April 15, 2009

"Resolving" Shaw, Chin And The BAGnewsNotes Mission


I want to thank the people at Live Books and their new “Resolve” blog for dedicating an extensive amount of space, time, thought and editing resource to examining our “journalism” here at BAGnewsNotes, and in particular, my collaboration with photographer Alan Chin.

Resolve was specifically interested in understanding how BAGnewsNotes — as an independent, progressive and still-evolving enterprise — is pioneering a new editorial and business model for the publication of photojournalism and the analysis of media and visual politics.

Over nine interview-style posts, the series traces my collaboration with Alan from the time we first met almost four years ago (when a person many of the readership couldn’t quite believe was Alan Chin — then embedded in Iraq with The New York Times — suddenly joined in a contentious BAG discussion of one of his images published by The Times the day before) through our work together covering Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath; Virginia Tech; the ’08 presidential primaries; our wall-to-wall, DNC-accredited coverage of the Democratic Convention in Denver; and more.

Immersed in a medium which affords little time to step back, let alone, an opportunity to study the long view, I find the series incredibly valuable. What it helps me appreciate (beyond a selection of Alan’s wonderful images) is how, as old media struggles, we have been engaged in a thoughtful, dramatically educational, unfolding experiment to create an innovative, independent and, ultimately, we hope, economically-viable form of political media out of this, our laboratory.

(The images book-ended here, by the way, and also featured in the second post in the Resolve series, illustrate “the larger picture” Alan and I try to get at. The view above is the what most media consumers saw of Rudy Giuliani’s photo-op at the Segway plant during last year’s New Hampshire primary. The image below is the simultaneous reaction of the temporarily-inconvenienced Segway workers demonstrating their reaction to the show.)

>> Check out the Resolve series: Photo assignments from bloggers: new model or same old problems? We’re interested, of course, in your feedback.

>> Also, check out, bookmark and follow the Live Books Resolve photojournalism blog here.

(Images © Alan Chin. New Hampshire. January 5, 2007)
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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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