APME/APPM 2009

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Photojournalism presentation


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An example of the photojournalism done at the Dubois County Herald. The brothers in the image have lived on their family farm their whole lives. Photo by Torsten Kjellstrand.

by Eric Berger

John  Rumbach of the Dubois County Herald gave an engaging presentation on the importance of the static in a drastically changing industry, the photo.

He asked everyone attending to take a moment and write down the core principles that they use as a journalist. Everyone entered into thought and a few shared theirs:

Truth and reality in a fair and unbalanced way; an unbiased approach;  to pursue truth, actively; to increase understanding of the world.

He moved to discussing  The Concerned Photographer, whose author considered himself a commentator, not just someone who captures pictures.

After  defining community photojournalism, Rumbach emphasized its importance. He talked about the need to think locally and on what the audience wants.

“If we dont think about our audience, all we have is a portfolio,” he said

He then read from a list of examples of what readers want in their newspapers:

-More ordinary people in the newspaper

=Stories that recognize the 95% of the community that commits no crimes, that don’t participate in politics.

Rumbach asked what those attending to think about what they do when not on the clock.

“Now think about how this intersects with your life as a journalist,” he said.

His presentation continued with talk about the threat to hyperlocal reporting, which he characterized as newspaper’s last  franchise, by anyone and everyone.

Examples given:

The Paperboy.com

Everyblock.com

Patch.com

These sites and lesser sites serve as a torrential downpour on the information marketplace.

With that in mind, he said people need journalism more then ever, and we must raise the bar.

He highlighted the NY Times “One in Eight Million” sound-slide series as a way to connect with the audience.

The Herald started a weekly “pictures as words” series with no idea about how long it would last. It has run for the last 30 years and he showed some examples.

One example was a  series run prior the 2008 election titled “Double-Edged Sword”, showing how national issues impacted local residents.

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Filed under: Photojournalism

One Response

  1. It’s nearly impossible to find educated people in this particular subject, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about!
    Thanks

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