Tag Archive: magazines
Newsweek Autopsy: a conversation with James Wellford about photography and the death of the magazineAug 20, 2013 by M. Scott Brauer No Comments »
“The management backed off; they gave all the money to high profile writers, abolished all the contract photographers, names, personalities and creativity. Certainly, in the world of journalism, photography took a back seat to some of the more infamous portrait photographers who shoot celebrities and power. They still get paid. But it was depressing for me as I am interested in news. It was possible for me to take one assignment for a portrait photographer, then cut it in four ways. This would enable me to support stories in other parts of the world very easily. I always believed in that and I could not ever accept or understand why they simply rejected it, hook, line and sinker. In the end it was terribly disappointing.” -James Wellford, speaking to Emaho Magazine
If you’re following dvafoto on tumblr, you’ve already seen our link to Emaho Magazine‘s interview with former Newsweek Senior Photo Editor James Wellford about the death of the magazine and how he tried to curate photography for the publication. Wellford talks about the types of photography he tried to support through his helm at the magazine and how that ultimately ran counter to what the publication’s management had in mind for Newsweek. It’s definitely worth a read.
“…photographic representations of Asia, in the hands of European photographers and shaped by Western media, has contributed to producing a catalogue of stereotypes that simplifies and even suppresses the full diversity of visual sensibilities that Asian photography is capable of expressing.
As a consequence, Asian photographers lack a platform that not only profiles their work on their own terms, but also suggests its profound link with native visual idioms. This is preceisely the gap that Punctum hopes to fill.” -Punctum, Editorial Statement
Issue 2 of Punctum magazine, an Asia-focused photography magazine, has just been published, and it’s beautiful. There’s a real variety in both topics and photographic approaches. Based in India and Spain, the magazine publishes work produced by Asian photographers and writers about Asia. The magazine is produced by editor, and OjodePez founder, Frank Kalero, executive editor Lola Mac Dougall, literary editor Rajni George, and graphic designer Inca Roy. Issue 1 is also available via issuu, and according to the media kit, print editions can be found in “large international cities of Asia, Europe and America,” primarily in specialized bookshops, museums, galleries, photography schools, and the mailboxes of art critics.
(via Newsweek’s Picture Department)
- “Smudge-proof makeup tips for long days behind the camera”
- “Seasonal Flats: these flats will keep your feet covered, comfortable and cute while you’re on photo shoots”
- “Step-by-Step: create these beautiful lanterns for your studio”
- “Beauty Dish: New Jersey-based wedding photographer dishes about her camera-ready style”
- “Luminous Lenses: Shoot in style with these designer lens protection wraps”
- “Hanging Tough: These camera straps are stylish yet tough just like you”
-Headlines from PDN’s new women’s magazine, Pix
Photo District News have launched a new photography-focused digital magazine for women called Pix, a few screenshots from which are presented above. It’s a doozy. Jezebel is on the case: Finally, Lady Photojournalists Get Their Own Photo Ladymag Full of Lady Stereotypes. You can read through the whole first issue here, and the next issue will be available via iTunes in December 2012.
In more serious women-in-photography news, two women have been nominated to Magnum (Zoe Strauss and Bieke Depoorter, alongside Jerome Sessini), Isadora Kosofsky has won the 2012 Inge Morath Award, and as Matt wrote previously, the Alexia Foundation has started a $25,000 Women’s Initiative grant.
“The Washington Post Co. said Monday it has sold struggling Newsweek magazine, which it has published for half a century, to audio industry pioneer Sidney Harman.” -Washington Post sells Newsweek to stereo mogul, CNN
CNN reports that Newsweek has been sold to an audio industry magnate. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but the new owner may be on the hook for financial obligations totaling tens of millions of dollars. Sidney Harman pledges “to continue to produce a lively, compelling and first-rate news magazine, but also an equally dynamic Newsweek.com.” This comes after a Chinese group’s recent failed attempts to buy the magazine.
I’m back in the US and one of my favorite things about the return home is reading long magazine articles. I just found a stash of recent New Yorkers at a thrift store at 25 cents a pop, and I’m in heaven. Others online have been collecting and sharing some of their favorite long reads. Here are a few good resources:
- The Longreads twitter feed
- NYU’s list of the Top 100 Works of Journalism in the United States in the 20th Century (and this short list of entries on the list available for free online)
- Conor Friedersdorf’s lists of The Best of Journalism from 2009 and 2008.
- JournoCurator‘s twitter feed
- Kevin Kelly’s list of The Best Magazine Articles Ever
- Esquire’s own list of its 7 Greatest Stories the magazine has published
Unfortunately, these lists are all pretty limited to American journalism. But armed with those lists, you should have several years worth of reading material. Reading on a screen is never fun, though, and you could probably go broke on the printer ink alone. Nothing beats the printed page, but there are a few tools (Readability, Instapaper, Read It Later) that will make electronic reading less of a pain.
Newsweek is up for sale, after two years of staggering losses. After a redesign hoped to reinvigorate the weekly magazine in the era of internet-speed news delivery, the publication saw declining ad rates, declining circulation, fewer pages and pictures in each issue, much less original reporting, and substantial staff cuts. James Fallows, of the Atlantic, has a great perspective of what place Newsweek holds in the news magazine ecosystem and why an Economist- or Atlantic-like strategy won’t work for the magazine.
The current problems faced by the newsmagazines remind me of an item published on the New York Times’ Paper Cuts blog about the founding of Life magazine, ‘The Show-Book of the World’: Henry Luce’s Life Magazine Prospectus. Of particular note in the prospectus is the second section, which addresses the need for thoughtful visual journalism, and it rings even more true today:
Pictures have become a dynamic power in the Fourth Estate of the Twentieth Century. But, although people demand and get pictures in nearly every periodical; although the gravure section of the New York Times is the section most “read” by the distinguished clientele of that journal; although pictures have made FORTUNE famous; and although the superlatively successful Daily News is commonly regarded as a picture paper…
Nevertheless, people are missing relatively more of what the camera can tell than of what the reporter writes. With more or less success they “follow” the news–i.e. the written news. They scarcely realize how fascinating it can be to “follow” pictures–to be for the first time pictorially well-informed.
For this there are many reasons. Pictures are taken haphazardly. Pictures are published haphazardly. Naturally, therefore, they are looked at haphazardly. Cameramen who use their heads as well as their legs are rare. Rarer still are camera editors. Thus, many a newsworthy picture which can be taken is not taken. Thus, too, only a fraction of the best pictures of widest interest are brought to the attention of any one alert U.S. citizen. And almost nowhere is there any attempt to edit pictures into a coherent story–to make an effective mosaic out of the fragmentary documents which pictures, past and present, are.
The mind guided camera can do a far better job of reporting current events than has been done. And, more than that, it can reveal to us far more explicitly the nature of the dynamic social world in which we live.
-Henry Luce, June 1936 ‘The Show-Book of the World‘
Change a few words here and there, mention the ubiquity of photos on the internet, add a bit about the shift of news reporting from facts to opinion, and Luce’s prospectus could easily describe something missing and much-needed in the current mediascape.
Inside Magazine has just launched, and it looks great. Sponsored by SlovakAid and Magna: Children at Risk, the project brings together photography, essays, comics, and other coverage to address a single topic with each issue. The first issue covers poverty with incredible depth. Subscription is, incredibly, free, though you must cover the cost of shipping.
(via Peter Hoffman)
Newspapers are dying for a few reasons. Readers don’t want to pay for yesterday’s news, and advertisers follow them. Your iPhone, your laptop is muc more handy than the New York Times on Sunday. …. It’s enough to bury any industry. So, should we rather ask, “Can anything save newspapers?”…We started to redesign [newspapers]…I wanted to make posters, not newspapers….Design can turn your company upside down.” -Jacek Utko on newspaper design
Recent news in the decline of newspapers and magazines reminded me of the above video of Jacek Utko explaining his successes in reinvigorating European newspapers through design. By radically transforming the visual culture of newspapers in Poland, Estonia, Russia, and elsewhere, the newspapers’ circulations jumped between 30 and 100 percent. In Russia, circulation jumped 29%, in Poland 35%, a Bulgarian newspaper saw a 100% jump in circulation just after a visual redesign.
There’s a new tearsheet on my portfolio site, this one from Fader #61 (the whole issue is available as a downloadable pdf, as well). I’m honored to be in the company of the other great photographers involved in the shoot: Gabriele Stabile, Dominic Nahr, G.M.B. Akash, and Christopher Anderson. There’s a short story on the Fader website about how the shoot was put together behind the scenes, as well. The shoot, now a couple months ago, was a blast for my first foray into fashion.
There’s a great discussion over at Boing Boing Gadgets on the (dis)connection between Wired’s print magazine and Wired.com. Spurred by a New York Times report that Wired might die,former Wired.com contributor/architect Joel Johnson talks about the difficulties of marrying print content with online content, the separation of the newsrooms, and other goings-on behind the scenes. The comments are where it really gets interesting. Wired contributors Gary Wolf, Steve Silberman, editor-in-chief Chris Anderson, and a few anonymous Wired writers and Wired.com bloggers weigh in on everything from the magazine side’s liquor cabinet to the influence on content and decisions wielded by CondeNast and its proprietary content management system.