ArchivesAugust 2010Digital journalist says jobs getting scarce

Digital journalist says jobs getting scarce

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“I won’t lie to you–the jobs are getting scarce.”

Despite the warning, however, multi-awarded digital journalist Luis Leandro Sinco challenged journalism students to pursue a career in journalism, citing the need for a watchdog over the three branches of government. {{more}}

Sinco, in a talk before students, photography enthusiasts, and Dumaguete journalists at the IT audio-visual room at Foundation University, cited an example in a county in the United States that was hounded by many scandals in the executive and legislative branches of government after their newspapers folded up a few months earlier. “This was because no one was watching them,” he said.

He said journalism is an exciting career although no one gets rich by being one.

“As a journalist, you’ll see a lot of action, you’ll get to see places, and enjoy life, but you’ll never become a Bill Gates.”

Sinco, who was a part of the Los Angeles Times team that won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of the Iraq “civil war” in 2007, shared his work involving multimedia production–a combination of photographs, sound, and narration rolled into a story.

He presented two stories. One was about how a white journalist traced his name to his black roots, and the other was about the continuing struggle of James Blake Miller, a US soldier who took part in the assault on Fallujah, and whose photo by Sinco appeared in newspapers worldwide as the famous “Marlboro Man”.

But Sinco came close to tears as he recalled the horror of the Iraq war, particularly the US assault on Fallujah in 2004, which he covered as an embedded journalist.

The assault, which was described by some as “worse than Hiroshima” still affects Sinco every now and then. He was unable to talk while looking at his own photos.

“I think of Iraq every day. And it still gets to me…,” “I think of Iraq every day. Sinco said, pausing to compose himself.

As a photojournalist, Sinco also deplored the practice of some photojournalists who manipulate their photos. “Many journalism students are learning more of Photoshoppe than photography. They learn how to adjust photos to make them more beautiful, when they should actually concentrate on taking photographs and telling a story.”

He said photojournalists are supposed to take and upload photos with minimum revisions as the photographs should reflect reality.

Sinco also shared some photos taken by Foundation University visual artist and photographer Hersley Ven Casero and Alma Alcoran who, along with Sinco, had been experimenting on taking panoramic shots of Dumaguete these past few weeks.

“This kid [Casero] has talent,” Sinco, who first taught Casero to take photos in 2002 with cameras donated by the LA Times, said.

Sinco, a Dumaguete native, comes home to Dumaguete every year to visit his relatives and to help at Foundation University, founded by his grandfather Dr. Vicente G. Sinco in 1949.


FAMOUS. Luis Sinco’s photograph of James Blake Miller during the assault on Fallujah, which became known throughout the world as The Marlboro Man, is probably Sinco’s most-viewed photographs on the LA Times website.


SCARCE. LA Times digital journalist Luis Sinco tells journalism students and photography buffs in Dumaguete that jobs in photojournalism are becoming scarce. (Photos by Hersley Ven Casero)

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