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Help break James Nachtwey's story on Oct. 3

Press release from the TED foundation

Photographer and TED PRIZE WINNER
James Nachtwey will be breaking a big story on October 3 — using his powerful photographs to share a vital story that the world needs to know about.

bloggers can add a link to the project by visiting TED at http://blog.ted.com/2008/09/bloggers_help_b.php

and the project can be seen live at locations world wide by visiting http://www.tedprize.org/nachtwey/eventlocation.html

press release:

James Nachtwey: Photojournalist

Photojournalist James Nachtwey is considered by many to be the greatest war photographer of recent decades. He has covered conflicts and major social issues in more than 30 countries.

Why you should listen to him:

For the past three decades, James Nachtwey has devoted himself to documenting wars, conflicts and critical social issues, working in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza, Israel, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda, South Africa, Russia, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kosovo, Romania, Brazil and the United States.

Nachtwey has been a contract photographer with Time since 1984. However, when certain stories he wanted to cover — such as Romanian orphanages and famine in Somalia — garnered no interest from magazines, he self-financed trips there. He is known for getting up close to his subjects, or as he says, “in the same intimate space that the subjects inhabit,” and he passes that sense of closeness on to the viewer.

In putting himself in the middle of conflict, his intention is to record the truth, to document the struggles of humanity, and with this, to wake people up and stir them to action.

He is the winner of the 2007 TED Prize, awarding him $100,000 and one wish to change the world. This was his wish: “I’m working on a story that the world needs to know about. I wish for you to help me break it in a way that provides spectacular proof of the power of news photography in the digital age.”

On October 3, the story breaks … and we would like you to witness it.

“Reticent about discussing his own life beyond the basic facts, he’s clearly one of those rare characters who focus singularly on their work with a missionary-like sense of purpose.” — Salon.com

Paul Lowe
Course Director
MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography
London College of Communication
Elephant and Castle
London SE6 5SB

by paul lowe at 2008-09-27 18:21:30 UTC london , United Kingdom | Bookmark | | Report spam→

I am curious about the rationale behind this….I understand that this “event” will maximize the coverage of this particular story, but as a precedent for the way that news is disseminated, it doesn’t seem very healthy. The general idea is that the more significant a news story the more immediate it is released……but TED seems to be breaking news the way Apple rolls out a new ipod. The “power of news photography in the digital age” is clearly immediacy…..but TED’s presentation appears to be the opposite, the witholding of immediacy in the name of spectacle. No?

by [former member] | 27 Sep 2008 20:09 (ed. Sep 27 2008) | New Orleans, United States | | Report spam→
What’s strange is the notion of a programmed breaking story. That and the sense of hype. The world needs to know about this vital story but not quite yet, apparently. Reminds me of the marketing tease of a moonrise over the 5D Mk II…

by DPC | 27 Sep 2008 22:09 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
“There’s a vital story that needs to be told. I wish for TED to help me gain access to it and then help me come up with innovative and exciting ways to use news photography in the digital era.”
-James Nachtwey

I know photojournalists can be a hardened, cynical folk at times, but are we really going to question the nature of this event before we’ve had a chance to see it? It’s not like Mr. Nachtwey hasn’t built up a lifetime of integrity for nothing. I just can’t bring myself to doubt him in advance.

In the meantime, I’m loving the buildup. I first heard about this mysterious project last year when Nachtwey first bagged the $100,000 TED prize. Since then, he has said nothing of note about his intentions. I often wonder what photo project I’d choose if money was no object. It’s a fruitful thought experiment, maybe an intended side-effect of the prize.

So what is this “vital story”? Anyone care to take a guess? What project would you do with that kind of financial and artistic license? Nachtwey has already provided extensive coverage of numerous major conflicts around the world. It sounds like something new, something that’s not yet on our radar screen.

Furthermore, everyone loves to talk about the possibilities of new media, but most are short on specifics. Yet Nachtwey promises to use the new technology for a new story, and he doesn’t seem like the kind of person to come up short.

Mark the date: October 3rd. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with.

by Todd Krainin | 28 Sep 2008 00:09 | El Centro, United States | | Report spam→
from the TED 2007 winners page

James Nachtwey’s Wish:
I’m working on a story that the world needs to know about. I wish for you to help me break it in a way that provides spectacular proof of the power of news photography in the digital age.

Watch the Video Talk

TEDsters Jon Kamen, David Rockwell and Stefan Sagmeister acted as the creative trust, developing the idea and the design around the idea, including the slideshow created by Sagmeister and the architecture of the displays, created by Rockwell.
Clinton Foundation and Partners in Health have been responsible for getting James access to Health Ministries in a number of different countries, allowing him to shoot stories that have been intentionally kept in the dark.
TEDsters Bob and Colleen Benoit from Mode Studios, have acted as lead producers, helping to package the exhibition model to spread out to global partners. Mode Studios is going to produce the NYC event, which will act as the cornerstone of the global display.
Scharff Weisberg will provide the production equipment.
Time Magazine is running this story as an 8-page spread to be released the day of this worldwide event.
PR Newswire has committed to time on the Reuters screen in Times Square, to create press around the event and to display the images on the evening of OCT 3rd

by paul lowe | 28 Sep 2008 08:09 | Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina | | Report spam→
Andy, David, that’s an interesting comparison, since Apple’s strategy somehow seems to work very well for them, and I guess canon already sold a few of their 5dMkIIs. :)

From my point of view, as a news consumer rather than a producer, I disagree that the power of news photography is immediacy. Infact, the immediacy of breaking news is often what makes them uninteresting, at least for me. I guess someone will disagree?
I don’t like or have television and I rarely read daily papers, for basically the same reason; what good is an immediate picture if it’s shown just for the sake of it, if the picture conveys nothing more than the immediacy of the event?
There are of course exceptions, and this might be a naive generalisation, but the only correlation I can think of between time of release and exposure/reach of a news story would be more insight → more interesting.

Why not take more time? I know the answer to that, but I think an event doesn’t neccesarily loose it’s acuity or becomes less “breaking news” if you release it as a thorough, comprehensive story, even days, weeks, months after the actual event. You won’t change what happened, but you can make a thorough effort to tell whats happened, and I guess someone will listen and start thinking.

It doesn’t really matter what Mr Nachtwey is going to reveal as it will no doubt be interesting, but I personally find that the idea of pitching a story like this is absolutely the way I want to hear about news, and I sincerely hope more folks will pick up on this. They certainly have my focus and attention, unlike todays breaking news..
just my 2c


by P.S. | 28 Sep 2008 09:09 | Vienna, Austria | | Report spam→
Viral marketing for a worthy cause, what’s the fuss about? More links = more eyes, either through direct traffic or by improving rankings with Google. They are just promoting it as they should.

by Tommy Huynh | 28 Sep 2008 14:09 | San Antonio, United States | | Report spam→
Well I’m pretty sure Nachtwey isn’t going to be introducing the new iPhone.

by Tommy Huynh | 28 Sep 2008 14:09 | San Antonio, United States | | Report spam→
photography’s not that important

by Olivier Pin-Fat | 28 Sep 2008 14:09 | | Report spam→
Well, lets just all wait to see what emerges shall we?

I can see why it would be easy to be cynical, and my instincts are to the same. But I also know that there are possibilities here and we should just be patient.

James has the talent, and now clearly he has the resources to deliver something powerful and interesting. However, we could actually guess a little bit, at the risk of being terribly wrong, what the work could be.

I suspect, given that the partners include RESULTS, and GLOBAL HEALTH STRATEGIES and STOPTBPARTNERSHIP, BD (medical devices) that the project, global in scale may be focused on:

- Food scarcity and/or hunger
- Infectious Diseases
- TB & HIV

With a lot of major corporate sponsorship you are unlikely to get a story that will generate controversy. It has to be something that TED, and James and a whole bunch of other corporate interests deem interesting, and that will reflect well on their organizations and the fact that their logos will travel and be featured with the work. Issues related to medical health, global food crisis, the growing threat of infectious diseases and resistant bacteria, for important global issues, little covered and/or understood, and reflect well on the supporters of such causes.

There are many questions we can raise about this sort of promotion of a work, or James involvement with so many corporate organizations and what have you. But i think that it can all be ameliorated if James himself understand the possibilities and limits of such an arrangement. I suspect that he does and will probably speak about it once the project is released.

So until then, lets celebrate that a photo project is getting so much coverage and support. That in fact, there are many large awards for photo projects that seem to be emerging (there was recently a $100,000 prize for an environmental issues and photography venture) and that photographer/photojournalism/documentary photography isn’t as dead as we have been told. Perhaps it is just changing venues, moving away from the page and into newer pastures. These new pastures will offer new challenges and problems and possibilities, but at least it is something that offers a chance for important stories (i am still giving James the benefit of the doubt that it is an important story) to emerge.

Patience my friends. And as for the ‘hype’….well, remember, this is a corporate event in some ways, and lots of people are involved, and they will want to make sure it ‘goes’ out in a way that reflects well on them and their participation. one of the restrictions of this approach i suppose. :)

now, i will wait to see how wrong i was. or how right :)


by [former member] | 28 Sep 2008 16:09 | stockholm, Sweden | | Report spam→
Olivier, you don’t even know what the story is going to be about. Somehow it’s already not worthy in your mind?

If you don’t understand the impact of bringing awareness to a story, why are you here on LS?

If you hate “commercialism” so much, do you realize the marketing tactic of using teasers works by generating discussion? You’ve played into the evil corporate hands of Mr. Nachtwey by bumping this thread 11 or so times.

Regarding Google, have you ever heard of Search Engine Optimization? Do you know why people always send out emails asking for links?

If you are so upset at someone awarding Nachtwey money for his work, what have you done to feed those poor families you’re talking about? Should we do away with the Nobel also? You do seem to be pretty excited about the “Asia Photo Contest” though (before you deleted your post that is).

You’re right about one thing though, it’s like being in kindergarten in here sometimes.

by Tommy Huynh | 28 Sep 2008 16:09 | San Antonio, United States | | Report spam→
I don’t give money to families in need, I give them new i-phones or infectious diseases

by Olivier Pin-Fat | 28 Sep 2008 17:09 (ed. Sep 28 2008) | | Report spam→
Oliver, I read your disclaimer, I also read WHAT?? I’m supposed to be ‘wowed-out’ by this? I can think of families who are seriously struggling to put food on the f-g table and a lot more worthy causes (that 100,000 USD could make ALL the difference to) than a ‘TED’ initiated ‘break-a-story-and-try-to-change-the-world-through-your-one-wish-award.’” (had to quote that before you go editing/deleting that post as you did with all your other posts as you sober up).

As for your other gems, I see any further debate will just degrade into you expounding your self importance some more so I’ll leave them as they are.

by Tommy Huynh | 28 Sep 2008 17:09 | San Antonio, United States | | Report spam→
But seriously. If you can’t see it for what ‘it’ really is, then I’m wasting my time on this. To me, is crystal clear. And I re-iterate, it’s nothing to do with James Nachtwey winning an award, I’m just startled at the packaging and decoration around a 100,000 USD award for a wish….aren’t you?? Or am I ‘pedestrian insane’?

by Olivier Pin-Fat | 28 Sep 2008 18:09 | | Report spam→
And if the world needed to know this vital story, wouldn’t we already know about it?

by Olivier Pin-Fat | 28 Sep 2008 18:09 | | Report spam→
Olivier (apologies for misspelling your name earlier), go ahead and say it, say “Do you know who I am???”, I’m sure you’re just dying to. Yes, you smack of self importance. And as far as self righteousness goes, aren’t you the one upset at foundations for giving out prizes to people like Nachtwey instead of doling them out in the slums? If you want to steer the subject to something you have the upper hand on, I’ll save you the trouble and tell you I’m sure you have more PJ experience than I ever will have (or care to have – not my cup of tea). Feel nice and important now?

by Tommy Huynh | 28 Sep 2008 18:09 (ed. Sep 28 2008) | San Antonio, United States | | Report spam→
i think that using language of this kind on this forum is totally inappropriate, so please desist fro this kind of flaming IMMEDIATELY!!!

by paul lowe | 28 Sep 2008 18:09 | Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina | | Report spam→
Hello Tommy don’t be upset he is a member for 3 days ?? Profession: Photographer Status: .
Location: [undisclosed location].
Home base: Bangkok
Email: olipinfatphotos@hotmail.com
Send private message
Last login: about 1 hour ago
Member since: 26 Sep 2008 05:01

by [former member] | 28 Sep 2008 18:09 | The Hague, Netherlands | | Report spam→
And if we didn’t, will it make any difference?? Photography just isn’t that effective or far reaching enough….stirring pictures, yes, but so what? What’s the point Where’s the so called ‘change’??
Repetitious visual reproductions of distant, cold and nebulous grapplings towards an ‘understanding’ that ultimately benumbs, (over-saturaton of imagery!!!) – on a mass, tsunamic, incomprehensible scale.
The package is bullshit. The christmas tree lights are flickering inane and dull. The snow is thawing.
Being awarded 100,000 USD ‘to help break a story’, when James Nachtwey could break the story anyway, is ‘industry’ hype….pure and simple. The hype is also the industry….see it for what it is.

by Olivier Pin-Fat | 28 Sep 2008 18:09 | | Report spam→
Paul, I hope that wasn’t meant to include me, if so, sorry for dumping on your thread.

Back on subject, to go after the TED folks for awarding a prize instead of doling out money is ridiculously short sighted and unwittingly socialist. That’s like going after Kauffman and Briski for spending 20K(?)on filming Born into Brothels when they could have just given the money to the poor Indian kids. As it turns out, the movie brought in about $100K or those kids. Also it reminds me of the self rightous do gooders that drove Kevin Carter towards suicide criticizing him for not helping that Sudanese girl. How much could he have helped her though? Compare that to the impact created by the photo. I mean there are people that just whine about what’s wrong in the world, and people like Marks and Wurman who try their best to fix it, even if it’s not the perfect way to go about it. Unfortunately it seems it’s always the former criticizing the latter.

by Tommy Huynh | 28 Sep 2008 19:09 | San Antonio, United States | | Report spam→
I have no idea what the story is and no means of making any value judgements here. I am ready to be humbled, delighted, impressed, wrong, look stupid, whatever, on the 3rd.

That said, I spent part of a very long and boring train journey today wondering what bothers me about this (at least the way it is presented) and came to the following conclusion:-

Argument one says: the world is changing, old newspaper models are dead, technology changes everything and you need to exploit it and turn it to your advantage rather than suffer its consequences. If you have an important story to break you use the best tools at your disposal to do so. This is Lightstalkers, the argument is familiar, I don’t think I need to develop it more.

Argument two says that in order to communicate anything using the currently available spectacular means – marketing techniques, viral communication etc etc – you have to satisfy the conditions required to do so. That’s pure logic. To be X, X has to satisfy all the necessary requirements to be X, otherwise it would be something else. If you market a news story using techniques similar to ones you might use nowadays to promote a new iPhone or another commercial product there is a danger of being subverted by, rather than subverting, the tools you use.
If you market news like a spectacular consumer product, there’s just the possibility that it might be one. Or at least risk becoming one. If you promote a photographer or an agency’s name as you would Nike or Coca-Cola (which I admit might be the necessary key to commercial survival these days – I’m not particularly naïve or idealistic) it might be difficult to consistently occupy the moral high ground.

by DPC | 28 Sep 2008 19:09 | Paris, France | | Report spam→

lets keep this reasonable and civilized please.

there is nothing wrong in questioning this event. lets question it with civility.

there is nothing wrong in being excited about it. lets do it without becoming groupies or simply delusional.

photography may not change anything, but it can highlight what needs to be changed. abbas said that and that is a pretty reasonable place to begin.

writers write. photographers photograph. and so on and so forth. we speak about issues that we believe in or that matter to us, as best as we can and with the tools we think we can use best. not every one of course is motivated by the same human concerns – there are many, perhaps too many, who do this for money, or equipment or whatever. but we have to proceed by giving them, particularly those who have shown decades of commitment and consistency and professionalism and seriousness, the benefit of the doubt.

james deserves that benefit of the doubt, if nothing else.

we can certainly separate the issue that is raised on october 3rd, from the methods used to raise it, and the methods used to address it. criticism can be an important part of this process and may even influence it as it proceeds and evolves.

i am sure there will be much to discuss and comment on once the story is revealed. perhaps it can be a more intelligent and calm discussion.

the LS community is seriously affected by such ‘rants’ to be honest. i don’t know about others, but it discourages me that we can’t express our criticisms with a degree of civility and measure. and sometimes just let other’s reactions to our comments stand without a put down or a response.

it can get quite boring.


by [former member] | 28 Sep 2008 19:09 | stockholm, Sweden | | Report spam→
Just for background, the TED (Technology, education , design) prize is awarded annually to 3 individuals who are nominated for exceptional contributions to their field, and are then given one wish that TED helps them to achieve. The other 2 winners in 2007 when jim won were bill clinton,whose wish was to ‘help create a better future for Rwanda by assisting my foundation, in partnership with the Rwandan Government, to build a sustainable, high quality rural health system for the whole country.’ and EO Wilson of Harvard, one of the world’s most distinguished scientists who wished that ‘we will work together to help create the key tool that we need to inspire preservation of Earth’s biodiversity: the Encyclopedia of Life.’
So jim is in pretty good company there……
see http://www.tedprize.org/ for more info

from the TED site:

About the TED Prize
The TED Prize is designed to leverage the TED community’s exceptional array of talent and resources. It is awarded annually to three exceptional individuals who each receive $100,000 and, much more important, the granting of “One Wish to Change the World.” After several months of preparation, they unveil their wish at an award ceremony held during the TED Conference. These wishes have led to collaborative initiatives with far-reaching impact.

We work closely with TED sponsors, attendees and the online community to obtain pledges of support for the TED Prize winners. These pledges can take the form of business services, hardware and software, publicity, infrastructure, advice, connections … Any and all pledges of support are welcomed. Major support for the TED Prize has come from AMD, Sun Microsystems, AvenueA/Razorfish, Hot Studio, Nokia, IDEO, Kleiner Perkins, @radicalmedia, Adobe and Photosynth. This is in addition to the funding and support from the Sapling Foundation and TED staff.

by paul lowe | 28 Sep 2008 19:09 | Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina | | Report spam→
btw tommy i didnt mean you…..

and if you want to see the project in london, from the DEMOS site http://www.demos.co.uk/projects/jamesnachtweystedwishtochangetheworld/overview

James Nachtwey has taken pictures of a major health issue effecting countries across the whole globe. With the support of the TED conference (you probably know the website) he is breaking these images in a series of public projections and events around the world. The images will be unveiled in London on the fly-tower of The National Theatre on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th October. A gallery called ‘The Emergency Room’ will open between October 7th and 22nd where you can view the photographs and an instillation tracking how they are traveling around the world. A group of researchers from Demos and a coalition of artists and designers will be working in the gallery experimenting with new ways of distributing news photography in the digital age.

The project raises an issue that questions aid agencies and governments across the world. But in trying to tell an untold news story in new ways it asks questions about the power of images, how news will travel in the future and how information translates into action in a digital age. The project is about a health issue, but it is also about the future of news. The project will come to a close at a TED/Demos event in London during the last week of October. Supported by TED, Demos and James Nachtwey the event will bring together public intellectuals, journalists, campaigners, activists and politicians to reflect on the story of how and where James Nachtwey’s images travelled and imagine the future of news photography in the digital age.

To see the images break visit The National Theatre on the South Bank, 8pm-11pm, Fri 3rd October /Sat 4th October.

The Emergency Room at The Bacon Street project will be open 12pm-7pm (not Mondays) Tues Oct 7th – Wed 22nd. It’s just off brick lane.

To find out more, visit the project here
or just follow it on flickr, youtube and delicious.

by paul lowe | 28 Sep 2008 19:09 | Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina | | Report spam→

Cannot for the life of me understand how photographers aren’t either up in arms about the idiocy of this (the idiocy of the spectacle: when one connects Jim’s work (and above all those of whom he has photographed, worked, relied upon, saved, watched perish) with this like of MTV grandstanding, have gotta believe that Jim would be embarrassed…or rather, let me think that is a matter of hope that he would be embarrassed by the type of near Orwellian (or maybe Brazil is a better analogy) depiction of connecting the “IMPORTANCE” of an announcement of a new project/initiative in the same kind of scale or acclaim that accompanies the suffering and lost of those of whom he has build his substantial, remarkable and impassioned life.

I gotta tell you folks, that Patrick Yen got his assed slammed around here (including by me) for this kind of hyperbole and grandiose gimickery..not there aint a shit-boot wrong with PR, gimmericky, aint that the hob-nobble of the human drift?…..and i can take TV absurdity (though i dont watch it) as easily as the next bloke, but we distend and apotheosize ourselves with grandeur about the importance of our work, the work of others, the act of witnessing. I believe in the importance of speaking, of using photographs and story to sing out the dead and dying of the vanishing of things, but also, it’s extraordinarily cynical that an organization that has bound itself to the work of a man who has committed his life to an act of witness, equates the importance of an announcement of a funded project with the work of the bereft and the suffering….

Whatever Jim’s project is, I sure (and again hope) it will be a testament his commitment of speaking up and out in the service of others. But I know also that Jim does not suffer fools gladly and cannot imagine that this kind of turpid nonsense would sit well with him….

How about, without all the pomp and pretense, the TED organization just announce with Jim (on whatever date it is to be announced) what the project is…

I don’t recall a such superficial nonsense being announced last year when Stephanie Sinclair announced her extraordinary project: PROJECT AZRA….



Whatever Jim’s project is, I wish him the best. I also respect him as a photographer and as someone committed to that which should be our duty: not our aggrandizement of self but our attempt to speak and offer compassion amid the suffering of the world….

Incidentally…too bad you’all dont know Olivier’s work…or the substance of his life…but, what the fuck, it doesnt matter anyway…

when we succumb to the largess of personality instead of heart, we’re lost to begin with and then were does our reckoning begin?…

I cant believe that JN would not himself be dismissive of this kind of hyperbole…

all the best

by [former member] | 28 Sep 2008 19:09 (ed. Sep 28 2008) | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
just so there is no confusion either, I admire Jim, his work and his committment and wrote here last year in defense of Jim’s TED speech when he got hammered…so, for me this isn’t at all about the importance of Jim’s work or his new project (whatever it may be) or the largess of his compassion and heart, but when an organization twined the act of announcing a new project (whatever that may be) with the grandeur of the work, it just seems to me that we’ve lost of vision of what we do and why we do it to begin with. god, i hope the project elevates and saves lives and calls attention to whatever numbness it seeks to address, but that the world and this profession, bandies about over the expectation of a project rather than the fact that there are still people, this moment, whose lives are squandered by circumstance, power, politics, nature, fate, it’s an example to me how we’ve lost sight of what really seems to be important….

a new project, or those who are in the trenches every damn day helping mitigate suffering…

sometimes i feel sad for all that we’ve become and all that we support or bemoan…

this aint at all about the importance of jim or his new project but about how we cat all cackled and tailed by the insubstantial instead of saving our collective energy for the thing that matters…


by [former member] | 28 Sep 2008 20:09 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
Allegedly, William Webb Ellis, when he “picked up the ball and ran” started the game of rugby football. On Lightstalkers, it’s often difficult to pick up a thread and run with it because doing so is interpreted as an implied attack on, or criticism of, the initial poster or the subject of their post. I’m sure that my opinion is not of the slightest interest to Mr Nachtwey or anybody involved in this project but I’m also sure that there are interesting and important issues to discuss here…

by DPC | 28 Sep 2008 21:09 (ed. Sep 28 2008) | Paris, France | | Report spam→
It’s good to question stuff. And it seems close to the bone for some people. That’s the way of the world.

But don’t lose sight of something that’s pretty basic: Every method of news disemination needs a deadline, and in general whoever is putting out the piece is working up to the deadline to have it sorted for consumption. So you can take it that Nov 3 is his deadline. I don’t think he’s on a golf course somewhere, chatting with his caddy about how he ‘really must do something with that story.’ More than likely he’s sweating bullets about how the whole thing is going to be percieved. It’s fair and right for a photographer to want to go straight to the public and skip the middle man.

I’ve done it before on a small scale. No paper in Ireland wanted to touch a reportage on HIV without a celebrity to hang it off, so I went and got the whole thing printed up and hung it in City Hall where hundreds of people saw it. Direct action does work.

by Sean Dwyer | 28 Sep 2008 21:09 | Dublin, Ireland | | Report spam→
Regarding ‘withholding immediacy in the name of spectacle?’ I have a difficulty with squaring that circle. The assumption I’m working under is that it’s a body of work like Salgado’s ‘Migrations’ which doesn’t necessitate immediacy but still is relevant now as much as when I saw it a few years ago. So Nov 3 is possibly a large series of images, the message of which would be diluted by their being truncated in different media. Just a guess. An interesting choice in using the polar regions?

by Sean Dwyer | 28 Sep 2008 21:09 (ed. Sep 28 2008) | Dublin, Ireland | | Report spam→
Sorry to bring a dose of reality here but this is how our society works today. The fact of the matter is that the masses are not going to take a break from their American Idol to check the VII website to see what crisis they should care about this week. Stuff like this have to be drummed up with the biggest sticks they got and crammed down their throats before they even stop to look on a map and see where the hell it’s taking place. Seems like TED and Nachtwey are just trying to bring it to as many people as possible and generate as much publicity as possible. With publicity comes support/outcry, donations, and PR. It’s easy to scoff at PR but that’s what you need for corporate sponsorship (and if this is a health issue, they’ll likely need it from pharmaceuticals). If it involves doing a song and dance, so be it. If one is so concerned with suffering in the world I would think you would be glad that Nachtwey is doing whatever it takes. And big difference between Nachtwey hyping this up and Patrick. In Nachtwey’s case, it would be done with the intended effect of generating more publicity.

by Tommy Huynh | 28 Sep 2008 22:09 | San Antonio, United States | | Report spam→
For all the cynics I think you need to question why you are cynical of this project. The only valid reason would be to say that it is a disservice to the cause it seeks to help. Now I know that photography is not the solution to the worlds problems but I believe that it can serve as a tool to a solution. Documentation through photography and other means often serves as the basis for bringing governments and people to act. Now you can complain about how people are seeking to bring that action or you can be excited and say wow there’s people working for the improvement of the world and it encourages me. You may think their approach could be more effective or better implemented but when I hear people just complaining and putting down people that are seeking to make a difference I wonder if it comes from a selfish part of them not being in the limelight or if it could possibly come from a sincere desire and care for the improvement of human life.

by Joseph Molieri | 28 Sep 2008 23:09 | | Report spam→
Forgive me for blindly trusting Mr. Nachtwey in this.

He’s been such an inspiration to me that I’ll listen to whatever he has to say this time.

I suspect that the hype is all drummed up by the TED people, but he’s asked them to help bring awareness to some cause or story and they’re doing it well—lots of people are talking about whatever it is.

Underneath the buzz, I’m sure he’s got something worth paying attention to.

by [former member] | 29 Sep 2008 00:09 | Tokyo, Japan | | Report spam→

i am spreading the word!

i just wanted to do my part to support the status quo, to blindly promote brand x without any idea of what it might be or if its any good. really who cares what its about, we all know we didn’t come to be compassionate about the world or learn about the hardships that humans endeavor. that humanity stuff is just good corporate pr, seen it before. i came to get an autograph, to tell my friends that i saw it first. you guys have any ideas of what features it will have? since its a ted project it has to include technology right? maybe we can click on people and hear them cry, gosh i can’t wait. i heard from someone that it will be in 3d, from a good source too, someone on the inside.

by sbramin | 29 Sep 2008 01:09 | beijing, China | | Report spam→
In reading this post I feel like I have gone to the twilight zone, or some other place where reality is absent or widely ignored.

Let’s get a few undeniable facts on the table.

The TED foundation (actually the Sapling Foundation) is interesting in advancing social goals by exposing social evils. So are most journalists, including photojournalists.

The methodology of our profession is simple. “People are moved by what they see and read. They respond emotionally and intellectually and morally, and they realize that there are millions of others who react in a similar way. Around these shared responses a consituency forms. [The job of the photographer] is to help reach a broad base of people who translate their feelings into an articulate stance, then through the mechanisms of politivcal and humanitarian organizations bring pressure to bear on the process of change.”

This foundation’s program is being used by Jim to break an important story. It is providing the means for reaching as many people as possible. Call it PR or not, but the objective as noted above is reach masses and opinion leaders, all for the valuable objectives stated above, and the ultimate objective of improving the world.

We are in a changing media world. Since the world of journalism, including photojournalism, has changed so much, the means for doing this require new, creative means. Photos now compete with cell phones, Internet shopping, Web surfing and many other activities that were insignificant fifteen years ago. If you have to hype something important to get the attention of the world, it’s OK, so long as the hype is accurate.

So who that is committed to journalism cannot be happy with this effort by the TED foundation because it serves the greater good? Get realistic, that is what photojournalism is all about. So lets just cool it and focus on the good this will do.

BTW the quoted language above is from the Afterword of Inferno, by….you guessed it….Jim Nachtwey. It is the basic proposition behind what we do in photojournalism, and, indeed, all journalism.

by [former member] | 29 Sep 2008 02:09 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
I agree with Neal (and so does Fake’s Mustaches).

by P. Money | 29 Sep 2008 02:09 | Louisville, KY, United States | | Report spam→
Surely James Nachtwey has demonstrated enough professionalism, integrity and general decentness to warrant default support from this community, of all people, for whatever project he is working on. Journalism, photo or written, is not exactly a growth industry at the moment – as Neal says above, it sadly must now compete for attention in the entertainment and leisure part of people’s lives. Newspaper circulations are declining precipitously and picture magazines seem to be only read by other photographers, at best.

So if the leading photojournalists don’t explore new ways to compete on an even footing with the rest of the world’s media output, what hope do the others have? The fact that this project seems to be leveraging every possible resource that a $100,000 grant, and the support of the TED Foundation can offer, can only be a good thing for the story itself, and journalism in general.

If it transpires that James Nachtwey has spent the money on documenting the plight of garden gnomes in the Outer Hebrides, then the whole thing may warrant a measure of the pre-emptive criticism that it has received here. I feel this is somewhat unlikely and therefore this community should be the first to give it the benefit of doubt, help spread the word and be a bit more supportive.

by Phil Brown | 29 Sep 2008 03:09 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Completely agree with Neal and Phil…

Wait’n see!

by Heimana | 29 Sep 2008 06:09 | Brussels, Belgium | | Report spam→
Garden gnomes in the Outer Hebrides are under threat!! SAVE the Outer Hebrides garden gnomes!!! ;-))

I believe what Mr Nachtwey is doing is called marketing. One can market Chinese baby milk or creamy milk from an Outer Hebrides cow (don’t know how you call them: long red hair and big horns). You pick your choice as to what you’ll buy…

by [former member] | 29 Sep 2008 06:09 | Phnom Penh, Centre of the Univ, Cambodia | | Report spam→
hi John, anything else available on the market, or must we drink milk ??

by Olivier Pin-Fat | 29 Sep 2008 08:09 (ed. Sep 29 2008) | | Report spam→
“So if the leading photojournalists don’t explore new ways to compete on an even footing with the rest of the world’s media output, what hope do the others have? The fact that this project seems to be leveraging every possible resource that a $100,000 grant, and the support of the TED Foundation can offer, can only be a good thing for the story itself, and journalism in general”.

On the other hand, if you need a grant of 100,000 USD to break a story the world needs to know about, that kind of limits the number of photojournalists who are going to be able to play in this new media super league, doesn’t it?

by DPC | 29 Sep 2008 08:09 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
Everything have many points of view and many levels of truth. Everything. But John, if we will see all around as a market place only what we will have fight for? There is any place for the rest of pieces of ideas and needs of changes? Only milk we have now???

sorry for english

by kjkjlljkkljk | 29 Sep 2008 08:09 | Wroclaw, Poland | | Report spam→
One can market good photography or one can market bad photography. You can be a good marketing man and sell crappy pictures or the other way around. Or you don’t do any marketing with your good pictures and you may end up looking at them on your own, next to the fireplace.

I guess that’s what it is about these days. It’s not enough to be a good photographer and salesman. You also have to use the same techniques to sell your pictures as big companies would sell their wares. Be it milk or garden gnomes.

That is if you feel like playing that kind of game (and if you have the skills). I must admit marketing is not so much my cup of thea.

by [former member] | 29 Sep 2008 09:09 | Phnom Penh, Centre of the Univ, Cambodia | | Report spam→
When the “STORY” is more important then the story being told we’re in the land of disconnect. I cannot see that people don’t get that. This is not a slam against TED (an important, thoughtful and social-wellness promoting outfit) nor especially JN whose work, integrity and heart I admire unconditionally. And if marketing, and lets not get this wrong, it is about the salespitch of an idea, allows for the enlarging of a program or story that will help to promote and make real the mitigation of suffering, that god-bless their effort. That JN has taken the well-deserved, hard-won prize money and turned it back into a program to help those in need is an act that more of the world could emulate. I just do not know how we, as a profession, whose lives, careers and reputations are enhanced often through the relationship of others who are far far less fortunate, cannot see that there is an underbelly of grandiosity here that just sings “look at us, o brave new us”.

My distaste is not even any longer about the relationship to “photojournalism” vs. “new media, new world.”

how far we still are off even out of the goodness of intent….

2 from H.R.H. Dali Lama:

“Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.”

and for JOhn and Olivier:

“Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.”

ok, no more preaching from my part of the bleachers ;))

by [former member] | 29 Sep 2008 10:09 (ed. Sep 29 2008) | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
Agreed… But I will NEVER cook a garden gnome… ;-)

by [former member] | 29 Sep 2008 10:09 | Phnom Penh, Centre of the Univ, Cambodia | | Report spam→
JV :)))

yea, i think even he drew the line at garden gnomes… ;)))

gotta run :))

by [former member] | 29 Sep 2008 10:09 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
propaganda is an unintellectual tool.. no question that the placement of the ‘news’ in an entertainment format has been going on, at least on television, for 15 or more years..
chris morris and ‘the day today’ or ‘brass eye’ parodies this fact beautifully.
the news as social pornography has been, certainly in the uk, well worthy of parody.

this does not seem the same to me though.. however, if more people watch the news because of the entertainment format it is wrapped up in, then sop be it – so long as they are reporting the news.

james and his work are very highly respected within our tight circle of obsessive visual junkies and there is no question that even if announced quietly we would all be privvy to what he’s offering in terms of education.
my view is this.. it is a great shame that the news has become ‘glossy’.. i also think it’s a shame that the music industry now works to a tight formula, with a budget and technique given which it is understood will ‘make’ the band.. gaining airplay and sales.. which better, lesser bands do not get the chance. i’d rather we were back in the 70’s where talent spoke loudest.

here’s what i think..
TED and james are trying to reach an audience outside our tight little group and the tried and tested way to do that is with marketing and PR which some of us will find distasteful and base – but which the general public, with all the propaganda they are already bombarded with, will simply accept as the norm and soak in.

at the risk of derision i have uploaded his TED speach and link button to my site.. because i know people – friends – who read my site that have nothing to do with photography, have no idea who JN, TED or any of us are.
are they not the people this PR is trying to catch?
are we not the converted?
are TED and JN are trying to preach to us?

i think he’s just fulfilling his original brief.. i don’t think it means we all need 100 000 to break a story.. i don’t think it means we must all promote ourselves in the same way.. and i don’t think it diminishes JN’s work nor the message of his work.

it’s an interesting discussion, however for me it changes little – i’m still looking forward to seeing the work, reading the story and passing it on..
show me an area of the media which does not build-up and use viral marketing these days.

by david bowen | 29 Sep 2008 10:09 | stavanger, Norway | | Report spam→
I, for one, always love it when Neal (aka the “TRUTH”) Jackson gets on and says something like “this thread is surreal…”, or, “I feel like I’m in the twilight zone…”

… well said, Neal, and for the record I’m just still pissed that I didn’t get that domain name.

by [former member] | 29 Sep 2008 11:09 (ed. Sep 29 2008) | boston, ma, United States | | Report spam→
The truth speaks for itself……if the story is important should it be kept secret to build interest? We need journalism that all of us can participate in, not a system weighted toward famous photographers. In the end, what we photograph is more important than what we are, and that really is the point.

by [former member] | 29 Sep 2008 14:09 (ed. Sep 29 2008) | New Orleans, United States | | Report spam→
Not all is lost, Ted. Might these be available?



by [former member] | 29 Sep 2008 14:09 (ed. Sep 29 2008) | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→

I disagree with you that " what we photograph is more important than what we are, and that really is the point".
James Nachtwey is not only well known in photo society and his whole body of work show very important piece of our reality. Who we are is not important on first page of newspaper, when the story is the point, but news is only part of it. Nachtwey show who we humans are, and it’s more visible in work one very talented photographer than with mixed pictures of many worst. The same is with Salgado. You can take it as a “art” news or as a “novel” about reality like Dickens’s or tolstoy’s books. Something with timeless value. Something big, something more important than first page of newspaper which will be wrap of fish tomorrow.
And “ego” only help. Celebrity photographers only help. (what’s mean celebrity here???)
You can treat Goldin’s photos as ordinary pictures of Transsexuals or you can learn about her life and see much more what is behind, whole details and nuances.
So, for me most important is story but mostly the story is stronger when “mind” is visible behind. It make the story timeless, and even more important.
But this is my point of view, maybe it’s all about market and money.

by kjkjlljkkljk | 29 Sep 2008 15:09 | Wroclaw, Poland | | Report spam→
I find Lightstalkers’ negative responses to new ways of promoting photojournalism increasingly bizarre. This post here is simply about spreading a story through the blogosphere.

I, for one, would never had heard of Nachtwey’s TED prize and certainly wouldn’t know anything the October 3 event without Lightstalkers and other blogs — I don’t care about or follow the PJ industry. I am a photographer and am interested in things like Nachtwey’s prize, though. How else would someone reach me?

Everyone one here uses online media to promote his or her own work.

If the argument is that Nachtwey’s story is so important that it should be on the six o’clock news, then he wouldn’t have needed the TED money to complete it. The whole point of the prize is to reward innovation and creative thinking — and we all agree that the mainstream media fail miserably at innovation and creative thinking.

So when Nachtwey’s images are up on the Times Square JumboTron on Oct. 3, we’ll know why. And when it’s all over we’ll think photojournalism on the JumboTron is a great idea.

by [former member] | 29 Sep 2008 17:09 (ed. Sep 29 2008) | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Preston, photojournalism has been on the Jumbotron for a long time….its kind of a cliche that, whenever a big event occurs people are standing in Times Square looking up. Last time I was there Reuters had a huge sign streaming images taken that day from around the world.

Wahat is different about this event is rolling out a “breaking story” and these are not my words, by announcing that you are going to break it at a future date. Can you imagine NPR doing that? Or 60 Minutes…if they do advertise in advance they cover their ass by stating enough about the story that we don’t feel that it is being withheld to garner interest. This is common sense folks.

I have nothing against Nachtwey’s project and I too was very interested in the story that evidentally no one else would publish, but wih $100,000 and the assets of TED there are many, many ways to get this out without using the formula that Apple uses to introduce an ipod.

News is a commodity, but part of its value is the idea that the public needs to know. Sure there are deadlines, and magazines have competed in the past on exclusivity, and its an unfortunate dark side to the business.

But if the grant is given to break a story that no one else wants, why the need to create a new model that instead of creating a system that really opens up new avenue for photographers, just creates a bad precedent.

Yes, those photographers who have the vision to create powerful imagery are gifted, and this is where we as a group compete every day. But no matter how fine the vision its the story, those who suffer and are victimized who are important. As much as we elevate photographers to a lofty status, its equally important to remember that is really about the subject, and not the golden calf.

For this, if no other reason, we need to present our stories in the most direct way possible. We aren’t selling ipods, and we are not selling cars, and we aren’t selling technology. We need to bend over backwards to avoid associating that kind of marketing with photojournalism. Its bad journalism and in the end it will be bad business

by [former member] | 29 Sep 2008 18:09 (ed. Sep 29 2008) | New Orleans, United States | | Report spam→
What this is called is “marketing” as John Vink pointed out. It’s not just marketing, though. It is social media marketing. The point here is to get us, you, I, the content creators and distributors on this site, on blogs, message boards, etc. to distribute Jim’s work across the internet.

As a distribution method, this is an extremely cost effective way of getting the work out because it is we who do it. The consumer is also the distributor, to a degree. This generates the greatest ROI, or Return On Investment, to put it in marketing terms. The point of the campaign is to find the key distributors in any given social media community and convince them to distribute the material willingly and enthusiastically.

Where this kind of marketing works is when it approaches the community with authenticity and honesty, rolling out something that the community wants to share. Once the message goes viral, or begins to circulate, it does so because people want to share it with those who they influence. The community does the distribution work itself. If you want to put this up on your blog or website, then do so knowing that you are working for the campaign. There is nothing intrinsically wrong or right with that. It’s business.

The success of this tends to always be on the message itself and it’s authentic resonance with the community. At this point, there is no real message, but the brand being distributed is Jim’s brand. Which carries some weight. If he has been working on something for a year, I’m sure it can wait until Oct. 3 to be released. Whether or not this community and others will want to willingly share and publish it in their own spaces on the web remains to be seen, but I’m sure that many will. In that case, it’s a clever way of getting a message out, going around the channels that would normally filter and edit this kind of work, and getting straight to the audience. It gives Jim freedom from having to please a single client. It also allows the audience to vote with their keyboards, so to speak.

I look forward to seeing what happens.

by smartypants | 29 Sep 2008 18:09 | moscow, Russia | | Report spam→

Don McCULLIN is one of my heros…and the interview with Don for the CBC documentary (BEyond Words) is just the most heart-breaking testament i’ve heard in a long time (the documentary premiered 2 years ago: hope u saw it)


to know that it by the simple act of fate and grace (gracelessness) that we are here and they are not…what can we do in the face of all that…to try to live with the understanding of our humility and that fortune must require in return grace and return….dana…

Andy: i think that’s it…praise the deed done not the art of the deal…unless we’re in the relm of salesmen

from Mamet’s Glenngary Glenn Ross:

“Blake: We’re adding a little something to this month’s sales contest. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anybody want to see second prize? (Holds up prize]..Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you’re fired..”

by [former member] | 29 Sep 2008 18:09 (ed. Sep 29 2008) | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
love the Jam…

.Damn Mark, are you as old as me?? l;)))))

by [former member] | 29 Sep 2008 20:09 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
sorry for the diversion y;all, Mark just hit me with some major nostalgia!:

please resume said conversation

by [former member] | 29 Sep 2008 20:09 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
Madonna vids……jeeeeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzzzz….how about to this:


by [former member] | 29 Sep 2008 20:09 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
“Worst ever Lightstalkers thread”


by Tommy Huynh | 29 Sep 2008 20:09 | San Antonio, United States | | Report spam→
What do you mean it’s the worst thread ever; with all those choice recordings it’s got to be the best ever!

by [former member] | 29 Sep 2008 20:09 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Not my words but yes, there are redeeming qualities here:)

by Tommy Huynh | 29 Sep 2008 21:09 | San Antonio, United States | | Report spam→
I will be posting the worst LS thread of all time next week, I can’t tell you what it is, but trust me, its gonna be really bad. But join me in helping to get the word out because its the future of our business thats at stake!

by [former member] | 29 Sep 2008 21:09 | New Orleans, United States | | Report spam→
probably utterly redundant to wade into ‘the worst ever LS thread’ at this late stage, but i weigh-in behind olivier. the commodification of information – hardly a new thing, but an incremental progression – only devalues the currency. it is possible that the well-meaning TED foundation and the incomparable Jim Nachtwey will attract more viewers to this story, but its potential impact is only lessened by cheapening it with marketing ploys designed for the consumer mind-set.

that which is merely ‘consumed’ is ultimately discarded, shat out like junk food that passes through you but does not alter you in any way. the more that information becomes like any other marketable product, the less transformative power it will have.

thank you for listening, now back to the music vids…

by david sutherland | 29 Sep 2008 21:09 (ed. Sep 29 2008) | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Anyone got any MC-5?

by [former member] | 29 Sep 2008 21:09 | New Orleans, United States | | Report spam→

Here ya go— the originators.

by [former member] | 29 Sep 2008 21:09 | New Orleans, United States | | Report spam→

Ian broke my heart…check out the film CONTROL (http://momentum.control.substance001.com/)

David:….that’s it in a nutshell!

Andy: damn, NOW we’re’ really talking, MC-5 (although before my time, but hell, we’re both before Mark’s time ;)) ),

by [former member] | 29 Sep 2008 21:09 (ed. Sep 29 2008) | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
“worst LS thread ever”????..

wow, now that’s some major hyperbole….and i’ve been around this beautiful house (LS) for more than 3 years and there’s been lots of posts….

I for one am happy to read lots of thoughtful replies above ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE, which i what this madness (LS) was meant for: the exchange of ideas…not the sheep herding of thought but the entanglement and challenge of it…

and to celebrate music :))


by [former member] | 29 Sep 2008 21:09 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
for bob and mark and anyone else who still believes ;)


by mikeyb | 29 Sep 2008 21:09 | | Report spam→
I echo John Vink’s simple reply…

Here is a song for those with whom I disagree… :))) and especially for Bobbaa :)))

by | 29 Sep 2008 21:09 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
sonics? Gorries?

by adam wiseman | 29 Sep 2008 22:09 | Mexico DF, Mexico | | Report spam→
Worst thread? ’Could be time to dust off the “M8-Is it any good” thread.

by John Robert Fulton Jr. | 30 Sep 2008 01:09 | Fort Worth, TX, United States | | Report spam→
Hey, I said my peace….I want to suggest that everyone does watch Nachtwey’s piece. I disagree with a some of things that Nachtwey does, but as far as the work goes, it speaks for itself. Tuning out just because of all the hype would be an injustice as well. Remember, its about them, not us.

by [former member] | 30 Sep 2008 04:09 (ed. Sep 30 2008) | New Orleans, United States | | Report spam→
Well I gotta say my interest in his “wish” (and I imagine that of many others here) has gone up significantly since the drama started kicking up. Like I said, it’s effective;) Will try my best to catch it.

by Tommy Huynh | 30 Sep 2008 05:09 | San Antonio, United States | | Report spam→
OHMYGOD!!! disunmisinformation on the INTERNETS!!! he was RIGHT!!!

oh, uh. crap. nevermind

(do we got “wlste” status NOW?)

by [former member] | 30 Sep 2008 10:09 | boston, ma, United States | | Report spam→
Let’s give James Nachtwey the benefit of the doubt. Although just a human he has shown enough integrity as a Photojournalist. If his story is as important as he claims it to be he has all the rights to stage it in as many ways as possible.
When this man is transformed into a star, it’s mainly because his admireres believes him to be a star. I thought it was typically Dutch to cut of the heads of someone who is good in his job or who stands in the spotlights, but appearantly this is international.

by Jeroen de Kluiver | 30 Sep 2008 11:09 | Apeldoorn, Netherlands | | Report spam→
I actually like the circus, popcorn, hot dogs and horseshit.

Anyone got any music requests? I will be back on air at approx 20.00 hrs GMT.

by [former member] | 30 Sep 2008 14:09 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
If you can’t wait for Mark…..

by [former member] | 30 Sep 2008 15:09 | New Orleans, United States | | Report spam→
There was an exhibition of Nachtwey’s recent work in Paris back in February called “Combat pour la vie” (http://www.paris-art.com/agenda/expos/d_annonce/Asa-Mader-James-Nachtwey-Combat-pour-la-vie-10855.html), which focused on infectious diseases around the world. I missed the exhibition but it seems somehow related with the TED project.

I also wonder, if the “wish” is about an international health and disease issue, how could such an issue be a “breaking news”, kept as secret as the plot of a new blockbuster, to be revealed to the whole world at once on a given day ? Is there such a major and critical but untold story that deserve such an announcement ? Is there something out there worse than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis that we don’t know about ? Or is there some major government an/or companies scandal other than the ones we already know about treating “unprofitable” patients in third world countries (which if I remember well is the argument made by Bill Gates foundation to tackle these diseases) ?

I have no doubt that Nachtwey’s photos will be great but I’m concerned that the story they tell might suffer from too much expectation built by the PR campaign. If it was tied to a major fund-raising event, then all the marketing buzz might be easier to digest, but if it’s just about publishing a story, no matter how good and important it is, I’m not sure this is the best way. But let’s wait and see !

by [former member] | 30 Sep 2008 16:09 | paris, France | | Report spam→
the ‘battle of the alerts’ is killing me..
funny stuff.

by david bowen | 30 Sep 2008 16:09 | stavanger, Norway | | Report spam→

by [former member] | 30 Sep 2008 19:09 | New Orleans, United States | | Report spam→
I’m surprised y’all didn’t know about this info weeks ago, been circulating for a while:

Nachtwey’s Photography Project to Combat Potential Global Pandemic Premiers Outdoors at Time Warner Center and around the World
Award Winning Photojournalist & 2007 TED Prize Winner, James Nachtwey, Unveils Wish Project to Combat Global Health Crisis Using Spectacular Photography in the Digital Era
WHO:             James Nachtwey (TED Prize Winner and Critically Acclaimed Photojournalist)
Paul Simon (Singer/Songwriter), Larry Brilliant (Executive Director, Google.org)
Joanne Carter (Executive Director, RESULTS), Winstone Zulu (Global Activist)
Marcos Espinal (Executive Secretary, World Health Organization)
WHAT:           World premiere of celebrated photographer James Nachtwey’s TED Prize “Wish” project, a powerful photography slideshow, with guest speakers and outdoor screenings in Columbus Circle and 50 other cities around the world starting on October 3rd.
WHEN:           October 3, 2008 at 6:30pm
WHERE:         Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center
Broadway at 60th Street, New York City
WHY:              The world premiere of James’ TED Prize wish in NYC is the launch of month long campaign to raise awareness about a pressing global health crisis.  The world premiere launches other events including outdoor screenings on all 7 continents and in 50 cities around the world as well as an on-line media campaign to share James’ visual project with the entire world.  James wish project will garner public interest and support beyond the art community into the global political and health arenas and cast a spotlight on the important mission and values of his work.
TED Prize Story:  TED (the Technology, Entertainment, and Design conference of the foremost thinkers in each field) and particularly the TED Prize are making James’ wish come true.  The TED Prize is awarded annually to three exceptional individuals who each receive $100,000 and are granted “One Wish to Change the World.”  After several months of preparation, they unveil their “wish” during the TED Conference and then work on collaborative and far reaching endeavors to help make a difference in the world.  For more information visit: www.tedprize.org

by Monica Vasquez | 03 Oct 2008 05:10 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
Here are the photos:


by [former member] | 03 Oct 2008 09:10 | Tokyo, Japan | | Report spam→
while i was put off by the original advertisements of this project i must say the video was very tasteful as it made it about the issue, not the photographer. i can only assume the corporate pr stuff was the fault of someone else.

i am no fan of the nachtwey obsessed but he achieved an excellent narration of an important issue.


ps. and he did it without multimedia. ie. important work can be done in stills.

by sbramin | 03 Oct 2008 10:10 | beijing, China | | Report spam→
There’s also an article in Times Magazine: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1846717,00.html

by [former member] | 03 Oct 2008 10:10 | paris, France | | Report spam→
More power to Jim. The world of high-stakes fundraising for UN missions is inevitably glitzy. Thats the way it is, and Jim is using the tools available to leverage international aid. Mobilizing world attention and relief is the core mission of any serious photographer who works in areas of mass humanitarian catastrophe. Not to speak of Jim, who cares more than most people can imagine.

Stephen Ferry

by [former member] | 03 Oct 2008 12:10 (ed. Oct 3 2008) | bogota, Colombia | | Report spam→
Usually the only people who get to see images like these are those who already know and care, because the mainstream media don’t generally cover these stories!

If by using the tricks of the PR world and media hype, James Nachtwey and the TED Foundation can get these images out to ‘Joe Public’ (the guy who wouldn’t normally see them and so is never given the option of caring or not) then I’m all for it!

As many people as possible need to be made aware of such a serious disease. The poor in western countries are already being affected by drug resistant forms of TB, but if those who are more affluent, the ones who are usually more concerned with buying the latest iPod, or that weekend break they are planning, respond to the media hype (they usually do), see the images and actually realise that this disease WILL spread and affect their comfortable western lives unless something is done about it, then it is a great idea! They won’t know about it if it appears only in magazines aimed at the already informed minority!

There is no point holding the moral high ground, use what ever means are necessary to make as many people as possible aware of this tragedy! The end justifies the means!

by Nicola J Cutts | 03 Oct 2008 16:10 | Brighton, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Amazing work!

(and s. b. ramin, it is multimedia because it mixes stills, text, and music – that’s three different media, “multimedia” like “mixed media” is a very general term.. i think you’re thinking of “new media”)

by P. Money | 03 Oct 2008 17:10 | Louisville, KY, United States | | Report spam→
Jim’s use of minimalism is very poetic and powerful. He is a true master of narrative.
Of course, wasn’t he a news editor before he became a still photographer?

And Ramin, before anybody gets in a semantics hissy-fit over the meaning of multimedia..

multimedia |ˈməltiˈmēdēə; ˈməlˌtī-|

(of art, education, etc.) using more than one medium of expression or communication : a multimedia art form that is a mélange of film, ballet, drama, mime, acrobatics, and stage effects.

an extension of hypertext allowing the provision of audio and video material cross-referenced to a computer text.

mixed media

the use of a variety of media in an entertainment or work of art.

adjective ( mixed-media)
another term for multimedia.

Mixed/Multimedia is more recently associated with the Postmodern period in art.

postmodernism |pōstˈmädərˌnizəm|

a late 20th-century style and concept in the arts, architecture, and criticism that represents a departure from modernism and has at its heart a general distrust of grand theories and ideologies as well as a problematical relationship with any notion of “art.”

Typical features include a deliberate mixing of different artistic styles and media, the self-conscious use of earlier styles and conventions, and often the incorporation of images relating to the consumerism and mass communication of late 20th-century postindustrial society. Postmodernist architecture was pioneered by Robert Venturi; the AT&T skyscraper in New York (completed in 1984) is a prime example of the style. Influential literary critics include Jean Baudrillard and Jean-François Lyotard.

postmodern adjective
postmodernist noun & adjective
postmodernity |ˌpōstməˈdərnətē| noun

by P. Money | 03 Oct 2008 17:10 | Louisville, KY, United States | | Report spam→
Good call Asim

by Tommy Huynh | 03 Oct 2008 21:10 | Honolulu, United States | | Report spam→

indeed i meant the use of video / recorded audio (you know what i mean). none of these terms, multi, mixed or new seem to give appropriate distinction.

while i realize the above feature used text and music the actual “work” was done in photographic stills. thus it was not multimedia journalism, or multimedia documentary work, another issue of semantics.

if the audio had been ambient or peoples testament i would consider it multimedia journalism/documentary work.

by sbramin | 04 Oct 2008 02:10 | beijing, China | | Report spam→
I understand what you’re saying Ramin, but how a project is shot is completely irrelevant
to defining it as being multimedia or not.

It’s how a project is presented, how it has been produced,
that ultimately brings it into the realm of multimedia.

This project isn’t just multimedia, it’s also multi-platform,
having been published in print, on the web, and projected all around the world.

Yes, this project is multimedia. And multi-platform.

by P. Money | 04 Oct 2008 02:10 | Louisville, KY, United States | | Report spam→
Oh how boring these comments are, especially considering how none of you have actually seen the photos and presentation. If you did, then maybe you’d have something intelligent to say, an alternate approach, such as: what if it was shot in color, what if a younger photographer with a new style would be more appropriate, why didn’t they include audio or some video, why didn’t they consider a more multi-media approach…..anything from you that’s vaguely intelligent and constructive?

No, only belly-aching from bitter photographers. And, you are all too young for being bitter. That’s what’s boring. Typical. You will never get laid sounding old and bitter. If you were at one of my parties, neither I nor any of my girlfriends would ever want to sleep with any of you bitter old men. Posturing, giving philsophical approaches instead of getting out there and making pictures. Give me a young man ready to conquer the world, willing to make the world right. If you’re good looking, I or any of my girlfriends might consider you. At least Jim has the basics for that.

by Monica Vasquez | 04 Oct 2008 04:10 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
Sorry Monica, were you drumming up business for your new escort service?
As for intelligent comments…well, just see your above comment. Puts any and all to shame indeed! You are just what this website needs; more “you will never get laid..” comments.
If this is your standard for hooking up, Monica, I must say this:
I’m inoculated for many diseases, just not for what I would catch from you and your friends.
Feel free to rain all the hellfire of your unsatisfying emotional and physical life down on me, I’ll take it…I’m a grown up.

by Phil Dixon | 04 Oct 2008 07:10 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Monica is right when she says that the comments are boring! Arguing about the project being multimedia or not or the definition of multimedia, multi-platform? That is not what the idea behind Mr. Nachtwey’s project is, I am sure of that!
Have you even looked at the pictures?? Have you seen what the subject is?? What he is trying to do or say??? Please discuss the problem he is trying to focus on…

by Guido Van Damme | 04 Oct 2008 07:10 (ed. Oct 4 2008) | Lokeren, Belgium | | Report spam→
Guido, are you speaking to me?
If so then you miss my point. Wether or not the link is boring (and wether or not I think it is or is not) is beside the point.
“neither I nor any of my girlfriends would ever want to sleep with any of you bitter old men”
That is my point. It’s just stupid to say shit like that.
Monica, are you just trying to make the conversation more interesting to yourself by starting an argument? It’s just weird. It’s a thread that’s been around for eight days! Of course it’s become bloody well boring! Move on, I am.

by Phil Dixon | 04 Oct 2008 07:10 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
No Phil, not speaking to you, just a comment in general. And the fact that Monica does or doesn’t want to sleep with us is also as irrelevant to JN’s work thean the definition of multimediaplatformmixedstuffjournalism…
My point is that the subject of the project itself isn’t being discussed. Instead people are arguing about the definition of multimedia??? When reading this thread I get the idea that JN’s work is missing it’s effect! The proof that photojournalism is actually dead? That people care more about the package rather than the actual content. No wonder photojournalism doesn’t sell anymore… Paris Hilton wears nicer clothes then a TBC victim… Jeezz…

by Guido Van Damme | 04 Oct 2008 07:10 | Lokeren, Belgium | | Report spam→

i brought the subject of multimedia up in passing, as i think an important remark about the success (the power) of conventional stills. i hardly think its an irrelevant observation.

and i may well be confused but it seems monica was saying someone should be talking about such issues.

perhaps people should actually read what is posted, just a thought, not aimed towards anyone particular.

by sbramin | 04 Oct 2008 08:10 | beijing, China | | Report spam→
Sure Ramin, no problem. It is a multimedia slideshow.But do we need to discuss the definition of multimedia? The title of the post is “Help break James Nachtwey’s story on Oct. 3”. In my humble opinion it doesn’t matter if it is a slideshow or shot in BW or color or with wideangle lens or with a $5 holga. What the images say is far more important. And that is not discussed… Or very little.

by Guido Van Damme | 04 Oct 2008 09:10 | Lokeren, Belgium | | Report spam→
this is hysterical – monica vasquez AND NONE OF HER GIRLFRIENDS EITHER want to sleep with the contributors to this thread! i am cut to the quick. i may never get over it.

but thank you monica for revealing the true purpose and driving rational behind photojournalism today (and the critique thereof): if it doesn’t make monica wet, its yesterday’s toast.

i propose that from now on all threads carry a ’monica’s sexometer rating’: first prize for sexiest thread is an evening with MV … second prize is 2 evenings with MV

by david sutherland | 04 Oct 2008 09:10 (ed. Oct 4 2008) | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I ain’t gonna read this thread, but do you think Jim N will help break your story?

by Ian Taylor | 04 Oct 2008 10:10 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
yeah seriously. i’m embarrassed for LS that this stream of drivel has his name on it. wtf.

by [former member] | 04 Oct 2008 10:10 (ed. Oct 4 2008) | boston, ma, United States | | Report spam→
Well, I suppose we have to accept that Monica Vasquez actually exists…
But as I’ve never before met anyone who reasoned that way (or at least no one who expressed such reasoning on a public forum) I must say that I have my doubts.

A couple of points: as we were invited to “help break” the story before any pictures were available – the teasing invitation was part of the new, novel, process of publishing the work- it was inevitable that any discussion at that point about this invitation couldn’t make reference to the images themselves, only the invitation. That’s just logic.

Second, personal and general comment: it’s frustratingly difficult here on LS to have any larger, wider, more theoretical discussion stimulated by a reaction to a particular event.

I think about this stuff and I assume others do to. For me it’s useful to confront one’s own thoughts with other people’s and I can’t for the life of me see where the problem is in that.

by DPC | 04 Oct 2008 11:10 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
I totally agree, David, and share the frustration.

I am on a few other forums that are also, for the most part, unmoderated. The ones that are the most valuable are the ones where the members show restraint and respect. Often it feels just too formal, but one in particular is a great balance of emphatic opinions and mutual respect.

A few humorous posts to break the tension is one thing, but this thread is completely disrespectful of those on it who want to discuss the bigger issues and explore their differences of opinion, not to mention the subject of the thread, James.

In theory, we’re all committed professionals here… we’re entitled to our opinions and our styles of expression and our occupations, but I can’t believe we can’t discuss an event like this without it immediately spiraling down to a bar-room brawl.

by [former member] | 04 Oct 2008 11:10 | boston, ma, United States | | Report spam→
M.V.’s profile photo is of Ashley Dupré, AKA Kristen, the girl who brought down Eliot Spitzer…


by J-F Vergel | 04 Oct 2008 15:10 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
monica’s a 50 year old man living in his mother’s basement in Des Moines.

(not that there’s anything wrong with that…)

by [former member] | 04 Oct 2008 15:10 | boston, ma, United States | | Report spam→
Petty bullshit folks, this is LS at it’s worst.

by [former member] | 04 Oct 2008 15:10 | Austin, Texas, United States | | Report spam→
Matt it’s near impossible to take anything or anyone serious on Lightstalkers these days. There’s too much bickering and pointless BS. I was being ironic when I added all the music, so many members need to lighten up.

Although I am disappointed Monica is not who she claims to be…ah well just another member writing as a nom de plume. Incidentally where’s Stupid photographers wisdom on all this?

by [former member] | 04 Oct 2008 17:10 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Mark, I could not agree more.

As for Stoop he is now lurking only in the alerts.

See the alerts:

5 of 7 sins: lust, greed, wrath, envy, pride – which incidentally links to this very thread.


Bump – which links to Monica’s post regarding shopping a multimedia piece on Venezuela

probably the “smartest” place for him.

by [former member] | 04 Oct 2008 17:10 (ed. Oct 4 2008) | Austin, Texas, United States | | Report spam→

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Tommy Huynh, Travel & Corporate Photog Tommy Huynh
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sbramin, flaneur sbramin
London , United Kingdom ( LHR )
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Heimana, Moment catcher Heimana
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Leh Ladakh , India ( IXL )
kjkjlljkkljk, kjkjlljkkljk
Paris , France
david bowen, photographer / shoe-maker david bowen
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(bophoto for a better life)
Florø , Norway
smartypants, smartypants
(just another batch of etherbit)
Chicago , United States
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travel photographer
London , United Kingdom
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London , Afghanistan
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adam wiseman, photographer adam wiseman
Mexico Df , Mexico
John Robert Fulton Jr., Photographs John Robert Fulton Jr.
Indianapolis, In , United States
Jeroen de Kluiver, Student Photographer Jeroen de Kluiver
Student Photographer
Mallaig , Scotland
Monica Vasquez, Snapper Monica Vasquez
Cobble Hill, Brooklyn , United States
Nicola J Cutts, Photography/Digital Nicola J Cutts
Sheffield , United Kingdom ( LBA )
Phil Dixon, Phil Dixon
(Swatting Flies)
New York , United States
Guido Van Damme, Photographer Guido Van Damme
Brussels , Belgium
Ian Taylor, Photographer Ian Taylor
Bangkok , Thailand
J-F Vergel, photographer J-F Vergel
New York, Ny , United States ( JFK )


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