Thursday, February 11, 2016

Using New Media Process to Investigate Black History Month

The New York Times is one of the pioneers in the wave of old media powerhouses to engage new media readers with their activities, and they do it in ways big and large.
One that has come to my attention recently is the series of photos they post in which they ask, "What's Going On in This Picture?" 

They seem to choose interesting photos that engage the viewer and encourage speculation about the scene, as this one does.  What's going on?

It appears to me to be a campaign photo from the '70s, somewhere in the south, I suspect, where a White candidate has gone to visit a Black woman in what first appears to be a trailer house, but is more likely, judging from the tire revealed at the far right, a travel trailer.  Meanwhile, a group of reporters and observers, Black and White, have followed them, with a Black reporter, his press badge on his lapel, holds a microphone to hear what the candidate has to say.

I suspect the woman (and perhaps the woman behind her in the shadows, is a performer, judging from her long gown and her confident and gleeful expression.  She's the master of the situation.

But what the Times does is offer opportunities like this to its readers, to engage and solicit feedback, creating a community response and a shared experience.

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