New York Day 4: NYU

In what was our last event for our trip in New York, the photo students went down to NYU to hear a talk on Photography 2.0. The discussion centered around the rise of the amateur photographer and citizen journalism, and how this may or may not affect professional journalists in the future.

The panelists included Jeffrey Scales of the New York Times, Mark Lubell, Director of Magnum Photos, Elizabeth Kilroy, an art director and web site designer, Kenny Irby, founder of the Poynter Institute’s photojournalism program, Warren Habib, Chief Technology Officer for, Jake Dobkin, publisher of Gothamist, and Pancho Bernasconi, Director of Photography for News with Getty.

The general consensus seemed to be that the influx of amateur photographers and citizen journalists would be able to tell stories that traditional media outlets could not. I tend to agree, but wish that Mr. Scales came a little bit more prepared, as he didn’t make the greatest of cases for why we would need to keep professional photojournalists.

I definitely plan on writing a post about amateur and citizen journalists, I know it is something that Professor Dunleavy touches on a good deal and something that has been in the news with the recent releasing of amateur/freelance/activist, I’m not quite sure how to classify him, video blogger Josh Wolf. However, since it is just about 4:30 a.m., I will save that post for another day.

Instead, I will list some of the things that I thought were interesting from the talk:

  • According to Habib, more photos were taken this year than in the entire history of photography.
  • Dobkin mentions that his site, Gothamist, is not here to compete with Magnum, but to add to the pool of information.
  • Dobkin goes on to say that they cover stories that would never be covered by the mass media but that are stories that are important to people in the community, and that they can also offer different perspectives on stories that are already being covered.
  • When questioned about the quality of content, Dobkin feels that there will be mechanisms in place that will allow good journalism and good photography to rise to the top.
  • Scales explains that people come, and will continue to come, to the NYT because they are trusted and they offer vetted information.
  • Scales also mentions that the beauty of the Internet is that there is so much room that democratization can occur.
  • Lubell notes that in the first 48 hours that Magnum’s Chernobyl Legacy story was online, it received 10 million visitors.

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