How to get started in photojournalism

Jim McNay — former NPPA president and current photojournalism director at the Brooks School of Photography — has put together “a comprehensive, accessable, honest-but-not-too-discouraging compilation of issues professional journalists may face. He gives a lot of details about educational requirements, economics, technology and convergence and other issues,” writes Jack Zibluk, of Arkansas State University.

Getting Started in Photojournalism

Here’s what McNay says about my favorite topic:

Wherever one gets it, entry-level photographers can no longer just think of themselves as “just” still photographers. Still photographs are part of the content package that includes slide shows with music, recorded audio of the story’s subjects, narrated audio, and eventually, video story telling. Once can begin with still and audio slide shows while in school. This will help carry a photographer into the video world.

Naples Daily News staff photographer Lexey Swall notes, “The Naples Daily News has gone to a ‘web first’ philosophy — meaning that the website is where we put the stories and photos the moment they are finished.” She adds, “Then the web acts as a ‘news service’ for our print edition, where ideally, we will do more in depth coverage of a given story and hopefully not regurgitate what people have already read on the Web.”

This approach is one sweeping the printed media industry as magazines and newspapers “move to the Web” which is now seen by managers as the new profit center for those companies that produce “content.”

At the Journal News in White Plains, New York Deputy Managing Editor for Presentation Larry Nylund says, “The list of qualifications we look for in a photojournalism applicant just got a lot longer.”


“The photo department [is] now known as the multimedia department,” Nylund says. “We are looking for talented people who can step in with the skills needed to tell visual stories in many different ways.”

The photographers in Nylund’s department contribute to the newspaper, magazines, weekly tabloids, a television station and a Website. Photographers carry still and video cameras, laptops, cell phones. The company now has video and audio studios.

Technorati tags: | |

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.