Tag Archives: CNN

CNN’s Bethany Swain is WHNPA Video Photographer of the Year

From: White House News Photographers Association

Veteran CNN photojournalist, Bethany Swain has been awarded the 2010 White House News Photographers Association Video Photographer of the Year in the ‘Eyes of History™’ video contest.

That could be the longest award title in the world – but doesn’t diminish the impressive feat. Congratulations to Swain on a huge accolade.

Not only is Ms. Swain a hard-working national photog based here in DC, she’s also the Project Coordinator for the amazing “In Focus” series of photog nat-sound essays shown quarterly on CNN. A great inspiration for news shooters everywhere.

The winning video clips should be online soon.

Read more at: WHNPA.org

CNN Highlights War Photog’s Career

cnn-mothBack in the late 90’s, I was fortunate enough to travel overseas to places like Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Persian Gulf. On a number of these brief trips we would run into crews from CNN and other networks.

We’d sit in a hotel bar – after a days shoot – and swap stories about the business. I say “swap,” but as a veritable rookie shooter, I simply kept my mouth shut and listened. The stories were amazing. I often stood flabbergasted at tails of the likes of Marget Moth.

I haven’t been lucky enough to meet Ms. Moth, but after watching the recent documentary, “Fearless” on CNN I wish I had the opportunity.

Seeing the rock-solid shot of a soldier shooting directly at your vehicle at the beginning of part one says it all. If you can be that cool under pressure, you are the best in the business.

CNN Reports Confusion on the Potomac

cnn-coastguardFrom:  Al Tompkins, Poynter Online

“CNN unnerved the nation Friday morning with live reports of Coast Guard teams firing on a suspect vessel on the Potomac River that would not stop when ordered. We know now it was just radio chatter, part of a “routine and low-level” Coast Guard exercise. And to top it all off, it came on the morning of the anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.”

Read the rest of the story…

CNN Show Written, Edited, Produced by Photojournalists

From: Al Tompkins, Poynter.org

20090104_075828_27738There are only a few things I am sure of in the world of journalism, but this is one of them: In 2009, journalists will be capturing more video and working alone more often. This is already happening in local TV, in the newspaper and online worlds, and as you are about to see, even CNN’s photojournalists are out there producing entire shows by themselves.

CNN photojournalist Bethany Swain, who works out of the D.C. Bureau, got the idea rolling for a series of big projects called “In Focus.” The series began in 2007 with the premise that the stories would be shot, written, edited and produced by photojournalists.

Since then, CNN photojournalists have taken on tough-to-tell stories for the half-hour show. “Guns in America” aired the same month the Supreme Court released its decision on the D.C. handgun ban. And the photojournalists have addressed more feature-oriented topics, like “Giving in America” during last month’s holiday season.

The stories are photographed in HD and once all of the pieces are done, they are produced into a half-hour special. They are also bundled into a large online package and CNN.com includes still photos taken from the pieces.

One element worth studying in these stories is that there is no reporter narration. It is hard to create a “natpak” (natural sound package) of any complexity and have it hang together without narration. Frankly, I believe most stories benefit from narration, even sparse narration. But some pieces can work just fine without it. I discussed this and more with Bethany Swain.

Read the interview…