Professional photojournalist panel discusses visual storytelling

Lucy Guanuna

Photo and video reporters from the L.A. Times and KPCC held a panel discussion on photojournalism Thursday in the USU.

The event was organized by the CSUN chapter of the National Press Photographers Association in coordination with the Los Angeles chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and CSUN Latino Journalists.

Grant Slater, photo and video editor of KPCC, and Armand Emamdjomeh, web and video producer of the L.A. Times, discussed their careers, the ever changing field of photojournalism and newsroom dynamics and tips for aspiring photo and video reporters.

“I hope [students] walk away with an understanding that it’s not just photojournalism or video journalism, its visual storytelling or audio storytelling.” Emamdjomeh said. “There’s a set of tools and you want to be able to know those tools and have the understanding to know each of those tools well enough to the point that they can be like ‘Okay for this story I should use this, or this’.”

Students asked for advice, tips for picking the best equipment, and what it was like to be a working professional in the field of journalism.

“It was very informative and pretty chill, they weren’t stuck up or anything,” Trene Todd, 21, senior broadcast journalism major, said. “I am going to take the advice that you need to sleep and breathe journalism because a lot of journalism students think a career is just going to come to us but we actually have to go out there and do whatever we need to do to get experience.”

The reporters emphasized the fact that because the journalism field is changing so rapidly, students must leave school with the knowledge of how to do it all: photo, print, video and more.

Emamdjomeh said at the L.A. Times, all the reporters were equipped with an iPhone in order to take their own photos and Slater said an iPhone was probably one of the best tools a reporter can have because it takes video, photo, and audio.

“Journalism is a tough industry and its really hard to get into because it collapses on itself sometimes so everything that you can do to get ahead is really important,” Slater said.