Here’s a sample of Giulio Saggin’s new book we have published today:
Giulio Saggin began his career as a news photographer in 1989, at a time when newspapers had photographic departments with photographers, both staff and freelance.
In the ensuing years the media modernised but photographers always had their place.
The onset of the digital age changed all this and the media world is being transformed at what seems to be an exponential rate.
While there might be several million photographers around the world, there are several billion citizens with digital cameras and smart phones on hand to capture news as it happens.
This has resulted in an explosion in citizen photographers, where anyone can lay claim to being a photographer, and whose photos are largely free, or inexpensive, for media outlets to use.
Included in the several billion are journalists who, at the very least, have a mobile device with a camera. In an ever-expanding media market, the economics of one journalist with a camera has dictated they take on the role of photographer as part of their reporting duties.
The phenomenal rise in citizen journalism (photography) and journalists with cameras has had a detrimental effect on photographic departments and photographers around the world.
Many media outlets have chosen to do away with photographic staff and arm their journalists – many of whom side with the photographers – with cameras or smart phones and given them the task of taking ‘photos’ with minimal training at best.
As a result, the vast majority of images produced have been inferior to those produced by trained photographers (who study their art at college for at least 2-3 years, or the equivalent on-the-job training for older ‘pre-college’ photographers).
In most cases the journalists taking photos don’t have anyone to tell them right from wrong, so they have little or no idea if what they are doing is correct or otherwise. They have no way of learning. Photography is a discipline and a lack of discipline in any facet of life leads to chaos.
Visual stories are as complex as their written counterparts. Giving someone a camera/smart phone doesn’t make them a photographer, just as giving someone a laptop doesn’t make them a journalist.
It’s hard to say what the future will bring but it appears one thing is certain. If media outlets are going to want their journalists both to write and take photos, those with skills in both areas will be the ones getting the jobs.
While journalists are being made to take photos, photographers wanting to work in the media will have to learn to write.
The future may well see the traditional roles of journalists and photographers meld into the one term – photo-journalist.
It’s a term that has been in use for decades by those who already write and take photos, and many photographers because of their visual story-telling skills.
If the current trend is any guide, the term will become the ‘norm’ in the not-too-distant future.
The new national vision from Queensland’s own Peter Beattie is available now exclusively through our Strictly Literary bookshop.
Make sure you get your copy here first … in print or for Kindle and Android. In the meantime you can browse our extensive libraries and buy Peter Beattie’s first thriller novel The Year of the Dangerous Ones:
It’s a little bit scary but a lot more fun … Christmas present buying steps up today with some new specials from Spinifex Collections in Longreach. When you live this far out, you need something naughty and nice. Happy shopping to all our viewers!
Here we are ready to share a drink at the 1891-vintage Wellshot Hotel at Ilfracombe, just east of Longreach, central western Queensland. The schooner (centre) is full of VB, the only full-strength brew on tap, while the other glasses contain the refreshing but practically non-alcoholic lemon, lime & bitters, handmade behind the bar. What are they sitting on? A glass panel across a bale of wool (the white fluffy stuff) signifying the district’s long association with grazing and shearing. The town is also famous for being the childhood home of Australia’s first woman governor-general, Quentin Bryce. I have suggested that the front bar be renamed The Quentin Bar but have been howled down as crass and far beneath the dignity of the great lady herself. I agree she’s classy … so it’s probably a dumb idea. Nice pub, though.
We have just learned that our friend and valued colleague Donna Meiklejohn has been named one of Queensland’s 125 most outstanding women leaders! So proud to know her:
You can view the list here, at the YWCA Queensland’s 125 Leading Women site
The YWCA has been celebrating 125 years of continuous work with and for the women of Queensland, and reckons that this list “is a fitting tribute to the thousands of women who have shaped both this great organisation and this great state over that century and a quarter”.
They continue: “We feel that each of these 125 women represents a facet of what it means to be a leader. Each has contributed something significant to her community, and at the same time is the embodiment of one particular type, style or field of leadership.”
Donna’s citation reads: “Donna is an award winning journalist who has had a long, high-profile career in news and current affairs journalism as a presenter, writer and producer in the commercial and public media. Donna started work in country radio in the 1970s when the industry was dominated heavily by men and went on to become the first woman appointed by an Australian commercial television network to an overseas posting. She is best known for her roles as presenter of the national ABC viewers’ forum Backchat, and the flagship current affairs program Nationwide. She is currently lecturing at the University of Queensland, nurturing the journalists of the future.”
But here’s some news: we hear that Donna’s services have now been secured by QUT instead for 2014, and more power to them!
Here is just a taste of the company Donna finds herself among:
Sarah-Jane Clarke & Heidi Middleton
The town of Longreach, in the Australian Outback 2000km north by north-west from Melbourne, is home to the Cattlemen’s Bar & Grill (below, left) at the Stockman’s Hall of Fame. As you can see (below, right) it’s also home to the Qantas Founders Museum (note the aircraft with the Flying Kangaroo in the background.)
They installed a 7.3 metre Kentucky-made Big Ass ceiling fan in 2008. Sitting under the huge 10-bladed fan, which spins ponderously in its “high volume, low speed” way , is certainly memorable and seems to attract attention. The restaurant food and beverage manager at the time, Iona Nicol (below), told me “we have so many people come in to take photos”. People even come to get married under the blades: there were 12 weddings in the bar in 2009 and by Easter 2010 when we visited, there had already been 14.