Reflection – Media workers and working culture

[Originally posted on the A4KeyConcepts group blog; reposting it here for reference]

Media workers:

Photographers in a small town, working in local media.

Working culture:

  • everyone reports to their editors and editors-in-chief
  • everyone has to be onsite, either with a reporting journalist or by himself
  • they need to cooperate with the reporters and staff editors in the office
  • when shooting the same event, depending on which medium they come from and how important the story is, their attitude to the other photographers varies from friendly and helpful to rude and competitive; sometimes one would help a colleague with a spare battery kit, but in other occasions, they might act offensive
  • some of them belong to one photographic society, others – to another; they have their arguments, but at the end of the day, they often go out together – both to restaurants, and for walks outside the city, sometimes for photowalks etc.
  • they often work together on common projects, especially exhibitions and local promotional materials
  • when threatened by people from other social/professional groups, they tend to group and stand by each other against the ‘threat’

How to research about them more:

The best way to get to know a group of people is to be close to them – ie. work with them, go wherever they are going, try to talk to them, interview, ask questions about their workflow, their aspirations, what they believe, etc.

Another approach to get to know them might be to compare photos of the same story made by different photographers – they’ve all been at the same place, but have taken different photos. Further, one can research whether the photo has been made in a specific way because the photographer decided to do it or because he was given guidelines from the editors. A lot of different approaches could be identified when comparing photos for a lifestyle issue compared to a news organisation; it also depends if it is a daily, weekly or a monthly issue, what target audiences it has, and often – who owns it.

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