Tag Archives: journalism

It’s 110°F Out, But It’s a Dry Heat


Cooling off–Here’s a typical feature picture you might see in a newspaper especially when it’s the first day of summer when it’s over 100°F. I found this woman lying down in the shade waiting for her bus. Ask for permission first, or take the picture first? There are no hard and fast rules. If possible, I always take the picture first simply because the moment will be gone if you don’t. Spontaneous moments are ruined if you ask first. When discovered, come clean. It always works out better instead of trying to sneak away without any explanation. You’ll risk having the cops called on you especially if there are kids involved.

It’s those hot summer days like today that I don’t miss being at the newspaper.

I used to drive aimlessly looking for  feature pictures.

Add today’s price of gasoline, multiply by the number of photographers on staff and you’ll get the idea of the cost of a picture that may never get published.

Continue reading It’s 110°F Out, But It’s a Dry Heat

Job Security in Journalism

Do prestigious awards like the Pulitzer mean much anymore?

It may, someday but only as a historical document when newspapers go away.

When I read the announcements for this year’s Pulitzer Prize in reporting I wondered. Then I found a compilation of quotes from this year’s winners.

And also this post

It is kind of sad. I wish I was still at the Tribune. I’d have a party with them right now.” — laid-off journalist Paul Giblin, of the East Valley Tribune in Mesa, Ariz., who along with Ryan Gabrielson won for local reporting for a series showing how a sheriff’s focus on immigration enforcement endangered investigation of other crimes.

But more telling, if you will, are the words of the newspaper’s publisher and CEO Julie Moreno: “You don’t have to be a huge paper in order to do the kind of work that gets outstanding recognition.”

There was no acknowledgement of regret that Giblin was a casualty of layoffs.

So how can Journalism schools or more accurately the accreditation body not realize that they have to teach self-reliance and business practices for tomorrow’s watchdogs of our democracy? If they are to continue to thrive and do the kind of work that keeps our democracy healthy, they’ll have to be freelancers.

So tomorrow’s journalists may need to know how to bill the hours they work, how to plan their taxes, pay for healthcare and other needs.

Journalism’s accreditation body is so out-of-touch with reality. Perhaps they think that journalism is part of the liberal arts and so should be done for free by people who love it.

Since there are less and less newspapers and print media with large staffs, the story tellers and news gatherers will have to learn to care for themselves first.

Is it because those in the accreditation circles think integrity can be bought if journalists have to take care of themselves first?

I’m not a proponent of the alternative–a bailout by Uncle Sam. It will lead to something like what they have in Russia, Pravda or in Malaysia, Bernama–a government propaganda machine.

Freelancing for newspapers–Part 4

Breaking News Photography


A firefighter coordinates with other crew at the scene of a brush fire in Box Springs mountain. Nikon F3, 28mm TriX 400 pushed to 1600, off-camera fill-flash on left. 

F8 and be there

If ever there was a cliché for news photography, that subheading sums it up.

F8 is a safe aperture. If you mess up on your focus, you might have enough depth-of-field to keep it sharp.

The 2nd half, “and be there,” just points to how anyone can take a dramatic picture if they were there. I believe if you had a decent camera and access, it is true. The operative word here is “access.” More on that later. Continue reading Freelancing for newspapers–Part 4

Freelancing for Newspapers–How to get started Part 1

So you’ve honed your skills to the point where you are confident you can get a good picture in any situation.

Have you thought about freelancing for a newspaper?

Photojournalism is one of the most challenging, exciting types of photography.

As a result, it is also the most competitive fields to break in to. Continue reading Freelancing for Newspapers–How to get started Part 1