Archive for January 21, 2009

The media, YOUR media: sharing our experiences with the world

Yesterday was an extraordinary day in history, OUR history. We watched, listened, photographed, filmed and otherwise captured a piece of it for ourselves, and to share. TODAY is one of those days – like the day after the November presidential elections – to be sure to log onto to the home page of the Newseum in Washington, DC and click on “Today’s Front Pages” to marvel at how words and images make a difference in our lives, to see our ability to communicate to the world with the tools at our fingertips.

The inauguration’s broad overage began on Saturday, with many media companies encouraging you, the public, to participate by submitting imagery to share with a broader community, to be part of history! By mid-day, on January 20th, the oath of office taken by our 44th President, CNN was beginning to broadcast images sent in by those in Washington and other places in the world via the telecast and the CNN website. Images that the public had shared through CNN’s “iReport” program. Branded “The Moment” viewers were invited to submit their pictures to themoment@cnn.com [listen to CNN's John King talking about how "they are coming in by the thousands," and utilizing a format called PHOTOSYNTH (Microsoft technology)]. Computerworld.com’s website wrote about this, too – check it out here.

The NY Times created an on-line album of images, as well, titled “Picturing the Inauguration: The Readers’ Album,” which is “organized in the order received.” Late afternoon today the @Times email I subscribe to came to my inbox, sharing the top 5 viewed features on NYTimes.com/politics with a subject line that goes like this: “The Inauguration, Exclusive Photos And More.”  Your work is popular!!   (You have to be a “member” however to share your work with the world; read the agreement here.)

To Share, forever…

CNN’s “iReport” tells you that the photos you send in will be subject to iReport.com’s Terms of Use.

NY Times “Gadgetwise” branded its official online photo-sharing site as Photobucket and will publish The Official Barack Obama Inaugural Book “You might just have a shot,” it tells us – “you will be contacted by email if selected for inclusion.”  Or you can create your own book with your own personal photos using Photobucket. You have to sign up as a member of Photobucket to upload content.

Although not an advocate of giving up or even sharing your copyright, I do find that the challenge of communicating effectively online is of great interest to me. On the 17th, The Times published a profile of its interactive news collaborative as a part of its “Talk to the Newsroom” series, inviting your questions through January 23rd. The discussion on the website includes such topics as ‘the elements of good interactive design.’ The group of staffers was also recently profiled in New York Magazine.

And there’s an interesting story that has surfaced concerning the red/white/blue portrait we all know by now of Barack Obama, used with HOPE, PROMISE, CHANGE and other words of optimism in posters, buttons, bumper stickers, t-shirts and more. I’ve never seen a credit to the maker on any use. On yesterday’s FRESH AIR radio show from WHYY heard on NPR, Terry Gross had as her guest SHEPARD FAIREY. From the website:

“Shepard Fairey’s illustration of Barack Obama was one of the most iconic images of the campaign — Obama’s face and the word “hope” rendered in red, white, and blue.

Fairey says he made the image to spur voters’ belief in Obama as a leader. The image was never officially adopted by the campaign, however, because of legal issues related to the original photograph he used.

The iconic poster differed from Fairey’s previous work. The image was unusual, Fairey says, because his political art is usually negative.

“I felt that Barack Obama was an unusual candidate, a special candidate, and that it was worth putting my efforts into making something positive,” he told NPR in a Jan. 2009 interview.

Now Fairey is spreading the message of hope again, this time as the official designer of the Obama inauguration poster.

Fairey spawned the “Obey” street art movement, which in turn was the inspiration for a line of clothing, and he has designed album covers for several well-known bands, including The Black Eyed Peas and the Smashing Pumpkins. He’s the founder of Studio Number One, a Los Angeles-based design company.”

Listen to the show here.

NPR featured an earlier story about this iconic image (October 28, 2008); you can listen to it here.

And the Huffington Post shared news of the acquisition of Fairey’s original collage by the National Portrait Gallery (January 7, 2009).

The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) ran a story on January 15th about the Philadelphia Inquire photographer Tom Galish’s blog search to learn who’s photograph was the model for the poster: Jim Young (Reuters). So will we see the poster, a limited-edition version of which is now for sale on the DNC’s website, carrying a credit to Young as photographer?? The Shepard Fairey says he did “stylize and individualize” from the original, but that he as of that interview did not know who the photographers was.

I flew across the country today, and from every TV set in three airports the sounds and images of January 20, 2009 were the soundtrack for my day. The mood was up beat; people were decidedly more patient with the challenge that is airline travel today and with each other. Day One is winding up soon here in the East, and the website for the White House has launched, not to be missed: www.whitehouse.gov. At 12:01 p.m. yesterday, as the keys to the White House changed, the door was open – a completely new feeling.  It is a symbol for communication and the promise of transparency in the Obama administration. If you click on this link you will find a post from Macon Phillips, the Director of New Media for the White House called “Change has come to WhiteHouse.gov.” Has it ever.

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