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Archives About Staff BagNews is dedicated to visual politics, media literacy & the analysis of news images.

BagNews Staff

Michael Shaw Publisher

Headshot 167 Small 110x112An analyst of news photos and visual journalism, and a frequent lecturer and writer on visual politics, photojournalism and media literacy, Michael is the founder and publisher of BagNewsNotes.

Founded in June 2003, “BAGnews” was originally a civics tool/visual experiment/political cartoon to interest grade school kids in the news. Beginning in mid-2004, however, spurred by the photo coverage of the Bush-Kerry presidential campaign, Shaw turned his attention to this new “discipline” — the visual analysis of political images. Today, BagNews is the only site dedicated 100% to visual politics and the analysis of news images. The site is closely followed by the news and visual media; the photo community; university journalism, photojournalism and communications programs; and citizens interested in the overlap of media, politics, persuasion and visual culture. The site also features original photojournalism from leading photographers and hosts a regular online discussion series, the BagNewsSalon, analyzing how the media visually frames the key news events of our day.

A regular front page contributor to the Huffington Post since September ‘05, writing a blog feature called “Reading The Pictures,” Michael was also an on-line columnist for “American Photo” and has contributed to and

Michael is also a Clinical Psychologist and Organizational Consultant in private practice. His clinical training — which is woven into his commentary — involves the analysis of character and character styles. His research has dealt with the creative process, visual thinking, and how metaphors can create psychological insight. Shaw spent nine years as the consulting psychotherapist at The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), the architecture and design program and think-tank in Los Angeles. He also spent five years in the same role at Otis College of Art and Design.

Meg Handler Editor-at-Large

Meg is a photo editor and documentary photographer. The former photo editor of The Village Voice, Meg  has also worked at U.S. News & World Report, Blender, New York Magazine, COLORS and Polaris Images. She has edited a number of books, including the monograph, Phil Stern: A Life’s Work, PAPARAZZI by Peter Howe, and POT CULTURE by Shirley Halperin and Steve Bloom. After 20 years of immersion in the photography business, and having worked with some of the great photographers in New York and abroad, Meg now lives in Chicago. She worked as the principle photographer for The Grant Park Music Festival at Millennium Park, and BIGArt at Navy Pier. Meg received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology.

Sandra Roa Editor, Reading the Pictures

Sandra C Roa is a documentary photographer who has expanded her storytelling into radio, video, and print journalism. She recently completed a Masters degree for foreign reporting from the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. During her studies, she interned in The New York Times video unit and the Lens blog. Her work has been internationally published and exhibited. Since 2007 Sandra has been a faculty member at the International Center for Photography. She is based in London.

Teresa Mahoney Technical Producer BagNews Salon

Teresa Mahoney is a freelance multimedia journalist based in Portland, Oregon. She has worked as a video producer and trainer at Mint newspaper in New Delhi, India where she taught the newsroom to shoot video with cell phones, handheld and DSLR cameras. She previously taught multimedia journalism including video, audio, and basic web development as a digital media fellow at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, where she graduated in 2012. Teresa has interned for Portland Monthly magazine and KPTV Fox 12 in Oregon. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles and has worked in marketing for the biotechnology industry.

Cara Finnegan Moderator, BagNews Salon

Cara Finnegan writes and teaches about visual politics for a living. She is a professor in the communication department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where her research explores the role photography has played in the history of U.S. public life. Cara is the author of Picturing Poverty: Print Culture and FSA Photographs (Smithsonian, 2003) and numerous articles and reviews about the history of photography. She keeps the blog first efforts and has served as the moderator of the BagNews Salon since 2008. Cara is also a contributor to BagNews Notes.

Loret Steinberg Consultant, BagNews Salon

Loret Steinberg is an expert on documentary photography, photojournalism, social responsibility and photography, ethics and documentary photography/photojournalism, community responsive media, civic journalism and photography, and building new ways of telling more meaningful stories with photographs. She teaches photojournalism and documentary classes at the Rochester Institute of Technology and lectures on ethics and photography. Loret writes on a range of topics in photojournalism education such as the impact of technology on audience perception, the role of reflection in professional work and photographers’ responsibility to a diverse community. Her work has been exhibited and published in galleries, museums and in publications across the United States.

BagNews Contributing Writers

Karrin Vasby Anderson

Karrin Vasby Anderson is Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Colorado State University and coauthor of the book Governing Codes: Gender, Metaphor, and Political Identity. Her campaign commentary has appeared in the Fort Collins Coloradoan, the Rocky Mountain News, and the Swedish national news broadcastVarldun i Fokus. Dr. Anderson is a recipient of the Organization for Research on Women and Communication’s Feminist Scholarship Award, and is co-recipient of the Carrie Chapman Catt Prize for Research on Women in Politics. Follow Karrin on Twitter @KVAnderson.

Peter Brook

Pete Brook is lead blogger for Raw File,’s photography blog. He publishes his own writing at Prison Photography analyzing the visual culture of prisons and issues of civil liberties and social justice as they relate to photography and photojournalism. Pete is a teacher and working board member with University Beyond Bars in Washington State. Pete’s writing has appeared on, Too Much Chocolate, and Cool’eh Magazine.

Lewis Bush

Lewis Bush is a photographer and writer. His photography examines disparate subjects, from civil liberties to national memory, typically using them as a way to pose questions about medium itself. He maintains Disphotic, a blog on photography and it’s intersections with history, art and journalism, and also writes for a number of other titles. Tweet him: @lewiskaybush

Michael Butterworth

Michael L. Butterworth (Ph.D., Indiana University) is Director and Associate Professor of the School of Communication Studies at Ohio University.  He is also the Executive Director of the International Association for Communication and Sport.  His research examines the relationships between rhetoric, democracy, and sport and includes his book, Baseball and Rhetorics of Purity, as well as articles in journals such as Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Critical Studies in Media Communication, the Journal of Sport and Social Issues, and the Quarterly Journal of Speech.

David Campbell

Dr David Campbell is a writer and producer, specialising in photography, multimedia and politics. With both academic and practice-based credentials, he examines how documentary photography and photojournalism work, the opportunities multimedia bring, and the challenges presented by the revolutions in the new media economy. He also works as a multimedia producer in collaboration with photographers.
David writes regularly on his blog at, which was named one of the ten best photoblogs by the British Journal of Photography (July 2011). The author/editor of six books and some 50 articles and essays, David’s academic research concentrates on how atrocity, famine, war and ‘Africa’ are represented.

David is a member of the Durham Centre for Advanced Photography Studies and Honorary Professor of Geography at Durham University, Honorary Professor in the School of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Queensland, Australia, and a member of the advisory board for the Program for Narrative and Documentary Studies at Tufts University, Boston, led by Gary Knight. He lectures on the MA International Multimedia Journalism program located at Beijing Foreign Studies University..

Robert Hariman

Robert Hariman is a professor in the department of communication studies at Northwestern University. His publications include No Caption Needed: Iconic Photographs, Public Culture, and Liberal Democracy, which he co-authored with John L. Lucaites. He and John maintain the blog No Caption Needed, which provides commentary on photojournalism, politics, and culture.

John L. Lucaites

John Lucaites is professor of rhetoric and public culture, department of communication and culture and adjunct professor of American studies, Indiana University. He was a 2006-2007 Fellow at the Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions. His publications include No Caption Needed: Iconic Photographs, Public Culture, and Liberal Democracy, which he co-authored with Robert Hariman. He and Robert maintain the blog No Caption Needed, which provides commentary on photojournalism, politics, and culture.

Christa Olson

Christa Olson is Associate Professor of Composition & Rhetoric in the English department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her scholarship and teaching focus on how pictures shape values and beliefs, especially at the level of national identity. Much of her work, including her book _Constitutive Visions_, is about rhetorical history and visual culture in Latin America.

Philip Perdue

Philip Perdue is a PhD student of rhetoric and public culture at Indiana University. He began his post-secondary education as a commercial artist and illustrator atPensacola Christian College and had a weird, brief stint with The Family in 1996. His current research engages the culture, educational institutions, and aesthetics of Christian fundamentalism in the US, with a critical focus on the role of images, photographs, and illustrations in the construction of Christian national identity. He teaches courses in Communication & Culture at IU, where he encourages his students to think with images. @PhilipPerdue

Valerie Wieskamp

Valerie Wieskamp is a doctoral candidate studying rhetoric and public culture at Indiana University and a free-lance graphic designer. In her research and teaching, she examines the connections between politics, public advocacy, and various forms of media, digital, and visual culture. She has published articles in both U.S. and international venues that explore issues of war, gender, race, and violence as they intersect national identity and civic engagement. Prior to attending graduate school, Valerie worked in the non-profit sector doing design, political advocacy, and media outreach.

Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa

Editor of The Great Leap Sideways, MFA in Photography & Film (2014) at Virginia Commonwealth University.

BagNews Contributing Photographers

Nina Berman Senior Contributing Photographer, BagNews Originals

Nina Berman is a documentary photographer with a primary interest in the American political and social landscape. Her work has been extensively published, exhibited, and collected. She is the recipient of two World Press awards, a 2006 fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and a 2005 grant from the Open Society Institute Documentary Photography Fund. Her work was selected for exhibition at the 2010 Whitney Biennial Exhibition. Nina’s photography has been the subject of several solo and group exhibitions in galleries and museums in New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., and throughout Europe. She is a member of the NOOR photography collective based in Amsterdam.

James Whitlow Delano BagNews Originals

James Whitlow Delano has lived in Asia for 20 years.  His work has been awarded internationally: the Alfred Eisenstadt Award (from Columbia University and Life Magazine), Leica’s Oskar Barnack, Picture of the Year International, NPPA, PDN and others for work from China, Japan, Afghanistan and Burma (Myanmar), etc..  His first monograph book, Empire: Impressions from China and work from Japan Mangaland have shown at several Leica Galleries in Europe. Empire was the first ever one-person show of photography at La Triennale di Milano Museum of Art.  The Mercy Project / Inochi his charity photo book for hospice received the PX3 Gold Award and the Award of Excellence from Communication Arts.  His work has appeared in magazines and photo festivals on five continents from Visa Pour L’Image, Rencontres D’Arles; to Noorderlicht.  His new iPad book, Black Tsunami (FotoEvidence) documenting the Japan tsunami and nuclear crisis took a 2012 PX3 Award.  Delano is a grantee for the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

Stacy Kranitz BagNews Originals

Stacy Kranitz’s work explores history, representation, biography, personal narrative, and otherness within the documentary tradition. She uses the photograph to consider important social issues while commenting on this tradition and challenging its boundaries.  Much of her work focuses on the ways we express aggression and violence in our daily rituals, habits and pastimes.  She received a BA in photography and film from New York University and is currently finishing her MFA at the University of California, Irvine. Her work has been exhibited in Louisiana, California, Florida and New York. It has also been featured in publications including, Elle, ESPN, Entertainment Weekly, Granta, Mother Jones, The New York Times magazine, Rolling Stone, Vice, The Wall Street Journal and Wired.

Rita Leistner BagNews Originals

Rita Leistner is a “theorist-practitioner,” who brings together the field-work and attention to realism of a practice in photojournalism and documentary photography with the conceptual and aesthetic approaches of her training in literary theory and film lighting. She has covered stories of conflict and post-conflict in war-torn countries from Iraq to Afghanistan and Lebanon to Israel; from post-Khmer Rouge Cambodia, to the on-going struggle of First Nations People in North America. Rita is co-author of Unembedded: Four Independent Photojournalists on the War in Iraq (2005) and The Edward Curtis Project (2010). In 2013 she releases her first short documentary film,  MIKLAT: The Bomb Shelter Project, as well as her first sole-authored book,Looking for Marshall McLuhan in Afghanistan; and essays in two collections, Memories of Fire and Photojournalists on War: The Untold Stories from Iraq. In addition to writing, photography and filmmaking, Rita teaches a course on the history of photojournalism and documentary photography at Victoria University in The University of Toronto.

Jon Lowenstein BagNews Originals

Jon Lowenstein specializes in long-term, in-depth documentary explorations that confront the realms of power, poverty, and social violence. He has spent the past decade engaging his adopted community on Chicago’s South Side where he is collaborating with the community to build the South Side Imagination Center, which will create a unique documentary and athletic dream space out of the ruins of an abandoned building. Lowenstein’s international assignments include covering elections in Afghanistan to the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti to social violence in Guatemala. His most recent work includes exploring the plight of immigrant workers without documentation in the United States in Shadow Lives USA and a project on the impact of inhaled Nitric Oxide on cerebral Malaria in Ugandan children.

Lowenstein has been the recipient of multiple photography awards and grants, including the Open Society Foundation, Getty Images, World Press, Nikon, Fuji, and NPPA Magazine Photographer of the Year. His fellowships include the John Simon Memorial Foundation Guggenheim Fellowship, the TED Global Fellowship, the Joseph P. Albright Fellowship, and the USC Annenberg Institute for Justice and Journalism Racial Justice Fellowship. He was a 2012 Hasselblad Master.

He is member and owner of the NOOR Images cooperative based in Amsterdam. More of his work can be seen at

Mark Peterson BagNews Originals

Mark Peterson is a photographer based in New York City. His work is published in New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, Fortune Magazine, Time Magazine, ESPN the Magazine, Geo Magazine and many other national and international publications. He has received several awards including the Eugene Smith support grant for his work on revolving door alcoholics. He has been in numerous exhibitions and museum shows including his work on Low Riders which was in the show Museums Are Worlds at the Louvre in Paris France in 2012. He is the author of the Powerhouse book Acts Of Charity. He is represented by Redux Pictures.

Work experience includes being a UPI staff photographer from 1984 to 1987.
Opening the Reuters photo desk in New York and running it from 1987 to 1991.
Since 1991 I have been a freelance photographer.
Radcliffe has worked with magazines like Vogue, Jet, Ebony, and Essence and has also worked with local newspapers like New York Newsday. Radcliffe honed his skill as a photojournalist by working as an Associated Press stringer in New York covering journalism events.

Radcliffe Roye BagNews Originals

Radcliffe Roye is a Brooklyn based documentary photographer specializing in editorial and environmental portraits, and photo-journalism.  A self-taught photographer with over ten years of experience, Radcliffe is inspired by the raw and gritty lives of grass-roots people, especially those of his homeland of Jamaica.  Radcliffe strives to tell the stories of their victories and ills by bringing their voices to matte-fiber paper.
Radcliffe has also been instrumental in leading the Instagram charge as a photographer showcasing his interest in his community of Bed-Stuy and Brooklyn as a whole.   He was asked to take over the New Yorker Instagram feed when Hurricane Sandy ravaged the eastern shores in October 2012.

David Schalliol BagNews Originals

David Schalliol is a PhD student at the University of Chicago whose interests span urban sociology, social stratification and visual sociology. His writing and photographs have appeared in such publications as The American Sociologist, Design Observer, and Revue Gest, as well as in numerous exhibitions, including the inaugural Belfast, Northern Ireland Photo Festival and the Museum of Contemporary Photography’s Midwest Photographers Project. He contributed to Highrise: Out My Window, an interactive documentary that won the 2011 International Digital Emmy for Non-Fiction. He is currently exploring the transformation of urban centers through hybrid ethnographic, filmic and photographic projects.