Media disruption (2): news consumption today


 

Given the primacy of the screen and the rise of mobile – the topic of the first article in this series – how and where do people get their news? If you are looking for the audience, where are they? The primacy of the screen means media companies necessarily operate within the same digital space. … Continued

Media disruption (1): The primacy of the screen and mobile


 

What are the key features of the media economy in 2015? And how do those features effect the work of visual storytellers? Two years on from the publication of Visual Storytelling in the Age of Post-Industrial Journalism, I want to update – in a series of articles – some of the central findings of that … Continued

Copy culture: What people actually think about file sharing


 

The revolutions in the media economy and the new media landscape are producing new dynamics in the circulation of digital files. To appreciate how image makers might function best in this new ecology, we need to learn from other areas, and music is one domain where some work has been done. The American Assembly, affiliated with Columbia … Continued

Paying for multimedia: MediaStorm’s Pay Per Story scheme


 

Few things remain more challenging, and require more experimentation, than finding a way to fund new visual stories. It has never been easy to sustain documentary work, but now we have a new development that is worth watching. MediaStorm have built an enviable reputation as the leading multimedia production studio, and their launch of “Pay Per … Continued

Kony2012: networks, activism and community


 

In the short history of social media, Kony2012 is now the most viral video ever, having reached 100 million views inside six days. Its success has been quickly examined by media analysts and some of the early findings are fascinating for what they reveal about the spread of information in the new media economy. The … Continued

Kony2012, symbolic action and the potential for change


 

A week on from the “Kony 2012” video eruption, I want to take a step back and ask: what does this tells us about the media economy, what does it suggest about the state of activism, and how should we think about change in the face of global problems? I’m not going to add much … Continued

The struggle for the open web: putting ‘piracy’ in perspective


 

The struggle for the open web is going to be a big issue in 2012. Given the importance of the internet to creative producers, its something we should be paying a lot of attention to. And that means, first up, thinking about the implications of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) currently before the US … Continued

The new media landscape (3): community, transactions and value


 

  The disruptive power of the internet has produced a new ecology of information. As outlined in the first post of this series, this is the inescapable big picture for anyone engaged in creative practice. This new ecology of information incorporates some hard realities for those of us seeking to support creative practice. In the … Continued

The new media landscape (2): the importance of community


 

  The disruptive power of the internet has made ‘community’ an essential concept in the new media landscape. A community is a group of people who share the similar interests, concerns or pursuits. They form around common purposes or practices. As argued in the first post of this series, the internet ‘disintermediates’ because it collapses … Continued

The new media landscape (1): contours of change


 

Change in the media landscape is constant. Everyone involved in the production of creative content – photographers, journalists, writers, and musicians, as well as those who deal in those products – knows that nothing is as it was. Too much of the current debate about how creative practitioners can cope with these upheavals proceeds without … Continued

The Back Catalogue (2): Photojournalism in the new media economy


 

Welcome to the second in “The Back Catalogue” series of posts… I’ve been actively writing online for nearly three years now, and one of the challenges of the blog format is how to keep old posts with content that is potentially still relevant from slipping off the radar. And because this site combines my research with … Continued

Paying for photojournalism: a review of the New York Times ‘pay wall’


 

Newspapers in the US and UK continue to struggle with growing debt, declining circulation and falling advertising revenue. In the search for additional sources of revenue, new schemes for paid content are being implemented. (For an excellent overview of the issues, listen to WNYC’s On the Media podcast from January 28). After nearly two years planning, … Continued

Learning from Larry, part two: what crowd funding looks like from the donor’s perspective


 

My postman brought an envelope from Larry Towell this week. Sent from Canada, it contained the 6×4 inch photograph (above) offered to those who pledged US$25 towards Larry’s “Crisis in Afghanistan” project. Personally captioned “International Committee of the Red Cross, Kabul, Afghanistan 2010” it was also personally signed. In my original post reviewing Larry’s Kickstarter-funded … Continued

Learning from Larry: what crowd funding photojournalism means and how to do it better


 

Larry Towell is one of the most accomplished contemporary photojournalists. Two weeks ago I became a backer of his “Crisis in Afghanistan” project, pledging $25 through Kickstarter. Today was the deadline for Larry to attract backers, and with 143 supporters contributing $14,007, the project exceeded its target and is up and running. I became a … Continued

Making documentary possible: How the Internet leads to new funding opportunities


 

Finding the money to enable new photographic work is one of the most pressing issues practitioners currently face. Editorial paymasters have been in decline for a very long time, forcing those who want to pursue challenging and time-consuming projects to seek other means of support. Now the Internet’s disruption of the media economy has quelled … Continued

The ongoing revolution in the media economy


 

The revolutions transforming the media economy continue apace. In the year since I published my five part series on these changes (beginning here and ending here) we have seen more evidence of the overall direction of change. Reviewing my notes from 2010 here are some of the standout developments to date: 1. Things remain grim … Continued

Dead or alive? The state of photojournalism


 

Photography has always been associated with death. The French painter Paul Delaroche is supposed to have proclaimed, “From today, painting is dead” after he saw his first daguerreotype. Whatever the provenance of that quote, miniature portrait painting was replaced by new photographic technologies, even though their long exposure times meant, as Geoffrey Batchen has written, … Continued

Revolutions in the media economy (5): the pay wall folly for photographers


 

This has been a momentous year for media. In my previous four posts on the revolutions in the media economy, I have used the present uncertainty to take a fresh look at the past many now view nostalgically. This critical view demonstrated that newspapers have always been commercial enterprises rather than altruistic associations, they were … Continued

The future of academic publishing in the digital age


 

Over the past few months I have been part of an ad hoc working group with colleagues from Newcastle University that has been exploring the future of academic publishing. Two problematics framed our analysis: how are changes initiated by the digital economy affecting academic journals and how might the editorial team of a top flight … Continued

Revolutions in the media economy (4): disturbing the university


 

The social media revolution I have been exploring in this series of posts has disrupted journalism and challenged photojournalism. That is because – as Clay Shirkey makes clear in Here Comes Everybody – the web has not simply introduced a new competitor into the old media ecosystem; it has created a fundamentally different ecosystem. At … Continued

Revolutions in the media economy (3): photojournalism’s futures


 

How do the revolutions in the media economy (detailed in the first and second post of this series) affect photojournalism? Given both the crisis in the distribution of information and the new opportunities for the structure of information, what futures are there for photojournalism? This assumes ‘photojournalism’ is an accepted category of photographic practice.  It … Continued

Revolutions in the media economy (1): the context of crisis


 

The way news and information is reported and delivered to citizens is undergoing profound transformations, especially in the United States and Europe. In the last twelve months commentary has been rife with claims about “the death of newspapers,” the end of journalism, and the impact this crisis will allegedly have on democratic politics. In a … Continued