Documentally – Photo Journalism in a Digital World

Courtesy of Digital Bury, I recently saw a presentation from Christian Payne.  Chris is a photo journalist, videographer, documentary maker and an evangelist for on-line communication.  Also known as Documentally and latterly Our Man Inside, Chris is a one man communication beacon.

A journalist who is engaged in the online world, Chris reports the experiences of his professional and personal life from war photography in Iraq to interviewing key politicians and uploading this live.  He also reports the key points of his own life such as the birth of his son or the arrival of his Brompton bicycle.

This is as far removed from traditional journalism as you can get.  Forget the shorthand note book or the mini recorder.  Forget the normal publishing and broadcast cycle.  Forget the controlling hand of the editor.  Forget traditional media channels for that matter – his online communications address the public directly.

There were lots of ideas in the presentation, more than I can elaborate here.  However, one compelling message was not that the communication mix is changing but rather it has changed – permanently.

Chris emphasises on his web site the importance of the digital image.  More than this he regrets the proliferation of uncaptioned pictures – pictures that are devoid of context or explanation.  That’s the essence of PR – to tell stories that give meaning to images and that explain the facts and detail of the situation properly.

Kevin Ainsworth, Partner, Ainsworth Maguire Public Relations

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