Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Haiti video: Is it journalism?

Khalid Mohtaseb shot this beautiful video in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake:

Mohtaseb's account of the shoot is well worth reading for more. Mohtaseb went to Haiti to cover the disaster for two international TV networks, and this was his first real journalistic project other than a documentary.

He clearly comes at the project from the point of view of a filmmaker, showing a strong visual sense. Mohtaseb used a portable dolly to create the smooth motion in the photos, noting "I strongly believe that a dolly shot is far more powerful than a static shot so I tried using it any chance I could."

If you look at the comments, it sparked an interesting debate about whether this qualifies as "journalism," or if it's just a glorified art project. He drew criticism for a variety of aspects of the project, ranging from the lack of context for these images to his use of extensive color correction. When you look at the before and after shots in his account, it's quite striking to see the difference from the original images.

Technology continues to present interesting ethical questions as we move forward into new frontiers. Dan Chung, who runs the site this was posted on, along with Mohtaseb, did interviews with F-Stop Beyond discussing the controversy.

Link: Mohtaseb's account of the Haiti earthquake coverage

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