Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Flickr and the MN bridge, part ii

I sent a few of the photo editors the link to the bridge collapse slideshow on Flickr. Gary O'Brien, photo editor and tech guru, had an interesting take on the photos. While I was completely amazed by the quality of the photos that were posted by average joes, he pointed out that there may have been issues around media access. Gary wrote:
"Judging from their surroundings and the taglines, I'm guessing the majority of these weren't taken by citizen-journalists. I think this is mostly the work of a couple of firefighters, first responders or their friends - someone who has access to places the media isn't allowed.

This is increasingly a problem across the country - often, media photographers (as we know from past experience) are harrassed, while non-journalists are left alone or even allowed special access. A recent local example is the funerals of the two slain policemen - a fire department photographer had prime access, even to the point of creating a distraction to the mourners, while I was 300 yards away. We never saw those photos, nor did the public. ...

It makes me uncomfortable that we're now cut out of the equation in these situations and the best photos from the event are being made and edited by non-journalists who are public servants or their friends. They have a dog in the hunt - we won't see anything but what they choose.

I would like to see the work trained professionals could have done given this level of access. So would the rest of the world. "

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