The news business, by nature, is about change. And all too often change occurs fast and furiously, and it becomes challenging to keep up. But change also keeps you nimble and able to adapt.
An illustration in point: Tom Burton has returned to academia after being awarded the Knight Fellowship in the School of Visual Communication at Ohio University. Burton was compelled to follow this path to learn new skills and remain competitive in an industry more interested in refilling its ranks with the younger and more technically adept. Burton was a great asset, instrumental in working with past board secretary and tech chair Seth Gitner and our tech team to launch our updated website, step up our social-media game and continue the great tradition of producing our first-rate magazine, News Photographer. The opportunity to work with Burton again — we were colleagues in Orlando — was a joy and pleasure. We wish him well in his new endeavor.
But timing is everything. Burton’s departure opened the door to a new editor. Welcome to the head of our masthead, award-winning photo editor, designer and producer Sue Morrow. Although we got great candidates with a depth of talent and experience, Morrow was a standout. She comes to us after 13 years at The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, where she had multiple roles: assistant director of photography, multimedia producer and senior designer. Prior to The Bee, Morrow held visual leadership roles at the Tampa Bay Times, San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, The Boston Globe and The Atlanta Journal & Constitution. She has also been a faculty member, director and adviser to The Kalish picture editing workshop. These are just a few highlights of a journalist with a depth of experience who is prepared to take us to greater heights.
Morrow also comes at a critical time as we navigate the challenges of our industry amid head-spinning change. Along with advocacy for photojournalists, we also face our own less than stellar past actions on gender and diversity issues.
News Photographer magazine will continue to profile great photojournalists, from the legendary to emerging talents. We will continue to look at new trends in technology and more business-related information essential to the growing ranks of independent photographers.
News Photographer will reflect NPPA’s efforts to diversify our industry in ways long-term and meaningful. The sad reality is still too few of us represent the broad spectrum of gender, ethnicities and race that make up this great country and the communities we cover.
As our industry struggles to find its economic equilibrium as the traditional ranks of photojournalists have been decimated, women and people of color are tragically underrepresented. We must diversify visual journalism for greater depth and relevant storytelling. We are confident that under Morrow’s leadership, News Photographer, the NPPA website and our social-media content will continue to cover the relevant issues and activities of NPPA and this great profession we love.
To reach Akili-Casundria Ramsess, email [email protected].