I had a great time speaking on a panel about cooperation in the newsroom with Mark Holm, Kelly Brewer and Jakob Schiller last weekend as part of the Daily Lobo Bootcamp. Working with students is really rewarding. We didn’t have much time, there’s a lot to learn but at moments you feel like you can almost see the light bulbs on top the students heads going off when you make certain points. They have a lot of bad ideas about what newspapers are and how newspaper journalism should look. It’s can be a lot of work but I’m only here because of the kindness and generosity of numerous other photographers and journalist who shared their vast knowledge with me. But the truth is I think we speakers get as much inspiration from them as they get from us.
Mark, Kelly Jakob & I all worked together at the Albuquerque Tribune. Myself and many other people who knew of The Trib often speak of it is a magic place for photography, but it wasn’t just that the photography was making magic. Every year our goal was one particular award, Best Use of Photography from Pictures of the Year International. Here’s why. From the POYi site:
“Photo editing should demonstrate sensitivity for the selection and organization of documentary photojournalism and the appropriate use of photo illustrations. Page design should reflect consideration for the reader and respect for the vision of the photographer. Judges will consider the effectiveness of the captions, headlines and other display typography as well as photo content. Aggressive local coverage and imaginative editing of wire and syndicated photos are important. Layout of inside pages and section fronts will be evaluated.”
The communication and teamwork at the Tribune or what made the photography great. The Best Use award was presented to the photo staff, but really it was an award for the entire paper. Journalists were treated as equals regardless of what media they used to tell people’s stories, and man did we tell some stories well. The design and copy desks were the real unsung heroes, bringing it all together and making all of us look a whole lot smarter. Given how poorly most newspapers treat their design and copy editors these days, it is no surprise that the students aren’t familiar with good newspaper journalism, it’s harder to find than just a few years ago. I just hope that some of the good work the Tribune did can inspire the students to go further, do and be better. I know it did for me.