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2006/12/07

Interesting Lessons

Lincoln Elementary teacher Shannon Linville is surrounded by her students as they talk about modern, unexplained mysteries. Linville received a certificate of recognition from the Gallup-McKinley County School board for outstanding implementation of continuous improvement in the classroom.
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So how did this image happen? By me biting my tongue and dutifully taking the posed image of the teacher and the school board member shaking hands and handing over the certificate. People think that the readers want to see them, but these images (which are called 'grip-n-grins') are useless to anybody except the people in the frame. There is no context and no interest. Those images are not journalism, but laziness. Where is the action, the 'doing' of the image? That type of image tells the readers nothing, and the information must be gleaned entirely from the caption or the story.

So I waited. I appeased them all by making the image they expected from me. Then as the school board member and others, including the reporter filed out of the room I stayed behind under the pretense of spelling her name right. Soon the students were asking questions and I stalled, making a production of supposedly packing up my camera bag. Soon I was forgotten about and the teacher was working with her kids. They had a book about Bigfoot and the Bermuda triangle, and she had every body's attention. There is a lot more in this frame about her being a good teacher and having a relationship with her students than the posed image with the school board member ever did.
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