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Visual Journalism department combines print and web operations

May 15, 2008 |  2:21 pm

Here is Editor Russ Stanton's memo about the creation of a new department, Visual Journalism:

We continue the steady march toward aligning our print and web news operations, this month physically merging the Continuous News Desk, the AM Copy Desk and making space for web editors at the main news desk in Metro, and arranging for print editors to rotate through the online newsroom.

Today, we are also creating a fully integrated department in editorial that will serve our site and our newspaper, combining our print photo, Web photo and video operations into one new department: Visual Journalism.

It will be headed by Colin Crawford, assistant managing editor for photography, whom I am promoting to deputy managing editor to reflect his new and expanded duties. Colin will be responsible for our multimedia, video and online photojournalism, as well as continue to supervise our award-winning photography staff.

Joining Colin in this new department is Multimedia Director Barbara Morrow and her team of shooters and editors, and Jerome Adamstein, senior online photo editor.  Barbara and her crew will remain in their space on the second floor until we do the third-floor remodel (likely next year) and Jerome will remain in his tastefully appointed office on the fifth floor.

Colin was one of the first editors at the paper to embrace the promise of the web. Last year, without  prompting, he converted 10% of his staff to shooting exclusively video, producing, among other things,  engaging segments for Dan Neil's Rumble Seat and Sue Carpenter's Throttle Jockey columns. Today, three photo staffers and five editors work full time to produce photos, photo galleries and videos for the web, and almost all others in the department have been cross-trained and contribute to both mediums.

Combining these three departments under the umbrella of visual journalism will improve our ability to present multimedia storytelling in an even more engaging way, and take greater advantage of our outstanding photo staff. Under Colin’s leadership, the department has been awarded two Pulitzer Prizes in Feature Photography, in 2003 and 2004, and was part of the Public Service Award in 2005 and Explanatory Reporting in 2007. This year the staff was a Pulitzer finalist for its coverage of the California firestorms, marking the 10th time since 2003 the department has been a Pulitzer finalist.

Colin joined The Times in 1983 as a photographer in the Orange County Edition, where he became an assignment editor, deputy director of photography, then director of photography. He took the helm of the Los Angeles photo operation in 2001, and in 2004 was appointed assistant managing editor. That same year, Colin won the Jim Gordon Editor of the Year Award from the National Press Photographer's Assn.

Colin holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from UCLA.

He will report jointly to Executive Editor John Arthur and Meredith Artley, executive editor for Interactive, working with them to prioritize needs for visual journalism in print and online.

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