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Monthly Archives: December 2008

Filling in for the Press

The lead from a December 19 New York Times article by Helene Cooper is portentous if not frightening: “President-elect Barack Obama says that he wants to make his administration more responsive to the American people. To that end, his aides are introducing a host of YouTube and other efforts aimed at bypassing the media and communicating [...]

Imaging the Brain (2)

Photography used to be about appearances. It now becomes clear that it is our brains, and maybe our souls, that are its growing focus. In various intimate ways a camera has been turned on us.
A report this week from Japan’s ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories, picked up on Piink Tentacle, indicates that by using a functional [...]

Of Pulitzers and an Epic Poem

Over a decade ago, in 1997, the New York Times nominated a Web site that I had created with photographer Gilles Peress, Bosnia: Uncertain Paths to Peace, for a Pulitzer prize in public service. It was immediately rejected by the Pulitzer committee because the online photo-text-audio-video project was not on paper.
Only last week the Pulitzers [...]

Another Kind of Citizen Journalism

Much has been made in recent years of the ability of non-professionals to write articles, offer opinions and make photographs or videos that then appear online, competing with and sometimes supplanting the role of the professional journalist. The trend has been called a movement, “citizen journalism.”
The billions of images on the Web, the enormous numbers [...]

Human Rights Day

It is now sixty years since the acceptance by the General Assembly of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It gives one pause.
Over the last twenty years many documentary photographers have turned their attention to human rights, partnering with NGOs or starting their own foundations after observing injustices. The role of witness, so pivotal previously, [...]

Eyewitness, Outsourced

Perhaps the most surprising, fantastical piece I have read recently about the future of the news business involves Pasadena Now, a daily online journal “covering” Pasadena, California. James Macpherson, its editor and publisher, recently fired his entire staff of 7 employees (each earning between $600 and $800 weekly) and replaced them with part-time freelance reporters [...]