1. Picturing community: an interview with Los Angeles Times’ photographer Francine Orr

    By Digital Storytelling December 29, 2009

    Photographer Francine Orr had experience reporting on poverty and humanitarian crises around the globe. But while working on “Gimme Shelter,” an audio slide show about L.A.-area homeless people living under a bridge, she found plenty to cover—and plenty to fear—right in her own back yard. [caption id="attachment_1488" align="alignleft" width="176" caption="L.A. Times/Francine Orr"][/caption] Orr spoke about the dangers of reporting on mentally ill addicts: "There’s such a history of random violence along the river. Everything is okay there until it’s not, and sometimes you don’t have warning before it changes. I always had to be aware of who was standing behind me, because I didn’t want someone to smash the back of my head while I was doing my work." And on how she views journalists' responsibilities to subjects, Orr had this to offer: "I’m a journalist; I’m not a social worker. If I do my job well, I present the story in a truthful manner, in an accurate manner, in a somewhat compassionate manner. I leave it to the viewer, to the reader, to respond. If they feel there is a need or an injustice that requires some action, that’s their role. My role is to present the story." Read the full interview. Read more

  2. Breakable Rules for Literary Journalists

    By Story Craft January 1, 1995

    When writers, readers, English teachers, librarians, bookstore people, editors, and reviewers discuss extended digressive narrative nonfiction these days, they’re fairly likely to call it literary journalism. The previous term in circulation was Tom Wolfe’s contentious “New Journalism.” Coined in the … Read more