CNN.com is my browser homepage, and I don’t know why.
Let’s put aside their unhealthy obsession with Twitter, their reliance on entertainment coverage to boost their ratings, and the god awful, overly Photoshopped portrait of Campbell Brown. Instead let’s talk about their use of photography.
Still photographers have been told for years that the time was coming when video stills would be pulled from cameras that rivaled or exceeded the quality of DSLRs. In the past year, we’ve seen how the Red Camera and Canon 5DMKII have actually made this possible — Esquire published a cover image that was grabbed from a Red video. The threat to still photography is palpable, and perhaps concerning (or exciting).
And then there’s CNN.
This is the cover of their newly redesigned website. Take a look at the central image. It’s a video grab. Now tell me what it is, and why would I want to click on it?
“NYT’s layout isn’t much better organizationally, but it has gorgeous type and photography. Shit matters.”
As we say on the Internet, “iawtc.”
I’m perfectly aware of the limitations of what they were working with. This is a featured video story. They didn’t have a still photographer there. But this is their brand. As Andrew said, “Shit matters.” And as much as we acknowledge that cell phones make “good enough” images to cover spot news, this isn’t one of those cases. Have individual stories within the 24-hour news cycle become so irrelevant that journalists and their publishers have lost all sense of integrity in the presentation of information?
I’m glad to see that CNN has reduced their use of strangely composited photo illustrations, but here’s hoping that they hold good photography in higher regard.