When I first started taking journalism classes in college, I was drawn to the print department over photo or broadcast because, in general, I felt it gave a better opportunity to really tackle an issue rather than try to capture it in a photo or 30-second sound bite. I enjoy the chance to try and describe a place, a situation or a person, aiming to make the reader feel like they’ve experienced these things themselves.
Still, when it comes down to it, sometimes a photo really is better than a thousand words.
Few things show this better than The Boston Globe’s new blog, The Big Picture. The photojournalism blog is compiled semi-regularly by Alan Taylor and uses high-quality photos from different news services around the world to focus on current events, lesser-known stories or “just about anything that comes across the wire that looks really interesting.”
And the featured photos truly are “big pictures;” they run at a size that will take up most of your computer screen. It’s a nice departure from the small images that generally accompany online news articles and the ever-constant space struggle between stories, photos and ads in print. The web is free of the restraints of the hardcopy pages, so it’s nice that this blog has actually taken advantage of that.
My personal favorites are this photo of a Chinese couple after an earthquake struck during their wedding photo shoot at a deserted Catholic seminary and the series on an indigenous tribe protesting a hydroelectric dam. Warning: The photos of the protest include some of an engineer who was cut with a machete after his presentation, which begs the question of why they were allowed to bring machetes to a public meeting, but I digress.
The new blog is a simple idea. It has stunning pictures. And, as it’s a very smart way to tell stories, it’s something I hope we see more papers emulate soon.
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