A panel featuring FotoInMotion consortium members Jeff Israely (Worldcrunch) and Francesco Zizola (NOOR)
“There is no communication and storytelling medium facing greater disruption by the digital revolution than photography…” This challenge was at the heart of a 90-minute panel on April 11 in Perugia, Italy at the 2018 edition of the International Journalism Festival, featuring FotoInMotion participants Jeff Israely of Worldcrunch and Francesco Zizola of NOOR. This annual conference brings together well-known journalists from around the world and top thinkers from the news industry to address the challenges and opportunities presented by technological change.
Israely moderated the panel, with Zizola as the featured photojournalist, Francesca Sears of the Magnum Photo Agency and Dan Gaba, photo editor of the Wall Street Journal. While many aspects of photojournalism were covered, there was particular focus on the business model challenges for the sector, as well as the so-called “attention economy.” Zizola showed his mini-documentary called “In The Same Boat,” which uses on-site audio, video and still photography as a way to capture a digital audience’s attention around a pressing social issue, the dangerous migrant trafficking in the Mediterranean. Israely segued from that four-minute feature to demonstrate the under-60-second format to be produced by FotoInMotion.
This is how the challenge of the “attention economy” was described: “The sheer volume of images that now circulates across social media poses fundamental questions of attention and aesthetics, ethics and economics that have ramifications for professional photographers and photo editors, as well as the news industry and public interest as a whole. Still, the same technological innovations turning the industry on its head hold the seeds for photojournalism to be reinvented for the 21st century. And as we’ve seen from Syria to Charlottesville, the power of photography remains unique in the way it can capture those “decisive moments” that cut through the noise, and bear witness to our world.”