Evan Hill of The Atlantic writes of the slain journalist:
His goal was the same as all of ours: to make it. It’s a comment on the vicissitudes of the journalism industry that a guy like Jim ever had to “pitch” a kid like me to get a story published on a blog that didn’t pay and had only a small readership, but that’s the way it was, and still is, and Jim approached it with the unflagging enthusiasm that seems to have been his trademark.
“My goal is to get as much experience as I can, cut my teeth [in Afghanistan], and try to increase my freelance contracts until I could land some kind of staff reporter position. It’s been difficult, as far as selling, but it sure is fun and being immersed in the environment provides a ton to write and photograph,” he wrote to me in 2009.
Covering wars for a polarized nation has destroyed the civic mission I once found in journalism. Why risk it all to get the facts for people who increasingly seem only to seek out the information they want and brand the stories and facts that don’t conform to their opinions as biased or inaccurate?
James Foley kept at it, though — and was killed for his work. George Packer at The New Yorker laments his passing and puts it context: “Too much of August’s sound and fury over ISIS is taking place in a vacuum of knowing and thinking ahead,” he writes.
Among the many reasons to mourn Foley’s death is the loss of his reporting, and of reporting in general, from Syria. News of the civil war from Western media organizations has been dwindling as security has deteriorated, and it is now likely to dry up. Local Syrian reporters face an even greater threat. The Committee to Protect Journalists says that at least eighty journalists have been kidnapped since the start of the war and at least seventy have been killed, almost all of them Syrians, and almost all in 2012 and 2013. So far this year, the confirmed number of journalists killed is down to six, Foley being the most recent.
We all owe a debt to James Foley. He was killed in the effort to bring news of the wars in the Arab world to the rest of us, to make them more humanly comprehensible. Foley, who was murdered, on video, by the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, was acting on behalf of two principles: the right to know and the need to know. In this sense, Foley’s father did not exaggerate in calling him “a martyr for freedom.” The more I learn about the man and his work, the more my admiration grows. His journalism was clear-eyed, empathetic…
The work doesn’t always fall on deaf ears.
'Racism has long been part of American history. Undeniably powerful and disturbing images of swastikas, Klansmen and flaming crosses are immensely associated with the term. Since the civil-rights movement of the ’50s and ’60s, many people prefer to believe racism no longer exists. Yet, it is still alive and functioning in this country. Today, with the goal of becoming part of the American mainstream, the racist movement operates through both subtle and transparent practices to recruit new believers from among America's youth.'
-David S. Holloway, who won a Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography in 2005 for his project documenting white nationalism in the US.
2014 marks the tenth anniversary of the Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography program, which has now awarded almost $1 million in funding to photojournalists. As we prepare to announce this year’s winners on September 4 at Visa Pour l’Image, we are taking a look back at some of the winners from the past 10 years. See more on In Focus.
Poynter’s Roy Peter Clark weighs in on the “over-praised” New York Times feature that, “won a Pulitzer Prize in 2013 for feature writing; “it set a standard for multi-media reporting at a time when we were wondering about the viability of that form of storytelling; and it attracted attention from far and wide, lending encouragement that journalism in the digital age has an exciting future.” But …
Using the first section of the story as a kind of microcosm – and encouraging you all to read that much, at least – I offer the following critiques:
1. Most of the visual elements violate the essential credo of effective storytelling: Not to give away too much too soon.
2. Time and again the visual elements “step on the narrative.”
3. There is a “kitchen sink” feel to the visual aspects of the story.
4. The first section of text feels out of tune with the second.
5. Most of all, there is no harmony between what I would call the Voice of the story and its Vision.