Category Journalism

POSTPONED: Daniel Berehulak to Receive the McGill Medal for Journalistic Courage

NOTE: This has been postponed, once we have updated info I’ll post it here.

Happy to announce that photojournalist Daniel Berehulak will receive the University of Georgia’s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication’s McGill Medal for Journalistic Courage at a ceremony here in Athens on Monday, April 10.

Come join us if you can, reception to follow the presentation.

Looking Back, Look Ahead

This was posted last year, but it seems like a good time to review the story behind John Filo’s Pulitzer Prize winning photo of the deaths at Kent State in 1970. This is one of the most comprehensive looks at his actions and reactions, worth the time here.

It’s alarming to read some of this now, that Filo and others were afraid that people would deny the killings of students by National Guard soldiers had happened, that it would be, to use a modern phrase, sold as fake news.

Filo continued to photograph other people’s reactions to the body, angering some students. They yelled: “Why are you doing this?” and “What kind of pig are you, taking pictures of this?” Filo says he yelled back: “No one is going to believe this happened!”

The note he received after winning the Pulitzer Prize is an testament to the role of journalism, that story telling is not a singular goal but a lifetime effort. That note, from fellow Pulitzer Prize winner Eddie Adams, said simply, “Dear John, You have my deepest congratulations. Hold your head up high. Now, let’s see what you can do tomorrow.”

(Thanks to Katy Culver at the University of Wisconsin for the lead.)

The Lost Rolls

In my home office, there are filing cabinets and boxes full of processed film. Tens of thousands of frames, made over a span of 20 years, waiting to be seen again. But that pales in comparison to the volume of images stored on hard drives, to those stored in the cloud and burned to DVDs and CDs over the last decade and a half.

Rattling around in the back of my mind is the same question every photojournalist asks themselves – will anyone ever see this work again?

But my situation is different from what Ron Haviv found himself in – with a couple hundred rolls of film that he had never even gotten around to processing, shot around the world. Now, he’s turned those images into The Lost Rolls book.

Photojournalist Ron Haviv in “The Lost Rolls” – NOWNESS from NOWNESS on Vimeo.

I can’t order this … I have too many books and too many pictures to look through … damn it.

Kandahar Journals Showing in Athens

As part of our McGill Symposium on Wednesday, October 5, we will be showing Louie Palu’s documentary on his time in Afghanistan here at the University of Georgia’s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Kandahar Journals looks at his time covering the war and its effects on his psychological transformation.

Doors will open at 7:30 and we will start at 8 a.m. in Studio 100 of the Grady College building. Free parking is available in the N09 and N08 lots at the corner of Hooper Street and East Campus Drive. To enter the building, use the entrance next to the exterior stairs on the Sanford Drive side of the building.

No admission charge and Mr. Palu will do a Q&A after the showing.

Photo Editors Please, or At Least Visual Awareness (Updated)

It seems that I am on a multi-year rant about my local news organization. I pay my subscription, I read it every day online, spend time with the delivered Sunday edition and I truly appreciate that they are severely understaffed. That the depth of their coverage has suffered is sad and I do not find fault with the individual journalists – photojournalists, reporters and editors – for the stories they miss. That’s economics, that’s the result of poor judgement on the part of past managers.

What I do take issue with is the sloppiness of the editing, the lack of awareness of what they have published and their seeming inability to improve what they have through simple adjustments.

Like, perhaps, looking at the front page and seeing that an obituary story, that has now been on the front of their web site for more than a day, features a teaser photo of the woman’s chest. Not her face, as in the adjacent stories of men, but of her cleavage.

(And, for those who know me, yeah, it’s come to me talking about cleavage on this site. That’s how frustrating this is.)

I get that this is a wire service feed, that it is automated at some level. And, as with most other issues I have with the Athens Banner-Herald, I do not suspect any level of malice here.

In my classes, we talk about ethical transgressions of commission and omission. The former is an active attempt to deceive, think Jason Blair or Allan Dietrich. For whatever reason, they made a choice to lie because they did not care about their audience.

Transgressions of omission are, I suspect, much more common and more insidious. They come from failed processes, they come from a lack of awareness, they come from a lack of training. In the end, though, they again symbolize a lack of care.

Newsrooms are limited in their resources and need to make decisions about what to cover and what to publish. Part of that decision making process needs to ensure that what they do publish is both accurate and fair, that they have the resources to execute that coverage properly.

If you don’t have someone to monitor automated feeds, to at least check in once a few hours, then you need to decide if the risk of something going wrong is worth it. And here, my local news publication failed us.

Again.

UPDATE: After 34 hours, someone finally fixed the image. No note, no comment, just fixed it. Here’s what she looks like:

The Value of Photo Editors, Olympic Edition

Allen Murabayashi has a nice analysis of image usage out of the Olympics – and why having an experienced photo editor makes a difference.

No ethical issues … this time.

Cover Letter Don’ts

My friends down at the Poynter Institute just read 160 applications and decided to share what no one should do in those packages. As my kids go through the internship application process, this is required reading.

I do kind of wish is was a snarkier piece, though … I’ve sat through meetings at Poynter, there are some snarky folks there …

NPPA Elects New Officers

Congratulations to Melissa Little, Michael Kind and Seth Gitner who were elected to the offices of president, vice president and secretary (respectively) during this weekend’s National Press Photographers Association’s annual board meeting here in Athens.

Some other news in there you may be interested in.

This Week in Athens: First Amendment Issues, Copyright Registrations Workshop

Big things happening this week …

Friday, January 22: First Amendment Issues in Public Spaces – This event is jointly hosted by Grady College and the National Press Photographers Association with generous support from the Sinclair Broadcast Group and will feature multiple panels and discussions prompted by the events at the University of Missouri in November. Panelists will include the two student journalists who were harassed while trying to cover an event on the public quad of a public university. Registration is free and includes lunch, but time is running short to register.

Sunday, January 24: Copyright Registration Workshop – One of the leading experts on how to efficiently register your works with the Copyright Office will lead a hands-on workshop. You’ll learn how to prepare your images, fill out all the online forms and make your deposit with the Copyright Office to ensure you have the full protection of federal law. This event is free for NPPA members, $25 for non-members – please register online.

Both of these events will be at the University of Georgia’s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication in Athens, see the above links for more information.

Finding Your Color

I have a small list of photojournalists who never disappoint me, storytellers who always make me stop and stare, ponder what they’re showing me, force me to rearrange the neurons in my brain. Michael S. Williamson of the Washington Post is on that list. For years I’ve come back to his work, to his way of seeing, to understand my world and, maybe, dip into his pool of vision.

Jim Colton has a stellar interview up with Williamson at ZPhotoJournal – well worth spending time on. It’s a long, deep read, but the advice it builds to at the end is spectacular:

I would tell young people “Don’t be afraid.” And I don’t want to hear anybody under 40 talking about their “STYLE.” Your style just comes as a result of what you love and what loves you. If you are thinking about style, I will take a bb gun and pop you in the shin…I really will. Because then you are trapped by some “LOOK” some “WAY” of the way YOU see it.

And you know something, when you’re 22, I don’t really care about the way you see it. I want you to cover the event…so I know what happened. Of course, at some point, you mix the two, you can have your vision…you can have a take on life…just don’t forget who you are working for.

Yeah, a lot of his social media images are filtered, but the core vision in them … I hope to see something so well some day.