Like so many photographers I “meet” today, Matt Brandon and I came to know of each other thanks to Twitter. His passion for photography, people and travel intrigued me. Scanning his blog one day, I stumbled upon the beautiful multimedia show you see below on Bangla Sahib. What I liked most about this slideshow was Matt's use of ambient sound and interviews as we are taken through the lives of those who visit this beautiful Gurudwara (a Sikh temple).
Matt Brandon has a special eye for portraits of people set in their natural environment. He photographs images of the forgotten, the unknown and the helpless. He shoots beauty and sees it everywhere. The beauty in the eyes of a seven year old street girl of Old Delhi, an eighty year old shepherdess in the Himalaya. He sees the beauty in the face of the over worked 60 year old Indonesian farmer or the Buddhist monk Cambodia. He sees value in telling their story. These are stories that most people would over look. The cultures of the “other part” of the world have a special draw for him, ever since he was a child in Alaska.
Matt spent over thirteen years living in India and now resides with his family in Malaysia. He shoots often for international faith based NGOs and non-profits. He takes assignments regularly. Matt's images have been used by international clients such as Partner Aid International, NeighborWorks, the BBC, Honda Motor Corporation, and the Bombadier Transport Corporation. If you are looking for a photographer for your next assignment, no matter where, please give Matt a call or email him.
“The MediaStorm Multimedia Workshops are intensive, hands-on educational experiences in advanced multimedia storytelling.”
Go apply … yourself!
Newspapers in the US aren't doing well. It's a beleaguered business awash in red ink and low morale. That's a broad statement and I am sure there are exceptions to this. But if you look at what is going on – shrinking budgets, loss of readers, layoffs, closures and sales – one realizes that the era of newspapers as the only source of news has come to an end.
Television sucked off a great number of people, who with little time on their hands depend on the 11 p.m. newscast to give them the “news” in small morsels and sound bites. The Internet has further supplanted the readership from newspapers because what can be delivered online is, in my opinion, even better than television. It's not just about speed. You certainly have a myriad of options on your computer that your television simply does not offer. Need I say it, newspapers simply cannot compete in this arena anymore.
So, the new king of info is really the Internet. Yet, it too needs to be massaged into something that the audience will return to use and appreciate. And, eventually something that advertisers can depend on for their revenue streams to start flowing again. Take a look at CNN.com or MSNBC.com; you will find succinct articles that are often myopic in nature. The articles on those sites may satisfy a certain class of online readers but it leaves those of us wanting more (yeah, there is always the New Yorker or the NY Times Sunday magazine, right?) with really nothing substantial to munch on. I think this is gross misuse of technology. No, I don't want to be bombarded with long, droning pieces either. The rush to scoop the other channel has quite often had these cable giants correcting their mistakes after the fact. It can be sloppy journalism; maybe fair, but inaccurate as well. Make these errors often enough and your online readership is going to start looking elsewhere for their news.
To their credit, MSNBC.com has showcased some of the best use of multimedia (in its true sense) than any other website. They have the capacity to do so, but also the directive of the management that sees this kind of work as informative and inspirational. The two newspapers that have successfully harnessed the Internet are The New York Times and The Washington Post. Again, there may be more out there, but that's where I head for my news and multimedia presentations on the web.
But more needs to be done. Enter Craig Newmark, of Craigslist.org fame. He may be the man to turn things on its head. As investigative journalists are let go at newspapers, Mr. Newmark intends to hire them for his yet to be named online news project. This should be interesting to watch. Will this turn into yet another “citizen-journalism” project? How will Mr. Newmark account for credibility and accuracy? There are lots of questions, but it is great to see that alternatives are starting to crop up.
Another “newsie” project is by Mike Davidson called Newsvine. I received an invitation to test it out and I will report back here about my experiences. Newsvine, writes Davidson, “is a large-scale news media site which gives you almost all the same stories you read on sites like MSNBC and CNN but presents them in a much more attractive package. Attractive not just in looks but in function as well. At Newsvine, we feel strongly that an article’s life only begins the second it is published. It is only when readers interact with it that it achieves its full impact.”
What are Craig and Mike up to? I think they are giving us, the consumers of news, a bit of a break. A break from getting news pushed to us. By allowing us to go fetch our own news, we are in some sense, in control of what we receive. There may be stories that we may wholly miss. But we do that with regular newspapers anyway as we gloss over headlines. Advertisers should be happy too, as they can target their market a whole lot more accurately now. The old-school, shot-gun approach to attracting the reader's attention (interruptive marketing in Seth Godin's language) will begin to fade as RSS updates from these news sites will be accompanied by text or graphic advertisements that the reader will more likely click on.
I am excited for Craig Newmark and Mike Davidson. I think they have both (Newmark's project is still speculative right now I agree) hit upon a phenomena that will reap them great rewards. And we are the better for it.
Technorati Tags: alternatives, budgets, CNN.com, industry, Internet, journalism, media, MediaShift, MSNBC.com, New York Times Sunday Magazine, New Yorker, Newsvine, television, The New York Times, The Washington Post
Via Sree Sreenivasan
The celebrated film maker Ismail Merchant has died in London. He had been unwell and admitted to a hospital for stomach ulcers.
Merchant and his partner James Ivory were known for such movies “Remains Of The Day,” “Room With A View,” and “Howard's End.”
Anyone read Merchant's auto-biography “My Passage From India”?
In March 2005, India passed a new patent law that is likely to have global ramifications in the treatment of AIDS patients – especially those in the developing world –who depend on India's generic drug industry to provide drugs well below the prices charged by multinational pharmaceutical companies. In order to join the World Trade Organization, India had to fulfill the obligation to recognize and protect global patents. The bill that was passed in March meets this requirement. Much of the mainstream press has emphasized a business perspective when reporting this development, focusing on India's opportunity to tap the Western generic drug market while only briefly acknowledging the potentially devastating impact of the new rule on vulnerable populations.
During the summer of 2005, we plan to create a baseline record that establishes how India's HIV-infected populations depend on the Indian versions of Western patented Anti-retro Viral (ARV) drugs to survive. The baseline will also establish how they think they will manage as drug prices surge and any stockpiled drugs are depleted.
Using audio recorders, photographs and video, Sandeep Junnarkar and Srinivas Kuruganti [see team information here] plan to document the lives of families struggling to buy ARV drugs to keep a family member healthy; the challenges that stigmatized AIDS patients face in trying to earn enough money to buy the lifesaving treatment; activists desperately searching for new sources of inexpensive ARV drugs or lobbying the Indian government to grant compulsory licenses to continue producing cheap drugs. We plan to visit AIDS shelters and hospices in and around Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chennai.
The project will harness the Internet to showcase an issue with global ramifications — not just as information but as a way to involve viewers.
A multimedia grassroots expose can completely bypass the traditional media gatekeepers to help people gain awareness of a pressing issue. We hope the project will not only inform people around the world that India's new patent law is likely to have a global impact, further aggravating the AIDS health crisis, but also allow them to spread the information widely using built-in Internet technologies. We also hope the multimedia slide presentation moves them to take the next step by clicking on the links to send emails to the appropriate officials or organizations to acknowledge the potential health crisis.
The expenses for this project are primarily travel costs to and within India. As a grassroots effort, Srinivas and Sandeep plan to stay with family, friends and at inexpensive hotels. We strongly believe that this issue will be ignored by the mainstream media but is of global importance because of the ramifications of the new patent law on the AIDS treatment. Nonetheless, the total cost to report, record, photograph and video is in the range of $5,000.
Indiana University has kindly provided $2,000 of the total $5,000 required for helping to defray the cost of air travel, video tapes and other minimum necessities. Please help by donating any amount you can afford.
Please visit our web site to help support this project.
Jasmeen Patheja, like any good artist, squirms when I ask if she is also a social activist. Patheja has created a collaborative project and now a web site to better understand the issues of sexual harassement and rape in India. If you want to get involved and can help her out, I am sure she would welcome hearing from you.
I commended Jasmeen's use of her camera when she and her friend Pallavi were teased (in India it is called “eve teasing”) by some random guy on the street.