Cool Apps

Each of you will demonstrate a phone app or Web tool that you use for reporting/research/design work as a journalist -- and post a supporting summary about its usefulness in the comments area below. The best among these will be republished on American Journalism Review. Hint: AJR is very interested in hearing about new slide show tools.  

This will count as an in-class grade. 

Storify That

Please put the headlines and working links to your Storify projects about David Seymour's photo exhibit at Merrill College's Gaylord Library. Use the Comments below. Thanks!

The Power of Photos

Not sure of the power of photography in nonfiction storytelling?

The French newspaper Libération removed all images from its Nov. 14 issue to demonstrate the importance of visuals -- in a year that has been beset by layoffs of professional photographers from news organizations.

Empty boxes were left in the layout to emphasize where photos should have gone.

Brigitte Ollier, a journalist on Libération's Culture desk, was quoted as saying in the British Journal of Photography that it was "as if we had become a mute newspaper. [A newspaper] without sound..."

Editors of the newspaper explained: "It's not a wake, we're not burying the photographic art [...] Instead we give photography the homage it deserves."

An annual newsroom census from the American Society of Newspaper Editors revealed that photographers and other visual journalists have been hardest hit in the last dozen years of newspaper layoffs.

From 2000 to 2012, the newsroom staffs of photographers, artists and videographers were trimmed by 43 percent—from 6,171 to 3,493, ASNE and the Pew Research Center reported. In the same period, the number of full-time newspaper reporters and writers dropped by 32 percent—from 25,593 to 17,422, ASNE reported.

The Chicago Sun-Times in May laid off its entire photojournalism staff, the Chicago Tribune reported. Thomson Reuters let go its sports contract photographers in North America in August, the National Press Photographers Association noted. Cuts to photojournalists at Cox newspapers were announced in October.

Shrinking newsroom budgets and the explosion of citizen-generated visuals on social media have been blamed for many of the photojournalists' layoffs. (See memo from CNN's Senior Vice President Jack Womack about 2011 cuts.)

What do you think this trend portends for the business?

--Chris Harvey