With Photojournalism in Flux, Opportunity is Open

Recently, four multimedia journalists sat down with a group of 25 PRSA members to discuss the new challenges journalists are facing.  As media staffs shrink and technology advancements become available, photojournalists and video journalists are reinventing their craft.

Fox 59’s Multimedia Journalist Vanessa McClure, Indianapolis Star Photographer Charlie Nye, Greenfield Daily Reporter Photographer Tom Russo and WRTV 6 Photographer Tom Triol all agreed that new technology has made their jobs easier, but it has also created some new challenges.

So how should public relations professionals adapt to helping the media? And should we when we have the ability to promote our organization on our own? Here are a few things I learned while moderating Meet the Media’s Photojournalism in Flux.

Equipment is smaller:

Lighter equipment allows Vanessa to go out on the field to capture video on her own – something that wouldn’t be possible 10 years ago. Vanessa is part of the new crop of video journalists who are not only capturing video, but also editing it on a laptop and reporting the story live on air.

Make it visual:

Tom Triol said the best news conferences are those that are visually appealing, usually at an interesting venue. If your organization is opening a new building, invite media to the build site. If this is not an option, at the very least a large backdrop promoting the organization is better than nothing. Vanessa added by saying that movement is also important; even if it is executives cutting a ribbon.

Vanessa also said that giving video journalists a video release is helpful, but Fox 59 will not put the video on the air. Instead, Vanessa uses the video to prepare for the story.

First shot may be the only shot:

Tom Russo has an advantage compared to his peers. Working at a mid-size paper gives Tom the flexibility to leave a news conference when he decides. While many journalists rush to an event to snap a few photos, they are not able to see what develops. Often photographers have to deal with the fact that time restraints can affect the quality of photos they take at an event.

Web galleries feature more photos:

According to Charlie Nye feature pieces are dwindling from the Star’s pages. Charlie said more and more often his photography can be found in web galleries on the Star’s website. The Star also accepts photos, which can be submitted by calling the photo desk at 444-6026.

Rachel Sorvig chairs the Hoosier Chapter’s Meet the Media committee. In her day job, Rachel is Indiana Lt. Governor Becky Skillman’s deputy press secretary.