Michael Shaw on Muck Rack

Michael Shaw

Berkeley, CA
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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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.

Trump: Understanding the Meltdown

2 Conventions in 6 Pictures: A Study in Contrast ... Mostly

readingthepictures.org — July 29, 2016 If the Democratic and Republican conventions produced thousands, likely tens of thousands of media and social media images, we have culled them down to three pair. In this first set, we have chronicled a truly astonishing phenomenon.

Pokemon Syria - Reading The Pictures

readingthepictures.org — July 24, 2016 I'm been writing for years about the entertainment value of news photography. Inordinately artistic images of suffering or destruction, or decontextualized battle scenes with cinematic flair only push the reality and the circumstances of war further away. That's why this photo was instantly stunning.

The Lookouts: Matt Black Revisions the Homeless

readingthepictures.org — June 1, 2016 If you're not familiar with Matt Black's work, he has been traveling America documenting poverty. We have also done several posts looking at his images as they play with meaning and witness America's fault lines in a unique and a deeper way.

Looking at Brock Turner's Mugshot x 2

readingthepictures.org — June 10, 2016 So, this is the photo the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department tried to pass off this week as Brock Turner's booking photo. As has been well detailed elsewhere, the photo above was released to intrepid reporters this week who were pressing for a mug shot.

On That "Tennis Shot" from the Paris Labor Uprising

readingthepictures.org — June 3, 2016 Did someone say protest rally? Critics and theorists have discussed for decades how much media turns conflict into spectacle and infotainment and moves us further from, rather than closer to actual issues and events. This classic "tennis photo" from the uprising in Paris against draconian labor laws could almost be seen as the last word.

Steve McCurry's Rickshaw

readingthepictures.org — By now, many voices have weighed in about Steve McCurry and the evidence that he has consistently and substantially altered details in his photos. A fresh set of examples appeared just last week. The "why" has also been sifted by various analysts, including Teju Cole, Paroma Mukherjee and Lewis Bush.

A Raw, Symbolic Image from the Labor Protests in Paris

readingthepictures.org — May 24, 2016 It's not like work in the 21st century means the same thing as it did in the 19th or the 18th. Still, there is powerful symbolism here in the half-naked man protesting labor "reform" in Paris.

Bhopal Portrait: Not Pathetic, Not Stereotyped

readingthepictures.org — May 16, 2016 I guess what's so notable here is that the photo would seem so pitiable. The instinct to look upon people in the developing world as tragic or dismal, especially if they have suffered great catastrophe or blight, remains a dominant western instinct (emphasis on dominant).

There [Won’t] Be Blood: On the Newsweek Tampon Cover

readingthepictures.org — May 4, 2016 The April 29, 2016 of Newsweek declares "THERE WILL BE BLOOD" in bright white letters against an appropriately crimson backdrop and announces that the "crimson tide" is turning. Click on the cover image, and you find yourself looking at Rupi Kaur's viral photograph of herself in bed with menstrual blood on her pajama pants and sheets.
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