Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
April 19, 2010

Welcome to BagNewsOriginals!

Welcome to BagNewsOriginals! Our mission is to present photographs and stories that you haven’t seen elsewhere before, or seen in this way: original content from photographers across America and around the world. Over the past six years, the BAG’s unique perspectives on published images have hopefully changed the way you read pictures — and as we have grown, photographers like myself have contributed our previously unpublished work to the BAG more and more — and now it is time to launch this new section.

We will have several main areas of coverage: The continuing crisis of our economy, the long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the fabric of American politics. Also, we will focus on other pressing issues that have been under-covered or badly covered by the mainstream media, such as the environment and the social fissures in American society. Each month we will present one main story, each essay will run serially over the month, but we will also post shorter pieces as they arise.

You will see the first of these tomorrow, from BAGNews Contributing Photographer Nina Berman who was just in Washington DC covering the Tea Party protest. Our first longer essay is by Anthony Suau, who has been working in Detroit and other cities of the industrial heartland, photographing the collapse of the auto industry, not just with the pathos and tragedy that you might expect, but with humor and passionate engagement as well. Future projects we have planned include a photographer who has stayed with the infantry unit that she embedded with in Afghanistan, as they’ve returned to civilian life; and another photographer who has traveled the Southwest and Mexico investigating the devastating impact of drying water.

The blog format will not change; we want to inspire a dialogue between you, the readers, and the photographers directly. We want to break down that traditional wall between elite publications condescending to trickle down images and information to the masses. As you’ve come to expect, we will continue to emphasize the individual images, the content and narrative there can be in a single frame, ways of seeing the multiple layers, and what they mean in a larger political context. Too often, the sense that “a photograph speaks a thousand words” takes too much for granted what those words are. Here, together we look forward to figuring it out.

–Alan Chin

Photographs by: Jon Lowenstein / NOOR; Mario Tama / Getty; Erin Trieb; Peter van Agtmael / Magnum; Ashley Gilbertson / VII Network;; Alan Chin; Nina Berman / NOOR; Timothy Fadek / Polaris

About the Photographer

Alan Chin

Alan Chin was born and raised in New York City’s Chinatown. Alan Chin was born and raised in New York City’s Chinatown. Since 1996, he has worked in China, the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, and throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. In the US, Alan has explored the South, following the historic trail of the civil rights movement and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, covered multiple presidential campaigns, and the Occupy Wall Street movement. He is a contributing photographer to Newsweek/Daily Beast and The New York Times, a member of Facing Change: Documenting America (FCDA), and an editor at You can see all Alan's posts for BagNews here.

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