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Photojournalism – Is it Still Viable? Episode 17

Another episode, another rant. But this time we decided to be different. Instead of three guys who have never practiced true photojournalism before, we brought in one of our regular listeners, Grammar Nazi! (a.k.a. Steven). Steven, or Mr. Nazi if you prefer to be formal like Tony, not only has been teaching photojournalism at the university level for a really long time (how long? listen to the damn show and find out!) but has also worked as a journalist and photojournalist.

Can you believe it? We actually got someone with real credentials to talk about it. And (to quote my current favorite show, Archer) “Holy shit balls!” This guy is good and knows what the hell he is talking about. So, yeah, maybe we turned the clock back a bit and the show is a bit NPR-ish but when you hear what Steven has to say, you’ll know why all three of us are super-excited about this episode.

Is Photojournalism Dead?

That’s the obvious question, isn’t it? All three of the guys were almost ready to declare professional photojournalism as a dead vocation. Grammar Nazi assures us that it isn’t. It’s just found in different places these days. He points out that, while large papers like New York Times and the Wall Street Journal are laying far more people off than they are hiring, they are also completely ignoring smaller towns and cities with their coverage. So, to answer Rob’s question about what career path awaits a graduating journalist, Steven paraphrases the famous line, “go small, young man!”

Our Featured Artists


Sumi-e requires patience and time; two things that are the antithesis of photojournalism

Again… holy shit balls! If you listened to episode 16 (you did listen, right?) you heard Rick go off like a Roman Candle about flower photography. Don’t worry, he still despises it in most incarnations (in-carnations… see what I did there?) but he also chose to pay homage to Nancy Rotenberg, a recently deceased photographer who worked with floral subjects a lot. And did so in a way that Rick found inspiring.

Rob has discovered the beautiful sumi-e work of Yolanda Mayhall. Ms. Mayhall is an American artist who learned the traditional sumi-e art when she lived in Japan with her husband, another artist who died in 2005 (welcome to the dead artists’ episode). As you’ve been listening to the show and learning about Rob’s affinity for simple design and aesthetics, you will immediately know why he is drawn to her work.

Again, a huge thank you to Steven the Grammar Nazi for his insight, humor, and time in sharing with us the past, present, and future of photojournalism. You can follow Steven on Twitter @thegrammarnazi or read his blog at http://www.stevenchappell.com/

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