Thursday, May 15, 2008

L.A. Times Launches Visual Journalism Dept.

Newspapers everywhere are struggling with how to best adapt images to the Web, a medium that can accommodate so much more than still pictures.

Photojournalists are having to learn a whole new set of skills -- not just the nuts-and-bolts of shooting and editing video, but also how to tell an entire story (and not just provide visual accompaniment), complete with audio interviews and sound bites, while meeting the basic standards of journalism. Whew!

Similarly, print journalists are being handed fancy new equipment, given fast-track tech and software training, and sent out to shoot and edit audio-slideshows and video stories (and still meet their daily print deadlines).

The Los Angeles Times is in the vanguard of metropolitan dailies that are making a concerted effort to maximize their talent pools, and allocate their personnel and resources intelligently, to meet the new challenges of telling stories online with moving pictures.

Read today's memo from L.A. Times Editor Russ Stanton, about the creation of its new Visual Journalism department.


Today, we are creating a fully integrated department in editorial that will serve our site and our newspaper, combining our print photo, Web photo and video operations into one new department: Visual Journalism.

Today, three photo staffers and five editors work full time to produce photos, photo galleries and videos for the web, and almost all others in the department have been cross-trained and contribute to both mediums.

Combining these three departments under the umbrella of visual journalism will improve our ability to present multimedia storytelling in an even more engaging way, and take greater advantage of our outstanding photo staff.

KobreGuide will be watching, and looks forward to seeing improved video and multimedia on We'll be right here in a few weeks to point you directly to their best efforts.

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