Pictures of the Year: Finding Stories Everywhere – Lens

Pictures of the Year International wrapped up judging for the 71st annual competition this week. Five different panels of judges selected winners in individual picture and Photographer of the Year categories over three weeks of judging at the University of Missouri. There’s some stunning work that exemplifies the best of photojournalism over the past year.

Today’s New York Times Lens blog has a rundown of the winners along with some inspiring quotes. Newspaper Photographer of the Year Barbara Davidson: “I’m a firm believer that there are good stories to be told anywhere, and foreign is relative to where you are.” Davidson also gives credit to the editing side of photojournalism: “Smart editing is usually what makes a piece stand out.”

Read more about the winners on the Lens blog, and check out the winning picture galleries on the POYi site.

Persistence and evolution

The “future of photojournalism” has been a topic of debate/lament for the past few years as the media landscape changes. (Actually, it’s been a topic for decades as the media world has changed, but that’s another story.)

A common refrain is that the future is bleak: publication outlets are diminishing, the ones that remain are cutting staff and devoting less room for photojournalism, everyone has a smartphone and an instagram feed. You can excuse those who are passionate about photojournalism for feeling like the walls are crumbling, the rug has been pulled out, (insert your own metaphor here). Everyone once in a while though a voice pops up to say,”Wait a minute. Maybe we’re looking at this the wrong way.” Continue reading

Some things aren’t so persistent

U.S. News has decided to delete part of its digital archive. According to Jim Romenesko, the publication switched to a new content management system (the software that tracks content and helps to compile it for various forms of presentation). The new system “couldn’t effectively keep archived web content published prior to 2007 on our site.” So the publication decided to dump it from its own archive, noting the content resides in other databases like Lexis and EBSCO. A form of the content is also in the printed magazine, preserved in bound volumes.

From a management, “how do we make efficient use of our resources” standpoint I can see the rationale behind this decision. From a history/research perspective, it’s short-sighted. From a visual perspective, it’s a right pain. Continue reading