Teaching Examples

Photojournalism: A tough job getting tougher
May 29, 2007, 12:54 pm
Filed under: future, photojournalism

An article in the May/June issue of Digital Photo Pro magazine discusses changes in working life for photojournalists (pp. 118-126). Not only are audiences for print vehicles decreasing — even the top names in the business aren’t getting nearly as many freelance assignments as they used to.

The answer? Photojournalists must adapt.

The advice comes from Ed Kashi, who certainly could be put forth as a good example of adaptation.

What I learned from the article:

  • Most paid freelance work isn’t photojournalism; it’s shooting portraits.
  • The same magazine shooters who used to be able to count on $80,000 a year in fees would be lucky to pull in $30,000 today doing the same work (that’s from Dirck Halstead). This is partly because the photographer bears more of the costs of production — in time spent as well as software and equipment — in the digital world.
  • Brian Storm sees educating the buyers as “a big part of our job” at MediaStorm. Syndication online plays a key role, because online multimedia projects cost a lot to produce. The buyer gets limited exclusive rights to host a project; syndication revenues are split 50-50 between MediaStorm and the photographer.

Kashi remains hopeful and positive:

As editorial budgets and revenues shrink for print publications, Ed Kashi thinks, at some point, publishers are going to wake up and realize more people are looking at their Websites than their printed editions. Not that print is going to disappear, but as this shift continues, publications will have to redesign their infrastructure, including ad revenue and subscriptions.

“Once that happens, and it’s already happening,” Kashi says, “then hopefully I’d love to see the day when more publications are calling me, saying, ‘Hey, we’d love you to do this story or we’d love you to propose an idea, and multimedia is the main component of it. And, oh, yeah, we’ll also have a print part of it as well.'”

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