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Through the lens: Renown photographer Tom Kennedy on digital, multimedia storytelling

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By Megan Cloherty

WASHINGTON – Photojournalist Tom Kennedy got the bug for taking pictures when he was young. He became so good at it, Kennedy made eventually chose a career capturing pivotal moments in news history.

Tom Kennedy joined us in the studio to talk about how technology has changed news photography. (Courtesy Megan Cloherty)

Tom Kennedy joined us in the studio to talk about how technology has changed news photography. (Courtesy Megan Cloherty)

Kennedy spent his career at the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Washington Post and National Geographic Magazine.

His professional life has seen sweeping changes as far as technology advancements in digital photography, photo editing capabilities and photo sharing. And with an eagerness to learn each merging tool, he understands the momentous shift multimedia storytelling has made in news presentation.

“I feel like we’re very much on the front end of this kind of storytelling. I know there are examples of projects out there that reflect people’s efforts to come to grips with what the technology is now affording us and how to tell a different story,” Kennedy says.

While he dabbles in Instagram (he usually avoids filters,) Kennedy is more interested with how a digital format enables a different kind of visual storytelling. No longer is there only room for one photograph per article. Photographers can create a photo narrative — which changes the editorial approach to an assignment.

Kennedy is currently freelancing and will return to teach at American University in the spring.

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One Comment

  1. I’m all in favour of multimedia journalism and people working across platforms etc – except for citizen journalism; what next citizen doctors? However, if you’re going to have a blog about it, try not to have a mistake in the headline, and another one in the intro. It just reinforces prejudices journalists already have. I don’t think for one minute I can take a photograph that’s remotely as good as a professional news photographer. I would like to read more about this subject, but as frequently happens, I’m put off by the lazy attempt at writing.

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