By Sue Morrow, Editor
I commune with goats. Their calmness is contagious when I’m feeling panicked over looming deadlines.
The other thing that recently brought me calm was meeting NPPA members in real time, which is what I did at the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar in November. Everyone who stopped by the NPPA table to talk with me and Akili Ramsess, our executive director, encouraged us to keep up the good fight for what this organization stands for: high standards in visual storytelling, legal advocacy, our mentoring program, workshops, huge access to industry discounts and support for students. And, members love this magazine.
Most everyone we talked with either renewed their membership on the spot or joined the NPPA. I wanted to hug every one of them. Thank you! We need you, our members, to know that we value and appreciate your support. In this challenging climate of denigration to our democracy, we can’t do this heavy lifting without you. And we wouldn’t have this magazine.
Consider the math: An annual professional membership breaks down to 40 cents per day or $12 a month. And it’s less for students/educators and retired members. Go to nppa.org/join.
I turned to the “cup of coffee” analogy. Depending on where you live in the United States, a cup of coffee – black, no-frills – is an average of $2.75 per cup. With variables, that is four cups of joe a month, folks. And truly, don’t we usually upgrade to a latte or cappuccino? You can do that math. An NPPA membership is a bargain. And hey, it makes a great holiday gift, too.
The NPPA is approaching a very busy time of year. Board elections, the annual board meeting in February, and the Best of Photojournalism opens on December 20. If you are a member, submission is free.
But wait, there’s more!
These ideas came from members who also offered their support to help sustain an idea. Reminder, I largely create this magazine solo, so when a solid idea comes with a back-up plan, I listen.
Eyes on Research -- This column is the result of discussions between Kevin Moloney and Martin Smith-Rodden, two longtime photojournalists who are now in academia. Moloney will be the content gate-keeper of this feature, which will be a frequent column to digest academic research on still and video photojournalism for the professionals who can put the research into practice. See page 16 for the first feature and more information.
Spotlight: Small-market visual journalists -- Thanks to Yunghi Kim who literally handed me a long contact list of people. It introduces those who do it all by themselves, and they need our support.
But these days, what is considered a small market? Good question. Considering that the photo staff of my former paper, The Sacramento Bee, is now a third of its former size, is that a small market given that it’s in the capital of California? I think not.
This new feature will highlight visual journalists who are often doing it all on their own with little support and few eyes on their work. This will include staff and independent photographers in print and broadcast with one to three photographers.
There is an awesome new book by National Geographic. “Women” is something to behold and it’s featured among our holiday book round-up.
My mom, who turned a healthy 102 in early November, has given the National Geographic to me as a Christmas gift for nearly 40 years. My subscription has followed me through seven states over those decades. The value of that amazing gesture and that connection to my mom endures month after month. I’m sure I will write about my mom in a future column.
There is much to say about her strength and how she continues to live by example. And my mom, born in 1917, will get to see and hold in her hands a book of work by women and about women. Wrap your head around that.
I send my mom each issue of this magazine. It’s another way we connect and I think it helps her understand why daughter goes dark and doesn’t call or write enough.
My inner panic does run deep, but it’s for you, the member who cares deeply and wants the organization to have a heavy hand in keeping democracy strong so we can do our jobs safely, with impact and with high regard for freedom of the press. We need you now perhaps more than ever.
Please check your membership. Join or renew. And get this magazine.
Happy holidays to all. I’ll write to you again in 2020. ■