August 21, 2008

BAGnewsNotes Visualizes The Democratic Convention



Dncleadupbutton In four days, BNN will be sharing space with CNN and the like as a credentialed blog and independent-minded member of the Democratic Convention media contingent.  As I see it, our involvement is not just a win for the progressive blogosphere, but — in terms of our specific mission here — also important recognition of the power and significance of visual politics.

The opportunity also allows a rare opportunity to get more “newsy.”  In contrast to “The BAG’s” rather deliberate pace, we’re going to try something more up-tempo, offering up to a handful of posts a day analyzing pictures; tracking the visual coverage around the web; and providing you with a stream of original material from photojournalist Alan Chin.

To make this happen, I’ll be joined by the young technical, editorial and design wizard, Al Shaw, who was just named this week as Associate Publisher at Talking Points Memo (who, otherwise, will be happy to visualize a bigger BAG).

As regards Alan Chin, the two of us have been evolving a unique, collaborative style of political analysis and visual reportage ever since Katrina, working it out on the campaign trail the past two years from Iowa to New Hampshire to Ohio.  There are various ways to describe what we’ve been up to, including looking at the campaign from the edges, or from underneath and around the media view, or as a portrait of the-not-so-obvious even in plain sight.  I can’t tell what Denver will yield for the collaboration, but what I can promise is that it will be informed, uncompromisingly curious and alive.

Broadening the coverage, I have also extended an invitation to an esteemed group of visual experts — from photojournalists, visual academics and professionals in the photographic arts and publishing — to forward analysis and insights into the convention’s visual framing and the media’s visual coverage.  I’m hoping to include as many of those contributions as possible.  (If, wearing my dozen hats, I happened to miss many of my friends and colleagues, I extend the offer now.)

And then, what would this coverage — or the site, for that matter — be without you, the readership, The BAG’s at-large analytical team.  Besides your consistent and ever-thoughtful sustenance of the comment threads (that, yes, will be moving along at a faster-than-usual clip), I have a big editorial and research favor to ask….

To make this a truly communal effort, would you be willing to look out for key convention week images and pass them along with your own couple lines of thoughts and analysis?  I can say exactly how much will end up being posted, but I guarantee everything you send (OPENBAG at BAGNEWS dot com) will be carefully read and considered, and will be invaluable in helping formulate the best sense of the overall picture.

Looking forward to a good ride.

(Images courtesy Alan Chin. Ohio. 2008.  Posted by permission)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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