Adam Westbrook // ideas on digital storytelling and publishing

Multimedia Journalism on the frontline

Posted in Broadcasting and Media by Adam Westbrook on October 29, 2009

Image: Adam Westbrook

I spent an afternoon at the Canon expo in London yesterday, a showcase for the latest photography kit, including some very sexy looking XL H1s and of course the 5D Mark II.

Hidden among the photo-geekery was photojournalist turned multimedia war reporter John D McHugh.

He was there to speak about his experiences reporting from Afghanistan between 2006-8, during which time he moved from producing just photographs, to audio slideshows and even full films.

He also experienced several fire fights, which he described as “fucking insane” and was even shot by insurgents for his trouble.

John D McHugh

“The power of the still image is still unsurpassed” he says, although he admits he loves the fact he now has lots of different ways to tell a story.

His aim is not to copy television though, rather to “emulate the newspaper tradition”, using multimedia to show more and give more understanding to a story.

But it is not without its challenges. He admitted it is difficult to juggle his SLR with a video camera and dictaphone – something I can totally relate to from my short time filming in Iraq earlier this year. For me the fear was always missing a good shot because I’m busy with something else, something John has just got used to.

“I’ve missed photos, sure” he says, “but then I’ve always missed photographs in my whole career. If I was going to write a book, I always said it was going to be called ‘Photos I Didn’t Take.””

He says each missed photograph is seared in his memory.

“This is never going to be ideal, but it’s the world we’re in.”

A talented, brave and determined photojournalist, John is very much on the frontline, both militarily, and inside the industry.

6 Responses

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  1. Erik Eisele said, on October 29, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Great post. Good to hear other people have a tough time with the juggling act.

  2. […] Alexandre Gamela shared Multimedia Journalism on the frontline. […]

  3. […] I got to see some of these great cameras in action at the Canon Expo in London last autumn – the details are right here. 0.000000 0.000000 Tagged with: Canon, Canon EOS 5D MK II, Canon EOS 7D, Dan Chung, Danfung […]

  4. […] There is some voice over in this report, but it is infrequent and Vaughan’s calm voice only appears to explain the technicalities of what we are seeing on screen. The rest of it is just pure reality unfolding on screen often in extended sequences. For similar excellent Solo Video Journalism, check out the work of John D McHugh, who is also currently back in Afghanistan. […]

  5. […] I spent part of last week nerding out big time at the annual Canon Expo in London (my write up of last years event is right here). […]

  6. www.spectrum-mm.com said, on December 31, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Very interesting perspective


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