Three days of heavy rain. Berlin, Pankow, 2017 Kevin Mertens

The future of journalism is digital. Many news organizations and editorial offices fought against plummeting print circulation with simple redesigns and other unsuccessful measures for way too long. They tried to save their old business models and lost valuable time. Too many resources were assigned to the print production and content from newspapers was published online without the same amount of effort and detail as in a printed newspaper or magazine. At the same time the way news is consumed radically changed and moved from print to web to mobile.

In the past, a good printed product could only be produced when great journalists, designers and experts from other areas came together – and exactly the same goes for digital publications.  Now many organizations have finally realized this and are shifting or have shifted to a digital-first strategy – but it needs to be a strategy that includes a strong focus on visuals as well.

Innovation in the field of visual storytelling

In a so called „post-truth“ era, with rightwing populists on the rise internationally, high quality journalism is more important than ever. But future publications will only win back trust and win new customers for digital subscriptions, if they not only focus on good reporting, but equally focus on excellent visuals, design and a great user experience as well. News companies such as The New York Times are fully aware of this and are successfully running a subscriber based business model with a paywall for their online content. They are innovators in the field of visual storytelling and devoting much energy into continuously developing new formats. Other excellent publications like The Guardian have been keeping their content open for everyone, but they heavily rely on advertising income and the voluntary support of their readers.

Whatever the business strategy might be, high level photography and multimedia storytelling play a crucial role in a successful future for news and other media organizations.

This is still a very turbulent time for journalism, but it couldn’t be any more exciting with so many new possibilities of visual storytelling emerging.

So what can I do for you?

For the past 10 years I have been working in the field of visual journalism. I have worked as a photojournalist and picture editor for various publications, have been running an award-winning online magazine for young photojournalism since 2010 and have been teaching regularly for various photography and journalism schools.

If you are in the process of redesigning or rethinking your digital (or print) publication I can help you improve the quality level of your photography and visual storytelling. I can:

  • find ways to improve your image research, editing and production workflows
  • work with your web designers and engineers and define technical features for visual elements such as image galleries, sliders etc.
  • develop new visual storytelling formats with your team
  • help you find the best emerging talent in visual journalism
  • train your staff in the area of photo editing and storytelling