November 19, 2007

State Of The BAG


(Last March in Berlin)

Heading into the holiday season, I wanted to pause a moment and take stock.

BNN has had an incredible run over the past year, having expanded its visibility, acceptance and dialogue with both the photojournalism community and, more lately, the world of academia.

Based on your donations to Our Own Media Fund back in February, BNN has been able to formalize and expand its relationship with distinguished photojournalists, including new contributers Nina Berman and Lori Grinker (joining Tim, Héctor and the amazing Alan Chin.)

Since the summer, The BAG has been developing an intellectual collaboration with the blog No Caption Needed, authored by Northwestern’s Robert Hariman and Indiana University’s John Lucaites, co-authors of the distinguished book of the same name.  John has been contributing to BNN, and the three of us are working on an exciting new “discussion-based” offering which we plan to unveil before the end of the year.

With my Reading The Pictures feature at Huffington Post and a new column at American Photo (I encourage you to check out my latest, by the way), BAGnewsNotes is gaining more access to leading images and news-making photographers, as well as creating more interest in the analysis of visual framing and the “reading” of single (and singular) political and media images.

After Thanksgiving, I’m looking forward to sharing a lot of exciting content with you.  I’ll have original Iraq war images from Lori Grinker.  I’m planning an extended look at images from Cristoph Bangert’s important new book: Iraq, The Space Between.  I’ll be doing a follow-up on The Marlboro Marine, with attention to accompanying videos by the Emmy Award winning web production firm, MediaStorm.  Also, in collaboration with visual scholars, I’m hoping to take an extended look at how missile defense websites take advantage of visuals, as well as how countries are engaging in nation branding.

…And, of course, I’ll be picking up the pace of election coverage, hoping to focus a little more on the analysis of campaign video.

Above all, however, I wish to credit and thank you, The BAGnewsNotes readers and discussants.  As daily partners and co-analysts in “reading the pictures,” this mission couldn’t sustain itself without you.  Not only am I in constant awe of the depth and quality of the seminar here, our discussion forum is a fundamental reason why photographers and scholars seek to engage with The BAG.

From every indication, BAGnewsNotes is poised to expand and branch out in exciting and fundamental ways over the coming months.  Thank you so much for believing in, encouraging and sharing in the ownership of it.

Although I’m a few days early, I wish you a warm Thanksgiving and a pleasant holiday season.  As always, I welcome your comments, suggestions or other feedback.

(image: Thanks Leo!)

Post By

Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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