Photo Journalism is key to a good website.

October 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

Photos matter quite a bit in traditional newspapers and even more online. If a site has just plain text on it no one is going to read it. Even in newspapers large blocks of text are scary to readers. You need to show them a picture every once and a while.

Here are some news organizations that use photography well:

New York Times

The New York Times is usually good with their photography. Online the first thing anyone sees is a photo in the middle of the screen. This indicates to the reader that this is the story they should be looking at.

Some sites will use any old photo that goes with the story but the Times tends to have good editorial judgment.  The photo you feature on the front page needs to tell the whole story. And it needs to tell it well.

If a photo is bad then it should not be used just like if a story is poorly written it won’t be published.

The New York Times also has an audio/photo slideshow series called One in 8 million, where each show is a profile on someone from New York.

This is some of the best use of photos on the web I have seen from a major news organization.

However, when you go and click on a story things change. The Times sometimes doesn’t give much real estate to photos on the story pages. There are some stories where photos are promontory featured on the top but for the most part they are buried in the left side of the page.

LA Times

The Los Angeles Times does have something that the New York Times does not, and that’s an entire page linked from the navigation bar with photos.

Here is everything you may want to look at in one place, audio slideshows, photo stories and more.

The LA Times is similar to the New York Times in that it uses photos predominately on its from page. But it does give more real estate on the story pages to photos.

Photography is important in Journalism. Looking at a photo of an event can sometimes provide more insight and context then a 1,000 word story can.

-Frank Posillico


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