Michael Shaw on Muck Rack

Michael Shaw

Berkeley, CA
As seen in:  Huffington Post, New Republic
Covers:  instagram, news photos, visual media, media, politics, visual politics, photography, twitter, visual spin, photojournalism, visual culture

Dedicated to the daily analysis of news photos and media images. The official feed of Reading The Pictures. (Formerly BagNewsNotes.)

Michael Shaw is a Clinical Psychologist, an analyst of news photos and visual journalism, and a frequent lecturer and writer on visual politics and media literacy. His research has dealt with creative process visual thinking and how metaphors can lead to psychological insight. The founder and publisher of BagNewsNotes, the site is closely followed by the political and visual media, the photojournalism community and university visual studies and communications programs ...

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When Reality Isn't Dramatic Enough: Misrepresentation in a World Press and Picture of the Year Wi...

When Reality Isn't Dramatic Enough: Misrepresentation in a World Press and Picture of the Year Wi...

A Few Words About Joe Klamar's Viral (and "Obviously Terrible") Olympic Portraits

A Few Words About Joe Klamar's Viral (and "Obviously Terrible") Olympic Portraits

Big Media Sent 3 Of My Favorite War Photographers to Afghanistan And What They Brought Back Were ...

Big Media Sent 3 Of My Favorite War Photographers to Afghanistan And What They Brought Back Were ...

What was your first job as a journalist?

Same as the one I have now. Publisher of BagNewsNotes.

Have you ever used a typewriter?

Certainly. For years.

How is social media changing news?

How isn't it? Picture-wise, the photo has come into its own as a stand-alone communication vehicle and editorial entity.

This Photo About the GOP Campaign and Race Is Rare and Telling

readingthepictures.org — February 22, 2016 Clicking through the NYT Photos of the Day last Thursday, this picture brought me to a complete halt. It's not altogether unusual to see African-Americans at GOP campaign rallies. It is, though, in that rare photo that manages to call it out.

MLK: March 25, 1965

readingthepictures.org — January 19, 2016 As appropriate, Twitter featured two different MLK Day threads yesterday, one for tributes and remembrances, the other tracking protests and activism. I came upon this in the latter actually, a photo I had never seen before. A little research revealed it's was an AP photo from March 25th, 1965.

On Obama’s Tears

readingthepictures.org — January 6, 2016 On Jacquelyn Martin's photo: It has been said over and over that Obama can finally tackle gun violence because he's entered his last year in office - that he has capital (as well as executive privilege) to spend and nothing to lose.

The Visual Sin of the Year

readingthepictures.org — December 30, 2015 Blame the landlord? At year end, I wanted to return to the photos of the media barging into, capturing and publishing raw scenes from the apartment of the San Bernardino shooters.

Photo Foreshadowed the GOP Race From HellReading The Pictures

readingthepictures.org — December 29, 2015 With the media fixated on year-end photo retrospectives, a survey by the VII agency recently caught my eye. If it's odd and abstract at first, this shot by Ron Haviv seemed to put the GOP presidential race in long term perspective.

What if I Asked You to Imagine a News Photo from Gaza...

readingthepictures.org — May 10, 2015 What if I asked you to imagine a news photo from Gaza, and then I told you: It has a pair of hands disconnected from a body and also a body flying through the air. It prominently features a separating wall. It's about an uprising. ...

Make Love, Not War

readingthepictures.org — May 24, 2015 It's not exactly a Memorial Day shot. On the other hand, if we agree that war is pathological, this image from an International Gay Rodeo Association event in Little Rock this week could be seen to radically challenge the disease.

Country and Class and How We Look at the Migrant Crisis

Country and Class and How We Look at the Migrant Crisis
readingthepictures.org — October 25, 2015 We have seen plenty of imagery about the migrant crisis in Europe beginning and ending with a boat reaching shore. More and more so, we have also seen stories tracking immigrants from that boat - or even before that, from home - all the way to their final destination weeks or months later, in Germany, say, or Sweden.

You Say Amusing Halloween Human Interest Photo?

You Say Amusing Halloween Human Interest Photo?
readingthepictures.org — October 20, 2015 The New York Times photo people do not put just any picture in its " Picture of the Day" gallery. That's in contrast to the more official shots you'd find on the Facebook page of the Safeway food chain's World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off.

Reading the Pictures:

Reading the Pictures:
huffingtonpost.com — "We have a problem in this country. It's called Muslims," an unidentified man who spoke at a question-and-answer town hall event in Rochester, New Hampshire asked the mogul at a rally Thursday night. "You know our current president is one. You know he's not even an American."
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