Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Photojournalism's Fading Future

From a recent Livebooks / Resolve "Ed Kashi: Beyond Multimedia - To create change, storytellers must conquer multiple media platforms" blog post, Ed comments that,

"It’s not enough anymore to create work for one media platform, especially if you intend to raise awareness about issues or are trying to effect change."

Unfortunately, this statement may need addition of the words, "...and if you ever hope to make a living in the profession of photojournalism."

Check out Dirck Halstead's editorial on Digital Journalist . Addressing the rapidly changing state of the business of photojournalism, Dirck's article has generated a plethora of ideas for potential fixes along with an equal number of comments that there is no solution.

Ed's hope is for brainstorming; "to promote further discussion and thought about these issues and a need for consensus building in the community impacted by these changes." With recent industry altering events such as the closing of Italy's Grazia Neri as reported in PDN and the troubles befalling France's Eyedea, maybe concepts such as that described by Mike Fox (below) should be investigated further.

"One model that was discussed in Advertising Age was very interesting, and quite compelling. If you are a cable TV subscriber, perhaps just signing up for the basic package, then you will have access to only a handful of channels, most of which are pretty pathetic. But if you upgrade to a different level, you get access to more channels, [which]...get their cut of viewer subscriptions to help pay for their productions. Advertising Age suggested that a similar model be applied to internet service provider (ISP) subscriptions. Now if I had to pay a little more to have access to premium news content, ...then I would almost certainly sign up for that, if I could no longer get that content for free. It actually makes my life a great deal easier. I do not have to manage subscriptions to multiple publications, and I have instant access to a plentiful supply of news, features, and other content. Now spread that model to publications that focus on specific interests such as lifestyle magazines, international affairs, computer information, etc. A small monthly fee to receive a flood of content on your areas of interest, without having to manage subscription payments for individual publications, would make life so much easier. And [the service i.e. Comcast] would be responsible for distributing the fees that viewers pay, to the content providers.

SO...What can be done? What do YOU plan to do? Comments?

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