Missing The Force
All by myself ...
I make photographs at many of the same events and locations every year. The Farmers Market, the Braun Farm, Fourth Friday, St. Paul Sunday morning, parades, funerals, construction, demolition, and city government.
Until this year I usually ran into another news photographer, typically from the Westerville News and Public Opinion.
I was alone at the Star Wars Droid Checkpoint at Highlands on May 4th.
The Stormtrooper team leader, doing its due diligence, remarked that this is the first May 4th without a newspaper photographer working beside me looking for that different feature photo, a different photo from a familiar event. An event we covered every year but tried to make look different, or better.
The Westerville News and Public Opinion stopped publishing earlier this year terminating both photographers that covered Westerville. No news photographers. No news photos. No photos.
It’s my guess that no one will notice.
The weekly was mainly web-centered with most of its photos going to online galleries. Even if a photo made it to the print edition its circulation had been cut to delivery only to Dispatch subscribers. The days of free distribution to the library, businesses, grocery stores, and home delivery were stopped years before.
Most of the non-sports news wasn’t from Westerville but from other suburbs. Ad space was large enough to sustain the paper, and the sports section was very topical, emphasizing Westerville athletes.
Still, it was odd that it was only me, the only news photographer. Me and a City of Westerville Community Affairs photographer. My photos were destined for My Final Photo, westervilleoh.io, and this newsletter. Her photos going to the city archive for promoting next year’s checkpoint or perhaps the city website.
Mine will eventually be in the Westerville History Museum’s collection of photos where it will become a part of the city’s visual history.
Most people in Westerville don’t know the local paper stopped publishing. Most don’t know The Public Opinion published for 140 years. Most people don’t get their news from traditional news sources. Most people don’t subscribe to the Dispatch.
Most people don’t read this newsletter. Please share it at your favorite non-traditional news source.
F8 - The My Final Photo Newsletter is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Remember Fred Squillante who recently retired from The Columbus Dispatch? He was the subject of a previous newsletter. Fred’s former coworkers entered him the the Ohio Associated Press Media Editors annual competition. He was named a Best News Photographer and won an award for Best Photo Story. The Dispatch story has one of Fred’s photos at the top of the page.
Thank you for reading this newsletter If you’re a subscriber and added thanks.
The photos below are only for paid subscribers. You could wait until I’m gone and see them in the Westerville History Museum’s archive. If you can’t wait that long, and I hope it is a long time, consider subscribing so you can see them today, without waiting for me to be gone.