Editor’s note: As part of a media transparency initiative, on May 8, 2017, the Collegian spent the last day of publishing of the year telling our readers about us. You can read more about the people behind our publication in the Editor’s Blog.
Today, everyone carries some form of a camera attached to their smartphone and because of this, photojournalism has become a diminished art form. Many news outlets are getting rid of a majority of their photographers and training their reporters in iPhone photography instead, which can clearly be seen on the cover of the Chicago Sun-Times the day after the Cubs won the World Series. I am so thankful that I work for a company that values photos.
I may be a little biased, but I always believed that photos are the most important part of the media. Photos are not just useful for their artistic qualities and their ability to fill space on a page. Reporters are trained to report unbiased facts and complete accuracy, and I greatly admire their ability to do so. However, above all that, photos convey emotion and meaning. They allow readers to see the faces of the people in the story. They serve as windows of information that cannot always be communicated through words.
Throughout this year, the Collegian had the opportunity to cover a lot of highly emotional and unique events – the presidential election, countless protests, the final year of Hughes Stadium, the end of trombone suicides, and many others. As I write this, I am flipping through the giant stack of newspapers that I have accumulated throughout the year, and I can only hope that we, as the Photo Desk did you, the readers, justice in portraying these events artistically and effectively.
To the photographers and photojournalists who took photos for the desk – thank you. Thank you for putting up with my forgetfulness and stress. Thank you for having patience when I did not always reply to your messages in a timely manner or know how to answer your questions. It was a privilege to edit your photos and watch each of you grow as photojournalists. I wish I could have given you more feedback and time. My advice and last wishes from you are to get more involved. Go into the newsroom and hang out with the reporters. Sit in on a news meeting. Shoot every day. Bring your camera with you everywhere. Do not be afraid to talk to people.
Next year, I am confident that the photo desk will be in good hands. The desk has come a long way in the past year and it can only go upwards from here. There will be bumps and hurdles and a lot of panicking as you try to come up with a good photo to run on the cover, but it will be worth it. Good luck, Tony.
Photo Editor 2016-2017