Thursday, December 28, 2006

rant and rave

At the risk of blogging about bloggers again, Sion Touhig at his site SionPhoto doesn’t pull any punches in his evaluation of the state of journalism, photojournalism, newspapers and convergence.

As I have also noted, content needs to be the focus at newspapers and web based journalism. The 'real estate' potential of the web is far greater than trying to get a full color page in an already increasingly shrinking news hole. Just try getting a page front referring to a double truck.

Sion really gets to the heart of the matter when he writes, 'Newspapers are not You Tube. If they wish to keep their existing readership, and expand that readership into the Web, they need to produce visual content that reflects the existing ethos and qualities of the paper.'

The storytelling potential on the web for photography and journalism in general, when coupled with sound, graphics and Flash beats almost anything we can do in print today. While I am still fighting the usual newsroom battles about white space and design I have more freedom on our web site than I do in print.

The trick, as always is editing. Deciding the best way to tell these stories is more important now, because it just isn’t a single, multiple picture package or page. You can lose an audience just as fast as you can in print.

What also doesn’t get mentioned is how viewers eyes 'read' the web differently than in print. Digital journalists need to use not only their 'core strength...which is having a good pair of eyes' as Sion calls it, they need to understand what the Poynter Eye Track III study found IN ADDITION to using their eyes.

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