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December 19, 2008

Crucial Issues

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(Fleet Week In NYC — a companion image to a BAG series (1, 2) with BNN contributer

Nina Berman on post 9/11 military marketing and recruiting, May 2007)

The economic crisis. Social justice. Militarism.

These are the themes BAGnewsNotes plan to emphasize in the coming year. With traditional media slashing photo budgets and even dropping whole departments, the work of this site and The BAG’s contributers becomes even more vital.

I want to thank all of you who responded to our request for funds this week, and would like to encourage the rest of you to give what you can.

Whether it’s $5, $10, $25 or more, could you help put us in the strongest position to respond to these issues in the coming year?

As we continue to grow the mission, I want to give you an update on what’s coming up:

Producer Ida Benedetto, moderator Cara Finnegan and I offer an Inauguration edition of the BAGnewsSALON, our on-line, real time discussion series. Set for Sunday evening, January 11th, we invite you to participate with a panel of experts in considering how the visual media has portrayed Michelle Obama in the transition period.

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(U.S. soldier graffiti — BNN contributer Zoriah Miller, Iraq/Kuwait, 2008)

Two of our contributers will be covering the Inauguration. Mindful of the historical nature of the event, Alan Chin will be shooting film, the results available a day or two afterwards. Also, new contributer Zoriah Miller is planning exclusive BNN coverage from a surprise location. Of course, we’ll also be directing special attention to how the media frames the day.

I am working with BAG Editor-At-Large Karen Hull, a lawyer in the Bay Area and a diarist at DailyKos, on a new feature called: “That One Picture.” The core of the project is to engage a broad and diverse group of bloggers, photographers and photo editors to share a key image, as well as a personal account of “that one picture” that kindled that person’s political consciousness.

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(Renaissance Village, New Orleans — BNN contributer Alan Chin. August 2007. More here.)

Also, Alan Chin is guiding a new initiative, called BAGnewsOriginals, to engage top freelance photojournalists to share projects with us they are working on. (We are already pursuing a number of recession stories.) In addition to exposing these photographers to an concerned/activist audience in the ’sphere, we hope to provide them the experience of dialoguing directly with you, our informed readership, on content and process. Our hope is that, out of these collaborations, several of these photographers will ultimately join us as regular contributers.

As I mentioned above, we are entering a critical time in which we expect to play a vital role. This is the last time I will ask for your aid before the end of the year.

Please help with whatever you feel you can spare.

As readers, as commenters, as contributers of all kinds, you can feel proud to be stakeholders in this unrelenting pursuit of visual activism.

Best,

Michael

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