Constructing Visual News: Technological Changes in Photo Editors' Newswork

Dr. Michelle Seelig
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This study has three goals: to assess what technologies are used by photo editors to construct visual news; to determine changes in photo editors' work routines; and to assess essential technological and professional skills of photo editors.

A national mail survey of photo editors at the top 100 U.S. daily newspapers was conducted. The study employed a four-page self-administered questionnaire containing both closed-ended and open-ended questions about usage types, work routines, technology and visual literacy skills, attitudes toward technology, along with concerns about certain problems identified in the literature. The results of this survey suggest that with the latest implementation of technology in newspapers, a change in photo editors' work routines has started to emerge. These subtle changes include the use of technology to mange time, help with photo gathering and production, easier access to wire images, makes work easier, and expands the amounts of news and images available. Yet, also brings to light a new set of issues as to photo editing, and continues concerns regarding the ethics of photo imaging.

This study also suggests that perceptions measuring visual literacy, visual storytelling, professional skills, and attitudes toward technology were shown to measure their constructs. The items used to measure these attitudes concerning the effectiveness of visual literacy and professional skills in news production along with perceptions regarding technology provides a promising measure of news professionals' attitudes regarding the work they do and the knowledge they possess to do it.

Keywords: Digital Photography, Photo Editors News Routines, New Technology, Newspapers, Visual Construction of News
Stream: Human Technologies and Useability, Knowledge and Technology
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Constructing Visual News

Dr. Michelle Seelig

Assistant Professor, School of Communication, University of Miami

Ref: T05P0070