NBC Nightly News, The NY Times and FindLaw Blotter on American Sniper Verdict

Photo of Bradley Cooper portraying Chris Kyle in American Sniper.
Photo of Bradley Cooper portraying Chris Kyle in American Sniper.

Eddie Ray Routh was sentenced to life in prison.

On Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, Routh was found guilty of murdering Chris Kyle, former Navy Seal, who inspired the movie “American Sniper.”

Routh’s lawyers attempted reasoning with the court that Routh belongs in a state mental hospital because of his mental instability.

 Jacob Rascon of NBC Nightly News, reported from Stephenville, Texas when the verdict was announced. In Rascon’s package, he provided a screenshot of Taya Kyle’s Facebook post after the verdict. Kyle wrote on Facebook, “ god bless the jury and good people of

NBC Nightly News on Twitter.
NBC Nightly News on Twitter.

Stephenville, Texas.” Also in his package, he was able to show emotion through Kyle’s testimony in court and Chad Littlefield’s father breaking into tears when reflecting on his son’s death. Aside from projecting emotion, the package featured Cynthia McFadden, NBC News Senior Legal and Investigative Correspondent. McFadden spoke on how unsuccessful insanity pleas are in court cases.

On Twitter, NBC Nightly News sent out a tweet with Rascon’s handle and a clip of his package. This makes it easy for readers to view the clip, no waiting around for NBC to post the entire show online.

Manny Fernandez and Kathryn Jones, of The New York Times, reported on the jury’s verdict in finding Routh guilty. The Times highlighted on the “strange intersection of pop culture and criminal law.” They described how the courtroom was only three miles away from a movie theater that had been playing American Sniper. Fernandez and Jones provided an in-depth description of the tragic event. They reported on how the relationship between Kyle, Littlefield and Routh formed, what handgun Routh used and how many times he shot Kyle and Littlefield. The reporters also provided details of Routh’s mental history.

The New York Times on Twitter.
The New York Times on Twitter.

On Twitter, the NY Times posted the breaking news with a link to the article but did not provide the reporters Twitter accounts.

Christopher Coble wrote about the verdict on FindLaw Blotter. Coble used a listicle on “5 things to know about the trial.” The five things to know about the American Sniper trial and verdict are the Killing, Trial, Verdict, Punishment, and What’s Next? Coble’s blog was a concise and different way to provide information on the verdict.

On Twitter, FindLaw tweeted out the link of the article.

NBC Nightly News, The New York Times and FindLaw Blotter all covered the verdict in the American Sniper Trial. However, NBC was able to provide visual emotion through clips, the NY Times provided an in-depth article and FindLaw Blotter provided the facts in a concise listicle.

On Twitter, all news sites posted links to their stories but only NBC Nightly News provided their reporters Twitter handle. I found it unique how NBC provided Rascon’s Twitter account. It provides an instant connection between the reporter, his work and viewers.

Afghanistan through Andrew Quilty’s Lens

Andrew Quilty is an Australian photojournalist I started following on Instagram and Twitter. He uses both platforms to share his exemplary photos of Afghanistan, where he is currently based.

Quilty has shot for works such as Time Magazine, The New York Times and Fairfax Media.

“Pretty much without fail the places that you’re told you shouldn’t go that you’re gonna die, that people are horrible, you’re usually hearing that from people who haven’t actually been there themselves and their passing on bad second-hand information,” Quilty said in a profile by The Newspaper Works. “More often than not, you go there, you go to that place and find the people are lovely and welcoming. Any preconceived notions you have are pretty quickly shattered and it’s great to discover that.”

Quilty’s work includes personal, emotion-filled shots of people he encounters in the places he travels in Afghanistan and beyond.

Here is a sampling of some of his work:

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Besides the shots being beautifully composed, I think that is what attracts people to his photography the most, the people, so sharing as much as possible only helps. It appears that he Tweet every photo he uploads to Instagram.

He has more than 38,300 Instagram followers, but 1,121 on Twitter, which to me, shows that his photos are what people see value in. After all, the majority of his tweets link to photos he posts on his Instagram.

I do not doubt that some people seek him out after seeing his work after it is published, but sharing his work on more than one platform must contribute to his large following at the source of his photo-sharing.

In addition his pieces show spontaneity, as he sometimes finds his subjects by chance and changed plans.

Benjamin Lowy on Historical Events via Instagram

Benjamin Lowy, a documentary photographer, began his career in 2003 covering the Iraq War. Since then, Lowy has covered events, such as, Hurricane Sandy, Ferguson Riots, March across Brooklyn Bridge, Super Bowl XLIX and Blizzard of 2015.

Lowy graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He has received awards on his photography from American Photography, Communication Arts and Word Press Photo.

TIME magazine selected Lowy as one of five photojournalists to cover Hurricane Sandy via Instagram.

On Instagram, Lowy publishes his photographs with captions describing the location, date and cause of the event.

On Nov. 25, 2014, Lowy posted a photo of a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Lowy captioned the photo, “a riot of police officer wades into a cloud of tear gas as numerous police units respond to the destruction of a police car parked outside the Ferguson City Hall.” He also gives background on how President Obama plans to respond to the riots in Ferguson.

Photo by Benjamin Lowy via Instagram.
Photo by Benjamin Lowy via Instagram.

A few days later, on Dec. 4, 2014, Lowy published a photo of protestors angered by the grand jury’s decision not to indict a police officer in the Eric Garner case. Protestors crowded and marched across the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City.

Photo by Benjamin Lowy via Instagram.
Photo by Benjamin Lowy via Instagram.

Moving forward to Feb. 1, 2015, Lowy uploaded a variety of photos covering Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix, Arizona. Photos

Photo by Benjamin Lowy via Instagram.
Photo by Benjamin Lowy via Instagram.

include, Katy Perry glimmering during Halftime show and Tom Brady, quarterback of the New England Patriots, throwing a pass.

Also more recently, Lowy uploaded photos from the Blizzard of 2015. On Jan. 27, 2015, he published a photo of a female sitting on top of a snowman. In his caption, Lowy compared his experience from the Blizzard to when he documented Hurricane Sandy.

His photographs on Instagram highlight on a variety of historical events, whether it has been a protest, unusual weather conditions or a big sport event. Lowy focuses on key points during the events and provides in-depth captions that give viewer’s content of the location, date and purpose of the event. His Instagram post are both visually appealing and informative.

Visual Story On Child Homelessness In New York City

There are more than 22000 homeless children in New York City. Andrea Elliott, investigative reporter, and Ruth Fremson, photographer, both from the New York Times, did a powerful photo story on NYC poverty called the “Invisible Child.” It is a five-part series, it is heartbreaking and riveting, but also a remarkable piece of photojournalism.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 11.13.50 AM

First of all, Elliott is a an amazing investigative reporter who was rewarded with the Pulitzer Prize for one of her series in 2007.  She followed the life of a 11-year-old homeless girl Dasani and put it in words very eloquently and realistically in the Invisible Child series:

“Dasani’s own neighborhood, Fort Greene, is now one of gentrification’s gems. Her family lives in the Auburn Family Residence, a decrepit city-run shelter for the homeless. It is a place where mold creeps up walls and roaches swarm, where feces and vomit plug communal toilets, where sexual predators have roamed and small children stand guard for their single mothers outside filthy showers.”

This paragraph paints a picture in readers minds. It’s not just telling us what the story is about, but instead showing us how it really is.

Dasani in the room at Auburn.
Dasani in the room at Auburn.


To top it off, the photographer Ruth Fremson doing a great job in providing the most accurate and compelling images that are bringing this story to life.

"The family’s room is the scene of debilitating chaos: stacks of dirty laundry, shoes stuffed under a mattress, bicycles and coats piled high."
“The family’s room is the scene of debilitating chaos: stacks of dirty laundry, shoes stuffed under a mattress, bicycles and coats piled high.”


This expose journalism has provoked a strong reaction with both the readers and public officials. There were 2255 comments below the article itself. People were thanking the authors for revealing this horrors that are happening in NYC. Some felt very angry and disappointed and were demanding some kind of action from the people who are in power. Ultimately, city officials were forced to remove more than 400 children from substandard shelters.

This visual storytelling was so powerful that it made a huge difference in many peoples lives and that is what makes it so damn good.



Essential Banana Listicle

A post on the health ambition blog by Jim Dillan outlines ’10 surprising banana benefits.’

True it’s random, maybe a little silly and totally unnecessary knowledge but it can’t hurt to know just 10 more delightful facts about bananas.

The strength of this listicle is that it maintains its paragraph format even though the 10 topics are compartmentalized by the list format. In other words these aren’t just one word benefits being lazily listed out. The author states the benefit of the banana and follows it with an in-depth and insightful discussion justifying it.

The pictures included in the listicle add value to the post as well. The facts alone are interesting but the inclusion of various clever, enticing or funny pictures of bananas makes the theme more lively.

How Photojournalist Sara Naomi Lewkowicz Uses Social Media

Photojournalism and social media has practically become a dynamic duo in this 21st century technology driven world. The power that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram provides to share an individual’s information and skill set with the world is incredible.

Sara Naomi Lewkowicz is a visual journalist who’s specializes in documentary photography.

Photo by Sara Naomi Lewkowicz on domestic violence.
Photo by Sara Naomi Lewkowicz on domestic violence.

Lewkowicz’s work has been featured in Time Magazine and other numerous works, as well as winning the 2013 Ville de Perpignan Rémi Ochlik Award for her work documenting domestic Violence.

She used her photography skills to share the impact domestic violence has on an individual and gives us a look at what really goes on behind closed doors. The story was unique because it showed how the abuse was a process turning into a pattern. Read the full story here.

Lewkowicz set up her website to display her photography in a way that makes it easy for someone to navigate around. simple yet informative.

When it comes to social media, Lewkowicz uses her Twitter and Instagram to share what she captures. She shares her most portraits via instagram, providing names, contact information and hashtags.

Lewkowicz has even showcased her work on @look3festival, an instagram account that celebrates photography of critical issues. Whether it’d be for journalism purposes or not, she still uses this opportunity to spread and promote her talent.

Although Sara Lewkowicz uses social media to show her talent, I noticed she uses her accounts more as a personal use rather than more of a professional way. If I were her, I’d probably just create two separate accounts.Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 2.39.29 AM

I also notice that she has a Facebook account that is verified as her, but doesn’t have an official Facebook page to display and illustrate her work. With photojournalism and social media becoming intertwined, this would be necessity.

Sean Proctor Shows Budding Photojournalists How the Job is Really Done

As an aspiring visual journalist, I consult notable photo blogs created by major news outlets (The New York Times, The Los Angeles TImes) to get inspiration for my photography and video. Such blogs often feature dailyweekly or monthly listicles that present the best photos taken during that period of time. These listicles provide an excellent way to expose new reporters to a variety of photography styles from a variety of talented photojournalists.

While scrolling through one of these listicles on “The Big Picture,” the Boston Globe’s photo blog, I came across Sean Proctor, a photojournalist for the Boston Globe who has also shot for Midland Daily News and Central Michigan Life. Though compositionally his photos were simple – a beach landscape, a violinist in a window – they captured the essence of the moment, which in turn, conveyed a successful story. Exactly what a journalist is supposed to do.


Most of Sean Proctor’s assignments for the Boston Globe deal primarily with the metro area, but he still manages to take photos that are creative and visually compelling. Especially for the budding photog, viewing work by slightly obscure photojournalists is more valuable then viewing work from ones that are known in the field – the assignments given to those like Sean Proctor will probably be similar to the assignments given to a new photographer i.e. “Go out in the frigid weather and shoot the snow” rather than, “We’re sending you to Sicily for a fluffy travel piece, where the photos basically take themselves.” Riveting stuff, but necessary to telling the story of the local area, which in Proctor’s case, is icy cold Boston.



Proctor is extremely accessible online – he has a website, a Tumblr, a Blogspot, a Twitter, an Instagram, and a Facebook page – all of which he participates in heavily. His following on Instagram far exceeds 1,000 and he has almost 500 followers on Twitter. Many of his tweets link directly to his Instagram and Tumblr accounts, each displaying both tasteful personal and professional work. 



Zoriah: A Haunting Display of Photojournalism

War: What is it good for? In this day and age, it appears one of the only answers is photojournalism.

Photo by Zoriah
Photo by Zoriah

Zoriah Miller, otherwise known as Zoriah, is a freelancing war photographer who has won many awards, including photojournalist of the year, for capturing the conflict in Gaza, as well as the famine in Africa and the War in Iraq.

Located on his website are dozens of categorized photographs shot around the world, all of which forever encapsulate the thoughts, feelings and ideas of an area or region during a time of war and devastation. Each of these pictures, whether they are of American soldiers at the war front in the Middle East, or the barren world left behind by the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine, share one commonality between them: They are haunting, intriguing and beautiful.

Photo by Zoriah
Photo by Zoriah

Upon reading into Zoriah’s history and his work, I learned that he was criticized in 2008 for shooting and posting photographs to his website of the bodies of marines who were killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq. This controversy aided in the discussion of journalists being prevented from telling the true story of war, including the casualties that are involved. Photographing images like the ones Zoriah does is not easy, but he makes it look effortless.

Photo by Zoriah
Photo by Zoriah

This phenomenal photojournalist reaches out to his viewers through his blog, though he also sends tweets including a link to his blog posts when they are posted. When I initially looked at his photographs, I expected him to have thousands of followers because his work is so powerful and thought-provoking. Zoriah, however, has less than 2,000 followers on the social media account. This might be explained by the fact that his tweets are not very consistent in when they are posted. His blog mainly consists of updates regarding photos he has shot or full-length pieces he has completed. It also includes an extensive update of a 2014 movie for which he shot still photography.

Photo by Zoriah
Photo by Zoriah

Though he does not have an Instagram account, and his Twitter account is rarely used, I think Zoriah’s photography and his talent speak for themselves. It would be nice to see him receive more attention through social media platforms, and gain more viewers and fans in this way, but it seems as though he is doing just fine without it.

NYC Subway Tunnels by MTA Photographer Patrick Cashin


An Unbelievable Glimpse of The Tunnels In Progress Beneath New York City was shot by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and assembled into a photo story by Fastcodesign.com.

MTA Staff Photographer Patrick Cashin has been shooting for the MTA since 2000. He has covered major events and projects such as this, the East Side Access process, connecting LIRR to Grand Central Station, Winter Storm Juno, and rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy.

The Photos:

The photos from this gallery speak for themselves. The depth of the tunnels is tremendous. The intricacies of the construction are artlike. And the realization that it’s all happening underground makes man realize how minute he is in comparison to our Earth.

New Yorkers are aware of the average size of a train car, cherrypicker, yellow excavation digger, bulldozer — the average size of a man. But in this setting, not so deep underground, these usual objects seem different.

These objects are different here because we will never get to see them with our own eyes down inside these giant holes. These photos successfully tell the story of this tunnel construction by exposing the true volume of them this way. With a variety of shots, Cashin documents the effort and amount of work that has gone into developing and improving the already complicated system of railways. Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 12.30.02 AM

The Layout:

I like the way the interactive gallery feature is used to display the photos one by one. The captions are visually clean and do not take away or distract from the photos. The fonts are clear and I like the multiple sharing options. It was a good idea to have the interactive gallery but to also have a single photo to separate the blocks of text.

The simplicity of the layout allows the photos to be front and center. Fast Company maintains this design throughout their websites in order to highlight the photos and videos of the online magazine.

At the end of the body there is a helpful link to see more of the MTA’s photos and a courtesy “Hat tip” to Gizmodo.

The Content:

The captions tell the story in short bursts as the reader clicks along in the interactive gallery and it is also told in the couple of blog-style paragraphs in the body of the post. The content in the captions and in the body is the same.

Some of the captions are jokes or just don’t say anything substantive. That doesn’t work for me. I think that the person who put this together could have made a couple of calls to get more information about the underground construction and maybe interviewed an MTA communications representative.

Overall I think this photo story is great. I get the point. I’m seeing something that normally I wouldn’t see and something probably very few people have actual access to see.

Patrick Cashin is an incredibly talented photographer and his work on the MTA Flickr Account show it. Although he isn’t a photojournalist, he and his employer shared the photos online for the public to see and blogs began making photo stories. These photo stories were then shared on social media and picked up by other blogs.

The public was engaged to the photos online because the MTA posted them on Flickr and wanted people to share them. The album on Flickr has over 90,400 views.

The fastcodesign.com post had:


The Gizmodo article that fastcodesign.com credited also had 251,300 visitors to it’s page and over 11K Facebook Likes to the post. We must keep in mind that these are only two of the many places online where these photos are featured. The MTA is publicizing itself online through its free, widely circulated original photography.