Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Category 305, Miami's online magazine, has a wonderful portrait of the Miami Herald photographer Tim Chapman, who's been doing it for 35 years. The story compares him to legendary New York photographer 'Weegee'.
Chapman is becoming a legend, too. Here's an old time newsman who's become a skilled new media practitioner.
Some examples of his classic photos here, too, including one from the disaster at Jonestown, Guyana, where Chapman was one of the first on the scene; from the Contra war in Nicaragua, from the Mariel boatlift and more.
And some commentary on the state of journalism too, and how Chapman fits in:
In 1963 Dade County had a population of about 1,050,000. The Herald's daily circulation was about 330,000 according to a special section the Herald printed to coincide with the opening of their new building. Miami-Dade County now has a population of over two and a quarter million. However, according to the paper's website, Herald circulation is about 314,000.
"For newspapers the watchword is hyperlocalism," Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Washington DC-based Project for Excellence in Journalism, recently opined on NPR.
Or as Chapman puts it: "I want to shoot good news photos and stories of local events."
Chapman's adrenaline junky aesthetic serves him, and his paper, well. His bosses appreciate his enthusiasm. "He’s 16 years old," laughs Rick Hirsch, managing editor of multimedia and new projects.

...Chapman drives and explains his journalism philosophy. "I'm a hunter/news gatherer." Chapman says that he shoots news for the guy who doesn't have time to read the paper before he leaves for work but will probably hit the Herald Website at work. "If you're not looking on the web then you're not getting your news."

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