Required Reading: Nieman Reports on Visual Journalism

The Spring 2010 Neiman Report from the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard focuses on Visual Journalism.

Click here to view the full Nieman Reports on Visual Journalism.


The opening lines of A Tale of Two Cities come to mind more and more these days in relation to the state of photojournalism (and journalism, in general, for that matter).

In many ways, it truly is the best of times, as well as the worst of times.

There are amazing new tools available for visual storytelling, and emerging media forms and delivery mechanisms are vying for our attention.

At the same time, traditional print media continues to struggle with some serious issues that have been well documented elsewhere. Gloss over the aggregated headlines at MediaBistro for a few weeks to take the pulse of how the media is reporting on itself–it isn't a pretty picture more often than not.

I've been digging through the wealth of information in the Nieman Reports for the past few days, and I'm only a fraction of the way through, but the sentiment again feels mixed: it is a great time for visual storytelling, but there are serious challenges that cannot be ignored.

This echoes my visit to last week's NPPA Northern Short Course. It was my observation that the sessions involving multimedia: audio capture,video storytelling in the field, and the software skills to work with these new content types, for example, were the hot ticket item. The sentiment in the air clearly was this: learn new skills involving multimedia, or you may very well be left behind.

As you can see from the full screen capture of the index page at right, there is a significant amount of information, articles, and observations to be gleaned from this report from many big names in the photojournalism and visual journalism space including David Burnett, Melissa Lyttle, Ed Kashi, and Brian Storm, just to name a few.

Seriously, if you are working in, have worked in, or hope to work in photojournalism in the future, you owe it to yourself to spend at least an hour or two–if not more–taking advantage of this great, free wealth of information to help chart a course for the future in this industry.


This article is part of our Focus on Photojournalism series.

What are your thoughts on the future of Visual Journalism? Leave a comment!


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