Rants and Raves

Opinion, commentary, reviews of books, movies, cultural trends, and raising kids in this day and age.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cool Christmas journalism

I worked a couple hours on Christmas. Not because I had to, but because I wanted to pursue an idea I had for a photo essay.

I'm a wordsmith by profession, but lately the miracle of digital photography has enthralled me with its ease of picture taking and processing via Photoshop.

So, I went out and took some pictures of different folks who had to work on Christmas: a cop, some volunteer emergency medical service personnel, an ER nurse and the doctor on call, a dietary aid in the local old folks home, a couple of convenience store clerks and the boiler operator at the local university campus physical plant.

My editor loved it. She assembled it into a dynamite photo essay and put it on the front page under the headline, "Thank You."

I was totally caught up in it, and I knew it was going to look great as the picture-taking opportunities started to present themselves.

This is the kind of journalism I love to do, covering the people who keep civilization going on a day-to-day basis.

Some call this "community journalism," I call it... journalism I guess.

Since I worked in public works for about a dozen years total, the public works people here know I speak the language. And fortunately I've got an editor who appreciates that kind of community coverage.

And, in an industry that is feeling the pain of downsizing, we're among a number of small papers that are actually growing, while the New York Times and Los Angeles Times stock is falling to junk bond status.

Some say it's the competition from the Internet. Me, I think it's because they've become rather full of themselves, and it shows.


  • At 10:59 AM, Blogger Severin said…

    Nice story idea but your argument about newspapers is silly.

    If readership has gone down at papers one might say the attitude of journalist was responsible. However readership is actually up, circulation on the other hand is down. More people are reading papers than ever, but web readers don't generate revenue like print readers. This is for 2 reasons, print ads are more effective, and cost more money than web ads. Also no one reads classifieds in print anymore. That is way newspapers are failing.

    People love to complain about the press and its objectivity, its attitude, etc... That love keeps em reading.

  • At 3:20 PM, Blogger Steve Browne said…

    The two newspapers that I mentioned by name have indeed fallen into junk bond territory, not an argument but a fact.

    Of course people are reading more newspapers - ours for example.


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