Tag Archives: Journalism

The Deadly Top 5

As the year comes to an end, I’ve decided to spend some time looking through the Committee to Protect Journalists website for statistics on the amount of journalists that have been killed throughout the world covering conflicts. The staff at CPJ documents hundreds of attacks on the press each year and bases its advocacy on this research. They compile detailed records on journalists that have been killed, imprisoned, and exiled. For this post, I decided to gather information on the deadliest countries in 2013 for journalists and created a graph that can be seen here. We’ve lost a lot of journalists covering the conflicts in Libya, Egypt, and Syria these past few years. A very small percentage of those journalists that were killed  were mentioned in the news. I recommend spending some time clicking around this site to get a better understanding of what your news costs.

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A Sea Of Photographs

With the recent passing of Nelson Mandela,  South Africa’s first black president and anti-apartheid revolutionary, a sea of photographs, interviews, inspirational quotes, and articles are spewing out of news agencies from around the world reminding us all of the icon he was.

“History will remember him as one of the greatest men who ever lived – an incredibly selfless man who made so much of a sacrifice to re-write the history of generations of South Africans and the world,” said Forbes.com, an Internet news site.

With each article posted, a gallery of photographs, videos, and/or interviews are being attached and we are once again reminded of the significance of visual journalism. I came across a piece posted by The New York Times today that focuses on three photographers who captured the life of Mandela through pictures. Each photographer has a short interview recounting a significant moment they remember and then a slideshow of their work. This is an opportunity for all photographers to spend some time scrolling through the many images that are reappearing or surfacing for the first time. Draw inspiration from these images and be reassured that without photographs, we lose our visual history.


Advice From The Field : Part 1

Reflection

Me shooting during one of my assignments in San Francisco.

It wasn’t too long ago that I was sitting in front of my computer feeling stuck and overwhelmed with the next step I needed to take in my desire to pursue a career in photojournalism. Simply put, I had no idea what to do.  I was getting closer to graduating with my associate’s degree —  too close for someone not prepared for her next step.

I had purposely avoided the counselors at my college after seeing them recommend unnecessary classes to my friends that resulted in two-year degrees taking four years to attain.  My own experience of sitting down in one of their offices in hopes of getting some advice on where to apply to next started with me defining what photojournalism was and ended immediately afterward.

In that moment of uncertainty and desperation I decided to go straight to the source. A professor of mine once said that the worst thing someone could tell you is “no” and that it wouldn’t kill you.

I went home that night, sat down in front of the computer, and brought up news sites like National Geographic and The New York Times.  I sifted through image after image, located ones that inspired me and then shifted my eyes toward the photo credit below the pictures. I wrote down the names of the photographers and then did a search on them in hopes of finding their contact information.

After what seemed like only an hour, I had a small list of photographers and their email addresses…even a few numbers! The thought crossed my mind that it couldn’t be that easy. Maybe they had their own employees answering their phones and emails…I mean, these photographers worked for the biggest news sources in the world.  With that uncertainty still looming over my head, I wrote and asked for advice.

Two days later brought me two detailed replies. I don’t think I’ll ever forget my reaction to opening those emails. For the first time since wanting to be a photojournalist, I felt the certainty that it was going to happen. It was like hanging off the side of a cliff and having someone throw you a rope (not that I’ve ever experienced this…yet).

I will be sharing the advice I was given from these photographers with you in the coming week and urge you to follow the steps I did if you are finding yourself in a similar situation. Remember, the worst thing anyone can say is “no” and in this field you will hear that a lot, but let it motivate you to keep at it!


Photojournalism Career Ranked Lower Than Dishwasher

So you’ve decided you want to be a photojournalist.  You’ve done research on the career and have come to accept the fact that you’ll never be rich. You’re prepared to spend more money on your gear than where you’ll be living and to invent your own holidays to make up for the ones you’ll be working through.

This doesn’t seem too bad though right? I mean, every career has its downfalls.

But then 2013 comes around the corner bringing with it CareerCast’s list of the 200 worst jobs in the world and your curiosity gets the best of you.

You start at number one, watching the jobs get worse based on hiring rate, stress, and work environment, as you scroll down the page. Then you see it. Sandwiched between Dishwasher and Corrections Officer sits Photojournalist at number 188.  For a brief moment you consider jumping to newspaper reporting and reassure yourself that you can write well, but then realize that a newspaper reporter ranks in at 200–the worst job in the world for 2013.

This becomes the moment when you realize whether or not photojournalism is a passion of yours. It’s this passion that will carry you through the late nights, low-income, constant stress, and life-threatening situations with a smile on your face and a certainty in your heart.

Pulitzer-Prize winner Cheryl Diaz Meyer once said, “In my heart, I truly believe that photojournalism is a calling, and that being allowed to witness and document the world’s news and sometimes tragedies, is an honor and a weighty responsibility.”

In those moments you’re reminded that being a Dishwasher is considered a step up from a Photojournalist, also remember that they’re stuck inside all day and don’t get to travel the world.

So hold onto that passion, pick up your camera, and go record history.