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Reading the Pictures Salon: The Border Wall

We’re writing to tell you about an awesome project, which just won the Howard Chapnick Award, The Reading the Pictures Salon. The Reading the Pictures Salon focuses on how the US/Mexico border wall is depicted, and how photographers and the media are using imagery to depict the politics, to editorialize on it, or to outright challenge the politics from a human rights and social justice perspective. 

The Salon brings together the eyes and voices of the world’s leading photojournalists, photo editors, visual scholars and other highly-informed observers to analyze select edits of still images in a unique two hour on-line discussion format. Offered free via the web, each program garners hundreds of viewers immediately, and thousands of viewers over weeks and months, attracting a targeted audience of concerned citizens, students, scholars, and media professionals. 

The salon will take place on December 6, at 7:30 pm EST (join here).

An expert panel will examine the visual depiction of the wall, and how photographers and the news media are using imagery to frame the politics and the human rights issues surrounding the wall. Special attention will be paid to images published since the White House implementation of the “zero tolerance” policy, the family separation crisis and “the caravan.” This salon is co-produced with the Magnum Foundation with the support of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund. 

Experts include: Anne Demo, Assistant Professor, Communication Arts and Sciences, Penn State University (Moderator). Teddy Cruz, Architect, Professor of Public Culture and Urbanism, Visual Arts, UCSD;  Fonna Forman, Associate Professor of Political Science / Co-Director, UCSD Center on Global Justice;  Erin Siegal McIntyre, Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism; Nick Oza, Staff Photographer, Arizona Republic; Griselda San Martindocumentary photographer focusing on issues of immigration and identity; and Michael Shaw, Publisher, Reading The Pictures

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MediaStorm 2019 Masterclass Dates

MediaStorm staff and participants at a recent masterclass

2019 marks our twelfth training year at MediaStorm. Each year our masterclasses attract leading industry professionals looking to advance their multimedia and storytelling skills. Over 250 participants have come through our doors and we continue to be humbled by how much they take away from the experience.

Meredith Hogan, previously a Senior Multimedia Editor at NBCNews.com, told us that our Methodology Masterclass was “a creativity adrenaline shot for doing storytelling at the highest level and for the right reasons.”

In 2019 we’ll be offering two Methodology masterclasses as well as two One-Day masterclasses in Brooklyn, NY. We are looking forward to another exciting, innovative and challenging training year. We hope you’ll be able to join us.

MediaStorm Masterclass Dates 2019

March 31 One-day Masterclass
May 25 One-day Masterclass
June 18-21 Methodology Masterclass
Dec. 17-20 Methodology Masterclass

All classes will take place in Brooklyn, at POV Headquarters at 20 Jay St.

Applications are now open. Apply now.

About Our Masterclasses

MediaStorm offers an array of in-person masterclasses and online training opportunities to meet your learning needs.

MediaStorm One-day Masterclass
One-day overview session focused on the art of digital storytelling.

MediaStorm Methodology Masterclass
This masterclass is tailored to professionals who want to integrate MediaStorm methods into their curriculum or approach to storytelling.

Online Training
If you’re not able to join us in Brooklyn this year, consider signing up for a one-year subscription to our Online Training. Pay just one fee for more than six hours of video tutorials with MediaStorm staff on reporting and post-production.

We hope you can join us for another great year of masterclasses!

Application deadlines are approaching. Apply now.

Learn more about our upcoming classes at mediastorm.com/train.

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IAFOR Documentary Photography Award

Ezra Acayan is the Grand Prize Winner of this year’s IAFOR Documentary Photography Award in recognition of his work documenting the ongoing war on drugs in the Philippines. Congratulations to Ezra on this achievement!

Photo Credit: Ezra Acayan. Supporters stretch their hands towards a portrait of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during a welcome rally outside MalacaÒang Palace in Manila, Philippines on June 30, 2016, his inauguration day.

Ezra will now receive the following as part of his Grand Prize package:

Congratulations also to Subhrajit Sen (Second Place) from India, Elliott Verdier (Third Place) from France, Camillo Pasquarelli (Honourable Mention) from Italy, and Farshid Tighehsaz (Honourable Mention) from Iran, who will also receive prizes from Think Tank Photo, MediaStorm and The International Academic Forum (IAFOR).

We are happy to support photographers dedicated to documenting important issues around the world.

You can learn more here.

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MediaStorm One Day Master Class in Zurich, Switzerland on July 21, 2018

We are thrilled to be bringing our one day MediaStorm Master Class to the Zurich University of the Arts on Saturday, July 21, 2018. This free workshop will start at 10am and end at 6pm. It is being organized by Cast/Audiovisual Media (a unique field of studies in digital filmmaking at the university). 

The MediaStorm One Day Master Class provides a general, yet precise, overview of documentary video and multimedia storytelling approaches. MediaStorm founder Brian Storm will walk you through specific examples, and share his business experience, as well as proven tips to improve your interviewing, shooting and editing techniques.

Although this is not a hands-on workshop, active discussion is both encouraged and expected from all participants. Theory is backed up by real world examples using MediaStorm’s award winning work.

This Master Class  is designed for anyone interested in learning about the ins and outs of producing and distributing documentary video and multimedia content.

What You Will Learn

Narrative Storytelling

  • Developing the best approach for creating effective multimedia stories
  • Pre-production planning, finding the story’s focus and execution of those ideas and techniques

Reporting Approach

  • Using the best tools to get the story
  • When to use a still camera, when to use audio and/or video
  • How to ask questions and get to the heart of the story


  • Getting the most out of the reporter/editor relationship
  • Common issues and how to resolve them

Business Model

  • Collaborating with clients
  • Syndication models
  • Distribution of projects across various platforms

MediaStorm has been telling stories and building an-award winning business for over a decade and we want to share our lessons with you. Our immersive trainings have helped so many, from the most seasoned journalists and filmmakers, to those just entering the field.

2018 marks our 11th year of training at MediaStorm. Each year our courses attract leading industry professionals looking to advance their storytelling skills. Over 200 participants have come through our professional workshops and we continue to be humbled by how much they take away from the experience.

To reserve a spot in the workshop send an email to both leandro.russo@zhdk.ch and brian@mediastorm.com.

The workshop will take place at:

Zurich University of the Arts

Toni Areal

Kino Toni

Pfingstweidstrasse 96

8005 Zurich

(Tram 4, Stop “Toni Areal”)



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Honoring David Goldblatt

We are saddened to learn of the passing of David Goldblatt, legendary photographer and documentarian from South Africa. The images he took during apartheid captured, what he called, ‘the underbelly of apartheid’. For him, to know the values that underlaid the system were more important than covering the events of the day. His images gave the rest of the world a window into what it was like to live and work as a person of color in apartheid, and for that he will forever be remembered.

As a recipient of the 2013 Cornell Capa Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Center of Photography, we were honored to have the opportunity to create a film about his work. Please take a moment to watch the film to learn more about his incredible career. 

South Africa’s “Father of Photography”, Goldblatt played an important role mentoring  young photographers, including Zanele Muholi, winner of the 2016 ICP Infinity Award: Documentary & Photojournalism.

Our condolences go out to David Goldblatt’s family and all the photographers and concerned image-makers he influenced.


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