sleuthing took another turn yesterday with World Press Photos’ rescinding a first-place award after disqualifying 22 percent of the entries that had made the penultimate round.

Amid controversy, World Press Photo announced yesterday that based on its investigation, it is withdrawing the controversial “Dark Heart of Europe” award presented to Giovanni Troilo. Troilo, an Italian independent photographer, had received the award for his 10-photograph series depicting the gritty Charleroi city of Belgium in this year’s WPP Contemporary Issues Story category.

The 58th Annual World Press Photo competition’s organizers previously disclosed that 22 percent of the finalists were disqualified due to excessive post processing, or digital manipulation.

“It seems some photographers can’t resist the temptation to aesthetically enhance their images during post-processing either by removing small details to ‘clean up’ an image, or sometimes by excessive toning that constitutes a material change to the image. Read more

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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


Tips for Storytellers: Creating an online portfolio

The key to getting a great job or internship is showing what you can do. An online portfolio is the new norm for a crucial first impression. Here are a few ideas, part of a series of graphics with tips for storytellers. Next Friday: How to sharpen your personal brand with social media.

Poynter Quinn-fo-graphics: Tips for online portfolios

For a PDF: Poynter Quinn-fo-graphics: Tips for creating an online portfolio

Related: How to make photos better | How to polish your writing | How to make the most of your tweets | How to get your video right Read more


With ‘Shark and Minnow,’ New York Times tried to keep readers scrolling

Scroll down the page on “A Game of Shark and Minnow,” Jeff Himmelman’s New York Times Magazine story about a disputed region in the South China Sea, and you may notice something the story doesn’t ask you to do: Stop.

That was the whole idea, Times Associate Managing Editor Steven Duenes, who directs the Times’ graphics, says in a phone call with Poynter. The crew that worked the most on the presentation — Mike Bostock, Shan Carter, Xaquín G.V. and Nancy Donaldson — were trying to marry Himmelman’s story and Ashley Gilbertson’s photographs and videos in a way that felt “more like what the normal experience of the Web is: The users’ ability to scroll through a a series of images, to have the images do the explanatory work.”

You’re not stopping for three minutes to watch a video, Duenes said. Read more

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Why rainbow colors aren’t the best option for data visualizations

Data visualizations are beautiful, exciting ways to tell stories. But you have to choose carefully in designing a map or chart, and one of the biggest mistakes is misusing rainbow colors.

Rainbow color schemes — also called spectral color schemes — are frequent choices for visualizing data, both because they look bold and exciting and because they’re the default for many visualization software tools. But they usually do more harm than good. Detecting the colors at all is a problem for more readers than you might guess, and the rest of the audience will find it easier to understand the visualization if it’s presented with a different palette.

Rainbow color schemes are “almost always the wrong choice,” Anthony C. Robinson, geography professor at Pennsylvia State University, wrote in an online class on Coursera, which taught students how to use geospatial technologies to map data. Read more

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Twitter research shows how multimedia increases engagement

To update an old saying for the Twitter era: A picture is worth a thousand characters.

Research by Twitter shows that tweets that include a photo or video receive 3 to 4 times more engagement (retweets, replies, etc.) than those that don’t. Read more


Use of generic photos can be dangerous for illustrating news stories

Maybe you have a Web CMS that requires an image to be associated with some stories. Maybe you just need some kind of image, any image, to color an otherwise gray slate of text.

Whatever the reason, many news websites make use of generic images — either purchased stock images or reused file photos — to illustrate articles.

Sometimes it’s pretty obvious that such an image is a posed stock photo. That picture of a cat lounging in fancy clothes with a gold chain, hundred-dollar bills and caviar is probably not going to be mistaken for a documentary news photo.

But others, like a gun or crime-scene tape, can be ambiguous when placed in a related news story.

That’s a problem ABC 17 in Columbia, Mo., has had for the last few years. Read more

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In matchup between NY, New England, no clear winner for Super Bowl front pages

Monday morning quarterbacks will have little to debate about the New York Giants’ victory over the New England Patriots in Sunday’s Super Bowl. (And for those who don’t care, here are all of the Super Bowl XLVI commercials, in order of appearance.) The front pages in New York and New England are less exciting than the game, but a few capture its spirit. Some pages have been cropped, and all pages appear courtesy of the Newseum. || Related: How Super Bowl looked on Twitter || Previously: How Indy Star plans to enhance Super Bowl coverage with visuals

This photo of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady appeared on multiple front pages.
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Architecture student creates jigsaw puzzle to illustrate Chicago’s confusing ward lines | Irresponsible Architecture

Architecture student Andrew Bayley came up with an illustration of Chicago’s confusing political districts that any graphic artist or political journalist would be proud of: a jigsaw puzzle, with one piece for each of the city’s 50 wards.

Chicago’s wards, literally pieces of a puzzle. (Image used with permission.)

“Just because I have chosen to focus on this pursuit professionally,” he wrote, “does not mean I pay no attention to other things that affect us urban dwellers.” Read more


Pennsylvania’s front pages pay tribute to Joe Paterno

Front pages in Pennsylvania featured Joe Paterno on Monday, with dominant photos and tributes to the former Penn State coach who died over the weekend. Several of the papers played on the Nittany Lions team name, with headlines such as “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” “Lion at Rest,” and “When Lions Weep.” Others simply said, “Farewell, Coach.The full collection is available at the Newseum. A selection appears below. || | Previously: False Paterno death reports highlight journalists’ hunger for glory | How false reports of Joe Paterno’s death were spread and debunked (Poynter)

The Daily News used an archival photo of Paterno from his early coaching days. (Front page appears courtesy of the Newseum)
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