This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – the Auckland Festival of Photography opens this weekend, plus a new photography award that celebrates long-form visual storytelling, and what Covid-19 looks like around the world.
Auckland Festival of Photography – Talking Culture
It has been a busy week getting ready for two talks as part of the Talking Culture programme. I hope to see you in the zoom room on Saturday for The Female Eye and Unseen – female identity & myths in photography. All free!
New Award for Australian Photographers:
Entries for the new Australian Photography Awards (APA) – Stories will be accepted until June 30.
“Stories sets out to discover, promote and amplify the important work being made by Australian photographers from around the world. We are calling for series work and photo-essays exploring traditional and new modes of storytelling.”
I’m super excited to be one of the judges along with APA founders Harriet Tarbuck and Tom Goldner and photographer Matthew Abbott.
Australian Journalism Hit Hard, Again:
In yet another blow to Australian journalism and to democracy, this week News Corp (Murdoch) axed 100 regional and suburban print newspapers, with many ceasing production (The Guardian). According to the Australian Newsroom Mapping Project since January 2019, more than 210 print newspapers around the country have either ceased production permanently, or put the masthead on ice. In April 2020 alone, 60 print editions were moved online. Buzzfeed has pulled out of Australia and the UK showing that digital media is not immune to the impact of the advertising downturn.
The decline of the newspaper sector comes at a time when news consumption has skyrocketed. A University of Canberra study conducted in April found that 70% of respondents accessed news at least once a day, compared to 56% in 2019. But largely we are not paying for it and with so much free information online from around the world there is little impetus for consumers to become subscribers. This comes back to the question of whether we as a society value quality journalism because it costs money to produce! It is also indicative of what happens when the market leads and when media is corporatised.
There may be an opportunity for smaller, independent newspapers to rise and fill the void, but unless these new enterprises avoid replicating the corporatised structures that have defeated ‘new’ media such as Buzzfeed, we will continue to see an erosion of journalism along with the critical function it plays in keeping the bastards honest.
Okay, having got that off my chest, I want to share some images published in the The Atlantic over the past couple of months. The visual documentation of the coronavirus pandemic is quite fascinating. In the coming months I’m going to share a range of pictures and also launch a new video series, Photojournalism Now: In Conversation. The first video is in production so watch this space!
Covid-19 – How things are looking around the globe