Reading the Pictures produces two video programs. Chatting the Pictures is a biweekly, highly-edited 10-minute webcast featuring publisher Michael Shaw and visual academic Cara Finnegan analyzing 3 key news photographs. The Reading the Pictures Salon is a panel discussion concerned with how the media and social media visually frame key social and cultural issues.

Previous Videos
Video August 4, 2022

Chatting the Pictures: The Ghosts of Lake Mead

As drought from the climate crisis diminishes rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, ancient and eerie objects are washing up worldwide.

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Video July 26, 2022

Chatting the Pictures: The NRA’s Dangerous Aims

The provocative photo reflects the growing backlash to rampant gun violence as much as the NRA's enabling of it.

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Women and Gender Focus Video July 20, 2022

Chatting the Pictures: In the Post-Roe Blur

As distinct from the protests, the photo calls up the post-Roe state of mind, including the confusion, determination, and women on the move.

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Video July 15, 2022

Chatting the Pictures: A More Real Heat Wave Photo

As the climate crisis grows more intense, this image offers a worthy contrast to the more typical heat wave news photo.

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Video July 12, 2022

Chatting the Pictures: A Border Photo Equally Informed by Hope and Policy

Focusing on the documents of these young refugees, we discuss how the informational value of the photo compliments its emotional impact.

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Videos, explained by Michael Shaw
More about Chatting the Pictures and the Salon.

Chatting the Pictures is a lively, highly edited look at key news photographs. Co-hosts Michael Shaw, publisher of Reading the Pictures, and writer and historian, Cara Finnegan, meet to discuss three prominent photos in the recent news. You can find all the Chatting the Pictures replays here.

The Reading the Pictures Salon analyzes 8-9 carefully researched photos chosen for theme and depth of content. Each 90-minute panel is made up of leading photographers, photo editors, visual academics and other experts experienced in the subject.

Since 2008, we have produced 29 Salons working with sponsors such as Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the Open Society Foundation. We have covered topics from social justice to political campaigns to foreign policy. For examples, take a look at: The Visual Representation of the US/Mexico Border Wall in the Media; How Science is Pictured in the Media and Public Culture; The Visual Framing of the Migrant Crisis; The Visual Framing of Surveillance; The Debate Over White House Photo Access; The Picture from Syria; or The War on Women. Each post contains a full replay of the broadcast, along with 2-3 minute highlight videos from each photo discussed. You can find all the full salons here.