Photojournalism and Visual Storytelling in an Age of a Trillion Images
Sunday, April 7
8:30 am – 12:15 pm | Conference Room 5/6


This symposium features three chronological panel sessions exploring the challenges and opportunities digital, networked new media pose to communicators who follow the mission of the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA). The mission states… “The National Press Photographers Association is dedicated to the advancement of visual journalism, its creation, practice, training, editing and distribution, in all news media and works to promote its role as a vital public service.”

This mission prompts a number of questions in this new media ecology. We are witnessing massive and ongoing changes in imaging technologies and skills, thanks to the digital explosion.  For example, how do you maintain NPPA principles when many people are viewing on their cell phones with the mute function engaged, is audio production threatened?  What about traditional video production standards such as sequencing, matched action, composition, stabilized shots, and effective lighting? There are challenges to the maintenance of quality, preserving ethical standards, and educating the next generation in appropriate communication skills.

SESSION 1: Creating Visual Storytellers Who Stand Out and Stand Up for Quality

Is NPPA still the standard bearer in visual storytelling? Professionals and academics discuss the challenges of maintaining excellence in a selfie world of cat videos and eroding production values.

Moderator: Joe Champ, Colorado State University
Panelists: Bob Gould, Michigan State University and former NPPA President
Ama Arthur-Asmah, NPPA Member and KUSA-TV Video Journalist
Thor Wasbotten, Kent State University

SESSION 2: Small Phone, Big Production!

This demonstration panel features renowned storytelling experts who have adapted to the mobile technology that allows all of us to generate and edit audio, video and pictures at a moment’s notice.

Moderator: Dani Castillo, Colorado State University
Panelists: John Goheen, Loyola University Chicago
Mike Castellucci, Michigan State University

SESSION 3: An NPPA Look Ahead: Application and Education for Tomorrow’s Storytellers

Expertise and ethics matter, and it’s our job to persuade students that visual craft, infused with ingenuity, will set them apart and make them employable.

Moderator: Steve Weiss, Colorado State University
Panelists: Akili-Casundria Ramses, NPPA Executive Director
Bethany Swain, University of Marylad
Brian Weister, Manager of Digital Media Production, Denver Police Department