Wednesday, September 9, 2009

PULITZERS LOST, WHAT A COST - Cheryl Diaz Meyer, 10th in a series on the impact of thousands of job cuts at America's newspapers

Cheryl Diaz Meyer and David Leeson won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography in 2004 for their coverage of the Iraq war for the Dallas Morning News. Today, Diaz Meyer no longer works at the paper. Neither does Leeson. And it's questionable whether the paper would assign photojournalists to do the same type of courageous work overseas again.

That says a lot about why I'm publishing this series, "Pulitzers Lost, What a Cost." It's an attempt to get at what it means for society, journalism and journalists that so many talented people have been spun out, bought out or shut out of newspaper newsrooms in the past few years.

The Pulitzer board cited Diaz Meyer and Leeson for "their eloquent photographs depicting both the violence and poignancy of the war with Iraq." What happens when eloquence is silenced at major news organizations? Diaz Meyer and Leeson are still working. (You can see her work on her personal web site and read more about her latest project in her comments below.) But there's no question in reading her reflections on the state of the newspaper industry that we're paying a price for what's happening in newsrooms across the country.



1. Name, age, final paper.

Cheryl Diaz Meyer, 41, The Dallas Morning News

2. What work did you win Pulitzer for, when?

I won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography in 2004 with my colleague David Leeson for our coverage of the Iraq invasion.

3. Why did you leave your newspaper? When?

I was part of a company downsizing in April, 2009.

4. What are you doing now?

I am currently editing a story that I photographed on the native and mystic healing arts of the Philippines, specifically how these beliefs marry with Christianity. The story drew me from one side of the country to the other as I interviewed, photographed and audio-recorded subjects for a photo story, written story and multimedia piece.

Any reflections on life after newspapers?

The problem with the catastrophic condition of the newspaper and magazine industry today is that as journalists leave the business in droves, those who are truly passionate about journalism and care to continue working at their craft are now seeking alternative ways to make a living. Some of the most talented journalists in our industry are biding time, trying to make a living doing commercial work, non-profit work, teaching—the journalism skills they have spent years honing are squandered by an economy that cannot support them. This is a loss to our society; and in the larger sense, it’s a loss to our democracy because ultimately the press acts as our country’s watchdog.

In photojournalism particularly, the conversations turn to “monetizing photographs.” Photojournalists increasingly are creating alliances with their subjects who then finance the work. Some say this is not journalism, but public relations. The question does arise, what happens to the journalism if the subject is paying for it?

The paradigm for freelance photojournalism doesn’t exist anymore and yet all who care deeply about the value of journalism want desperately to redefine it, fix it, make it work again.

5. What do you hope to do going forward? Will you stay in journalism? How?

I am passionate about telling stories through photography and I will continue to do so regardless of how the format changes. I will build on the affiliations I already have with media organizations and seek out other kinds of clients who are interested in storytelling images.

I’ve always viewed journalism as an honorable calling, but now we also have to be entrepreneurs. This skill, and one’s ability to adjust to the new technological environment, will probably distinguish who will come out of this crisis still standing.

6. What has the downsizing of your former newsroom or closing of your former paper meant to the quality of journalism in your community? For example, are there types of stories not being told? You could use your own experience to provide examples here.

The photojournalism at The Dallas Morning News has been renowned as some of the best in the world. For many years, the company leaders saw themselves as competitors with the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and other news behemoths. They were aggressive in their coverage, reporting stories that were of international, national and local importance.

Yet after two Pulitzer Prizes for photography in 2004 and 2006, the publisher stated that he would not support the coverage of stories like the Iraq invasion or Hurricane Katrina, for which those Pulitzers were awarded, if they happened today.

So the paper’s readers on the local level, and the web audience nationally and internationally, will not likely see this type of award-winning storytelling—and some of the best photojournalism is not going to happen at The Dallas Morning News because there is no support for it. The good thing is that the company does continue its focus on hard-hitting local stories, and they have not given up on quality journalism. But I sincerely hope that their turn away from national and international news stories is a response to the economic downturn and not a permanent philosophical change in the company’s vision.

In the meanwhile, my fellow Pulitzer Prize winner, David Leeson, took a buyout almost a year ago, and many other acclaimed photojournalists who joined the staff of the DMN over the past 20 years are no longer with the paper. When I began covering wars in 2001, I tapped Leeson for his knowledge of such dangerous assignments. The loss of institutional knowledge caused by the collective departure of so many seasoned journalists is, in the long term, a crisis for our profession.

7. What, if anything, do you think your newspaper should have done differently to prevent the downsizing or closure that cost you your job?

The Dallas Morning News could not and cannot save itself on its own—the changes that need to happen are industry wide. Giving away content for free, as most media organizations do on the web, is an unsustainable business model. But few have the gumption to charge for it. If all media organizations charged for content, it would become the norm. A year ago, airlines announced that checked bags would incur a fee; most fliers balked, but now it is an accepted cost of flying because almost all airline companies charge.

I’m a fan of micropayments for the web. In the Philippines where an average teacher’s salary is $350 per month, even those earning much less will carry a cell phone, if not two. They easily accrue $10 to $20 in texting fees each month, which is considered palatable because they pay incrementally for the usage. Apple successfully uses a similar business model with iTunes.
Viewers will not balk to pay pennies for a story online, especially if there is no free lunch out there.

The Financial Times has been charging a subscription fee for online content since 2002 and is about to add the option of a micropayment system. As most news organizations struggle to find a solution to falling ad revenue, I think they would benefit from a little solidarity.

8. What would you advise young people wanting to pursue a life in journalism today?

Journalism is a calling, and if you truly feel the call, follow your heart. Because although these are painfully challenging times, you will know no other job more fulfilling and adventuresome.

To read previous installments: Deborah Nelson, Andrew Schneider, Kim Komenich, Janet Reeves, Jerry Kammer, Paul Giblin, Tamara Jones, Glenn Frankel and Joe Demma.


67 comments:

  1. I worked with Cheryl for years and while we had philosophical differences of opinion on some aspects of the craft I always had and still have the utmost respect and admiration for her work and as a person.

    I do, however, beg to differ with this: "So the paper’s readers on the local level, and the web audience nationally and internationally, will not likely see this type of award-winning storytelling—and some of the best photojournalism is not going to happen at The Dallas Morning News because there is no support for it."

    I have always maintained that the most important journalism is done right in one's own back (and front) yard. When one wins the big awards for something at home then I'm more impressed. And we're still doing it, right here, right now.

    Guy Reynolds
    Photo Editor
    The Dallas Morning News

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is disappointing to see photographers repeating some of the new, but mistaken, conventional wisdoms about how to cope witht the revolutions in the new media economy (i.e. that micropayments are good, iTunes is a model, or if the FT can charge for content so can anyone). I've been writing a series of four posts about the revolutions in the media economy (at www.david-campbell.org/blog). The available evidence on these funding models shows they are no solution and may actually harm photojournalism.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for sharing this valuable information.The contain is really good because it is really user friendly and meaningful....


    r4 games

    ReplyDelete
  4. Excellent page now I’m for that reason content to read this. Prefer enjoy it you ought to distribute to us. Such a revealing page. At this time follow here Check Cashing Oceanside Regards just for stating.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very good blog post! That blog post is amazingly insightful for my situation and provides us many different options. Satisfy continue us modernize a lot easier this type of blog post on potential future. At present go here check cashing One made an amazing project and even says thank you to plenty designed for writing this website. Bless you for this purpose writing

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nice post i like it so much.I am very pleased to see your website which have rich information.
    Judi Poker online Terpercaya
    Bandar togel terpercaya
    Taruhan bola online Terpercaya

    ReplyDelete
  7. Awesome work you have done here, I am very happy to read this nice post. You are a great writer and give us much information.
    Independent Escorts Dwarka

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for sharing here I am very happy to read your review.I hope you give a useful topic for everyone.visit my website for the article is very interesting to read.
    Vip Gurgaon Agency Bhiwadi

    ReplyDelete
  9. Lakipoker is Situs Poker Online Bandar Ceme Agent Domino QQ is trusted in indonesia that provides game BandarQ, Poker Online, DominoQQ, Ceme Online, Capsa Arrange Online. Only with a minimum deposit of Rp10.000 you can play all the games in Lakipoker. The Trusted Poker City is one of the Agen Domino QQ IDNs that already have the most advanced high-speed servers and the best account security system. Customer service online for 24 hours to provide the best service for all players in Lakipoker.

    Every member who plays gambling poker domino qq and Bandar Ceme Online will get bonus rolling up to 0.5% which every Thursday will be shared directly into the account ID. In addition we also provide a referral bonus of 20% for anyone who invites other people or friends join to play gambling poker domino QQ on the site Agen Poker Terpercaya.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Kapal4D is bandar togel online in Indonesia providing game of numbers shoot for the most popular market in indonesia. Kapal4d Registration provides the best service with customer service who has experience and ready to serve its member main ( main togel ) 24-hour non-stop togel Ease of Transaction supported by 4 Bank of Indonesia (BCA, BNI, BRI Mandiri). KAPAL4D (bandar togel teraman ) ( bandar togel ) By having a user here who play ( togel online ) can gamble togel ( Agen togel )for the Singapore market ( togel singapore ), Sidney ( togel sydney ), Hongkong ( togel hongkong ). Play Togel Online ( Agen togel )Live in Smartphone or wap version where and anytime.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I feel so sorry for the journalism, when people nowadays care about the scandals of celebrities than anything else.
    gmail sign in

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am happy with your article, Fajartoto think your website is pretty good. Many articles are very useful for everyone. I am sure your website will grow in the future. Fajartoto will always support your website, hopefully more advanced. keep the spirit... thanks

    Situs Togel Terpercaya
    Togel Online
    Fajartoto
    Bandar Togel Terpercaya
    Agen Togel Terpercaya
    Bandar Togel Online Terpercaya
    bandar togel sgp
    Situs Casino Online
    Prediksi Hongkong
    Syair Togel Hk

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am happy with your article, Fajartoto think your website is pretty good. Many articles are very useful for everyone. I am sure your website will grow in the future. Fajartoto will always support your website, hopefully more advanced. keep the spirit... thanks

    agen togel terpercaya
    togel online
    bandar togel terpercaya
    bandar togel terbaik
    situs togel online
    situs togel terbesar
    agen togel
    fajartoto
    prediksi sgp
    syair togel hk

    ReplyDelete
  14. This was a great and interesting article to read. I have really enjoyed all of this very cool information.
    Delhi Escorts Services ||
    Hyderabad Escorts Service ||
    Chennai Escorts Service ||
    Call Girls in Gurgaon ||
    Gurgaon Call Girls

    ReplyDelete
  15. Very well written post and very helpful to me. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.
    Rohini Escort ||
    Aerocity Escort ||
    Paharganj Escort ||
    Dwarka Escort ||
    Saket Escort ||
    Karol Bagh Escort ||
    South Delhi Escort ||
    Pitam Pura Escort ||
    Tilak Nagar Escort ||
    Hauz Khas Escort

    ReplyDelete
  16. The best and powerfull dua for love back and love marraige is Duas in islam use this dua and solve your love problems.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I hope it will be helpful for too many people that are searching for this topic.Thanks for sharing.
    Ahmedabad Escorts Service

    ReplyDelete
  18. It will be particularly relevant for the High Fi escorts service girls' state of Mumbai that we have reached almost 100% rate of customer satisfaction and in our opinion, it is one of the main points that separates us from other agencies. . Therefore, for example, men in Mumbai and surrounding areas rent a call girl, they always prefer to behave through us. Our agency is tall enough to match their needs with the most relevant solution

    Anand vihar escorts service

    ashram escorts call girls

    Azad Nagar call girls

    escorts in ber sarai

    Aerocity escorts service escorts service

    Gurgaon escorts


    escorts in chandni chowk

    chawari bazar escorts

    ReplyDelete
  19. There are many services that are offered by the Escort services in gurgaon . Along with massage services, the escorts are eligible enough to cater to other physical needs of the customers. These can be catered to, very easily.



    ReplyDelete


  20. The call girls in dwarka promise to offer you the best escort services in all the areas. call girls in dwarka .

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love this post it very nice and integrating post.I really enjoy to reading this article thanks for sharing this article.
    Escorts in Gurgaon ||
    Call Girls in Gurgaon ||
    Gurgaon Call Girls

    ReplyDelete
  22. incredible convey, amazingly thankful and helpful that you will make a ton progressively substance like this one.Thanks for this Useful and significant substance c Call Girls in Delhi
    Sexy Bhabhi whatsapp number

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hello to all, it’s genuinely a nice for me to go to see this web site, it contains precious Information.

    Happy Halloween Images
    Happy Halloween Images
    Happy Halloween Pictures
    Happy Halloween Images

    ReplyDelete
  24. Yes, I am totally agreed with this article and I just want to say that this article is very nice and very informative article. I will make sure to be reading your blog more. Thanks a lot for keeping great stuff.I am very much thankful for this site.
    Ahmedabad Escorts
    Ahmedabad Escorts
    Ahmedabad Escorts
    Ahmedabad Escorts
    Ahmedabad Escorts
    Ahmedabad Escorts
    Ahmedabad Escorts
    Ahmedabad Escorts

    ReplyDelete
  25. This post is in a general sense easy to look at and see without neglecting any clear parts. Inconceivable work! You finished certain time tested focuses there.
    delhiescortgirls
    airhostessdelhiescort
    delhiescortguide
    vipescortdelhi
    priyasharma

    ReplyDelete
  26. You can choose to visit our Udaipur Call girls or reserve them online and call them at your location. As an authorized agency, we guarantee the security of all the details that our clients share with us. Therefore, you should not be concerned while revealing your identity or sharing your contact details with us.
    Udaipur escorts
    Jaipur escort service
    Goa escorts
    Hyderabad escorts
    Ahemadabad escorts
    Jodhpur escort service

    ReplyDelete
  27. Paharganj Escorts has the fittest modal, call girls and Independent Females. You can enjoy here all type of services like massage and organism through Sexy Call Girls and Model. We are sexist escorts in Paharganj Escorts and proved our quality in all field of this profession. Visit Paharganj escorts

    ReplyDelete
  28. This was a great and interesting article to read. I have really enjoyed all of this very cool information.
    Model Escorts in Gurgaon
    Gurgaon Escorts Services

    ReplyDelete
  29. Delhi Escorts are fully prepared for both Service a massage with full sex, most famous Delhi escorts service at affordable price
    Call Girls Service in Mahipalpur

    ReplyDelete
  30. Awadhesh Pratap Singh University Time Table 2021
    Awadhesh Pratap Singh University ka Time Table 2021
    I am really impressed with the information.I look forward to more comprehensive and insightful posts like this in the future.
    \Thanks for your post. keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I am one of the primary supposed Independent Dehradun Escorts with the skill to satisfy each and every longing of yours in a completely acceptable and perfect style.
    Call Girls Rajpur Road
    Call Girls Services in Dharampur
    Rishikesh Call Girl
    Call Girls in Haridwar
    Call Girl in Haridwar
    Graphic era dehradun Call Girls Service

    ReplyDelete
  32. hypocrisy is on of the worst thing mainly in india on the name it people are being looted by the fake sants and all this
    Delhi Escorts
    Delhi Escort
    Aerocity Escorts service

    ReplyDelete
  33. An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

    Devpost.com
    Information
    Click Here
    Visit Web

    ReplyDelete
  34. To ensure a good time between sheets, there are some things you can't ignore. As Kolkata's most famous call girls, Kolkata escorts we know who we are talking about when it comes to good sex. If your appointments are still unsatisfactory, we can help you. Be sure to remember the following basic principles before your next meal.
    No matter how attractive you think someone is, sex can be painful if you don't match. From unbalanced sexual feelings to different tastes in terms of attitudes, there are many reasons why two people can't be a good couple. Kolkata escorts service When it comes to sex, we all have our own instincts, and trying to make someone a harmonious sexy call girl Kolkata is something that almost fails. The trick to good sex is to find someone who fits your style. Being able to talk during sex is important for any couple, whether on a one-day adventure or in a long-term relationship. And the topics don't seem too complicated. Your partner will probably appreciate the help. Why endure silence when you can have the best sex of your life?

    ReplyDelete
  35. You made a number of fine points there. I did a search on the matter and found most folks will have the same opinion with your blog.

    토토사이트
    온라인카지노
    파워볼사이트
    카지노사이트

    ReplyDelete
  36. Thank you for posting such a great article! It contains wonderful and helpful posts. Keep up the good work
    share certificate format

    ReplyDelete
  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete