Doing the South(east) Asia thing

No, not me, but lots of my friends this summer.

Daniel went to Nepal, Diana went to the Phillipines, Kent went all over the place, and Tom is back in Laos, after rambles all over Thailand and Myanmar and those sorts of places.

All of them are photographers or writers or both, and not just in a “travel” sort of way — one has published a book, two are photojournalism students at SJSU, and another one is a real live movie cameraman and lighting guy who is working on a book of his own.

That would be Tom.

Tom’s been looking for some journalistic credentials to give himself a little credibility as he strolls around a tightly-controlled society trying to get people to talk about the not-so-pleasant past, so if you’re looking for a stringer who can shoot, drop a comment on Tom’s blog or check his profile for his email address, and hook him up with a gig. I’m sure he could turn out a great photo page without thinking about it too hard.

photo by Tom Guiney

Photo by Tom Guiney, copyright 2006

Late breaking update: It looks like Tom has attached himself to an Unexploded Ordinance (UXO) clearing NGO, and is preparing to head off to the country somewhere to trail a crew while they train the locals. Sounds like fun, eh?

Give him some interviewing tips. He’s used to having a film/video camera and a sound man around to document everything, so he needs all the help he can get.

Check out more of his photos here.

Will the real newspaper video model please stand up

What kind of video do you want in your online newspaper?

Broadcast-style stand-ups? Afternoon reports from the newsroom? Snarky into the camera videoblogs from your columnists? Straight news packages?

Mindy McAdams at Teaching Online Journalism has been talking about this all month, drilling down on things like the fancy new HD cameras that will let photojournalists shoot video and just pull the high-quality stills they want from there.

Yesterday, she pointed out Cade White’s efforts to get into the field and find out how pros are dealing with newspaper video. Cade followed a photog to a shoot that led to this cool bartending trick.

Okay, so here we have another category of video for your online newspaper, and I’m a bit of a fan of this one: supplemental content.

That’s right, I think blogs, podcasts, and video should all be supplemental content when it comes to newspapers.

Video is a great example of this: No one really wants to sit through half an hour of a city council meeting or a talking head interview or a panel discussion when they came for news and maybe entertainment. Hosting that sort of thing in a searchable archive is nice, but I’d rather be reading a story online and see a package of links in a box, one of which is an image that leads me to some relevant and interesting video.

A blog or podcast can be a topical, focused way to get more information to your readers about your beat. Does it mean more work for you? Maybe. Does it mean driving readers to your brand that wouldn’t have stumbled upon it otherwise? Surely.

And that translates, bluntly, to more eyeballs on your advertising. Because in the news business, page views still matter, although getting respect and Attention (with a capital A) for your brand gets more important with every link.

Adapt. Improvise. Overcome.

Daniel got roped into a bullshit internship program in Nepal, but instead of turning back, he just ditched said bullshitters and improvised himself some work.

In Kathmandu.

It does not appear to have been an easy or pleasant experience, but now he’s shooting for an NGO and making the best of his time there.


Follow Daniel’s photography at Flickr. I like this one.

Mercury News Photo becomes a blog. Cool. redesigned while I wasn’t looking, and what popped out is a nice modern WordPress blog. Cool.

What that means, first things first, is that I (and you) can now subscribe to an RSS feed from the site. Cool.

Second things second, you can leave comments on all the slideshows, video essays, and Flash presentations on the site. Cool.

Here’s a tip, guys: The default WordPress footer has that weird link to the RSS feeds that starts with “feed://” — if you click on it from Firefox, it tries to load whatever feedreader it can find on your hard drive, which can and will confuse people. (Hey Matt, what’s the deal with that, anyway? Lorelle points out in comments that it’s the individual theme developers who choose how to display the feed URL.) Anyway, I’d love to see a link to the RSS feed in the sidebar.

Looks great guys – keep it up!

A pair of photojournalism events at SJSU

If you’re a photojournalist, an art photographer, or a J-School student interested in multimedia journalism, you should check out Dai Sugano’s talk Thursday April 13th at an SJSU NPPA event.

Sugano shoots for the San Jose Mercury News and works on a small team of photographers, editors, and web producers putting together multimedia presentations at the Mercury News photography site. He’s also an SJSU alum and Spartan Daily veteran.
Also at SJSU right now, there’s a Chicano Photographer exhibit at King Library, put together by J-School alumnus Jesus Garza.

Garza graduated in 1978, and the five images on display are part of a proposal for a larger project.