WORLD PRESS PHOTO LAUNCHES MULTIMEDIA RESEARCH PROJECT

World Press Photo is undertaking a research project, supported by the FotografenFederatie (Dutch Photographers Association), which aims to map the global emergence and development of multimedia in visual storytelling, especially photojournalism.

The research will be conducted under the auspices of the World Press Photo Academy. One of the objectives of the World Press Photo Academy is to initiate and publish research into issues that concern the photographic community and feed the outcomes back to the community. This project is the first initiative that fits this ambition. Dr David Campbell is the research director and, with both academic and practice-led credentials, he is well positioned to lead the inquiry.

The global media economy is undergoing profound transformations. Hastened by the disruptive power of the internet, we are witnessing the disaggregation of traditional news forms. Audiences for online platforms and digital formats are growing while the circulation of established newspapers and magazines in Europe and North America are, with few exceptions, declining.

In this context, there is a general sense amongst photojournalists that 'multimedia' formats are becoming increasingly important. Although the term is imprecise – with some preferring to speak of 'photo films' or 'web documentaries' – there is an emerging consensus that, while not a replacement for other approaches, presenting a story through a combination of images, sound, and text offers a number of advantages. Stories are able to provide greater context and give their subjects a voice, while being easily distributed through new digital channels (the web, apps) that are no longer constrained by the limited space of print publications. However, one of the major challenges is to see how the production of quality content through these means can be supported and expanded.

This project will examine these issues through a comparative study looking at multimedia trends in three parts of the world: the USA, Europe, and China. In each of these locations, this study will ask five questions:
1.  How is multimedia being produced?
2.  How is multimedia being financed?
3.  How is multimedia being published and distributed, and who is publishing/distributing multimedia?
4.  How are viewers consuming multimedia?
5.  Which types of multimedia attract the most attention, and what are the criteria of success?

The project begins in July 2012 and will conclude with a public presentation of findings at the end of April 2013. The research will build on previously published analyses from both the media and universities, and will be organized around a series of research seminars in Amsterdam, New York, and Guangzhou with invited participants.

An additional and important element will be contributions from the wider photographic community. The research director will be soliciting input as well as interviewing key players in the field. Interested parties are encouraged to contact Dr Campbell at david (at) worldpressphoto.org.

World Press Photo receives support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and is sponsored worldwide by Canon.

About World Press Photo

World Press Photo organizes the leading international contest in visual journalism. The foundation is committed to supporting and advancing high standards in photojournalism and documentary storytelling worldwide. Its aim is to generate wide public interest in and appreciation for the work of photographers and other visual journalists, and for the free exchange of information. The activities include organizing annual photojournalism and multimedia contests and global exhibition tours. The Academy programs strive to stimulate high-quality visual journalism through educational programs, grants and by creating greater visibility through a variety of publications. World Press Photo is an independent, non-profit organization with its office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where it was founded in 1955.

For further information, please contact:

The press department at World Press Photo, or tel. +31(0)20 676 6096.

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