Friday, May 25, 2007

Greenland : Planet in Peril, can Anderson Cooper 360 do it better?

I'm glad that Anderson Cooper and the CNN 360 team are spending more time in Greenland, the pressure of “live reporting” have proven to work against their quality - remember the Amazon? - And the Arctic circle is not the best place to just transmit; the possibilities of technical problems are very high. Just focus in the quality and then uplink the packages. God knows they can make a special and repeat it, repeat it, and repeat it for any second hour of the newscast they wish. But I rather watch a special than just an as live stand in or a VO.

Two years ago, a great friend of mine, John McConnico did an extraordinary work about global warming and its effects on Greenland. He raised the bar, and unfortunately I doubt CNN will be at his level. Here are some images of his photo essay for the New York Times and Discovery:

Arctic Thaw

by John McConnico








John is a very, very special fellow. Someone I personally admire and respect and probably the only Texan I ever had a crush on …. We met a little more than a decade ago, when the Associated Press assigned him to be the region’s Chief Photo Editor. We knew nothing about the “teddy bear gringo”, he was very young and well mannered and humble, a rarity among Staff photojournalists of the local mayor outlets. But he meant business. And a sleepy market had to face and step in the challenge this youngster brought with him.

Unlike the natural media tendencies, John made his AP post a greenhouse for young talent. He gave great international opportunities to unlikely characters that seized the situation with brilliance. Ricardo Figueroa, José Jiménez (check his award winning photos from 9/11 and Iraq at Getty’s) and Laura Magruder, where some of the few young talents that started presenting their works at the most prestigious international papers.

People have no idea how difficult it is to present hard news with an aesthetical touch and sensibility. John is simply a genius doing it. He almost lost his life during the coverage of Hortense taking this photo:

Which earned him a 1997 World Press Photo Award. Then he was transferred to direct the Associated Press Asia & East Africa Bureau for whom he covered the USA Embassy attacks in Nairobi for which he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1999, probably the youngest photographer ever.

I will always have a debt of gratitude with “el gringo”. He was there for me at one of the worst things I have covered and witnessed in my life. A moment that defined my career and made me respect, or simply trust in their divine madness, international correspondents and understand that not everyone is capable of doing it, and recognize that it is ok. Gracias Gringo!

Someone once said about John: "It takes a special kind of person to live that kind of life. It is like a photo junkie - they like to live in the thick of things. Their everyday life is lived under condtions that are far from comfortable."

And as we all know...

54 comentarios:

Sharla Dawn said...

Okay, WOW. That second photo, of the ice with the reflecting sunset? Oh GEEZ I totally want that as my desktop background now!!!

And as for 360 doing it better? Um, no. I doubt it. They'll try their best, and I guess that's a start. I can't imagine trying to do a live broadcast when you can't figure out what time it is and you've got jetlag plus you're freezing your butt off. And don't forget trying to figure out what Larry King is saying when he does the hand-off... ooookay.

Plus... there aren't any squirmie animal things for Jeff to torture Anderson with. Bummer :(

jr said...

Great pics! Christiane: You should post more of his work. What is he currently working on? Anything more recent?

I've always admired photojournalists, they have a way to tell a story with just one picture!

I can't help but think what it would be like if John McConnico teamed up with Anderson Cooper.

That would be one great reporter's notebook, IMO. Has John ever done anything in Africa? I hear that Anderson is doing a 60 minutes segment in Niger sometime in the future.

Sharla Dawn said...

Hmmm... on Art.com I can get that really cool pic I like as a great big poster!! Awesome. That guy is a *genius*!! I've seen tons of photos like these (loooove Ansel Adams), but these are just striking. You sort of stare at them in awe. Well I am anyway....

And hopefully he'd make Anderson stop doing the "stoic staring off into the distance" pose. hee hee. Sheesh, if I could have anyone take MY picture- I'd sure as hell choose John McConnico!!!

Christiane said...

Hi JR,
He works freelance for the NYTimes, Associated Press and Conde Nast publications. I think CNN has an agreement with GettyImages, and its been a long while since John did anything for them, so I don't see it happening anytime soon.

And yes, he did work a lot in Africa. He actually won his Pulitzer prize for a photo he took of the Al Quaeda's bombing of a US embassy back in 99.

jr said...

Okay...so I just did a google search on John. His pics are incredible!

Leaving room to go look at more John M. pics!!!!

Sharla Dawn said...

Hey JR- the one of the newborn is INCREDIBLE!!

I love photography, if it's good. if it's good, IMO, the picture reaches out, grabs your head, and pulls you into it.

Here is the link to the newborn, it's in the top row, eighth one over. COOOooooooL

Christiane said...

www.johnmcconnico.com

Breath taking!

jr said...

The one with the elephant on a raft is pretty cool too!

Not sure what to say...I'm verklempt!

Anonymous said...

maybe he worked with Anderson?

Sharla Dawn said...

Okay Jr... so you're overcome with emotion, totally gobsmacked, and on the verge of tears. Sheesh. What's with the big words? I can't talk all smart like that even if I do have Chemistry Equations popping out my ears. Even if I know what it means, I can never think of a cool word right off the top of my head like that.....

And anon 8:54- hmmm. You mean like, ran around with him and took photos of stuff that wasn't Anderson himself? Did that sentence even make any sense? And... who knows. Everyone seems to know everyone else, why not? The planet of media-people seems to be rather small... but, if he DID, I swear, they have better photos than those two I'm starting to hate- the Stoic Anderson Pose and that one with him sorta squatting down, camera pointing up, smiling at... something. I'm aware they're his signature pose or something, but I've seen them so often I'm desperately wanting some new ones....

jr said...

@Sharla Dawn: I assume you've read Anderson's book....now he can hit you with some big words! There were at least two times while reading his book, I had to stop and lookup the word in the dictionary!

At least you can say you learned something today right? LOL!!!!

I often wonder how much the pics for Anderson's Reporter's notebooks are staged vs. the real deal. I guess one will never know but it is interesting how we get the "zoolander" pout in almost every one of them. I guess that's from his background in modeling as a kid...

Sharla Dawn said...

Sheesh, the first one I got was the audio version and I kept laughing so I had to get the hardcover instead!!!

tink said...

CNN sure does not seem to do a lot of research before going into places where getting a live broacast might be iffy. This isn't the first time it has happened, you'd think with all that money, CNN would send a producer out to make sure they can broadcast.

Sharla Dawn said...

oooooh, don't get me started on the proFUCKtion of 360.

Oh well, too late. I'm very critical of that particular aspect...

Sharla Dawn said...

Hey- does anyone know what those really cool feathery fluffy treelooking white things are?

tink said...

feathery fluffy treelooking white things are?

huh? snow??LOL

(don't worry, I know I'm a smartass, didn't watch 360 tonight)

Sharla Dawn said...
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Anonymous said...

Did you say that "hydrogen" holds us together? I thought that was an explosive gas. Wouldn't we explode like that blimp did? The Hinderberg?

Sharla Dawn said...
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Anonymous said...

I had no idea water was so sexual!! Dasani in a bottle looks so much more interesting.

anon 11:13

Sharla Dawn said...
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Anonymous said...

This has become the "Sharla Dawn" blog - sheesh!

Anonymous said...

Is this a science class? And is Anderson growing a mustach up there in the tundra? Frankly, I would like to see him stop shaving altogether. See what he looks like with a little hair on his face. Do the George Clooney thing.

Duffy said...

Sharla, I think all that Jeff meant (it was certainly the impression I got) was that the salinity of the oceans would drop a little, that's all. I have a saltwater reef tank and know that specific gravity must stay between 1.023 and 1.025 and it doesn't take much water evaporated or added to throw off that balance. If the salinity starts to drop, everything will die well before the the oxygen leaves the water.

Sharla Dawn said...
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Sharla Dawn said...
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Sharla Dawn said...

Yeah duffy but it's really really BIG, the ocean I mean. I'd think the whole thing would have to melt, right? Like... all of it? Everywhere?

anon 2:48- yeah well people talk to me over here and ignore my own blog. Maybe because it's lame.

anon3:06- it's not a science class. SORRY SORRY SORRY. I think science, breathe science, and generally go completely overboard if someone is dumb enough to ask me a question.

After deliberating for a whole three and a half seconds, I decided I was being a blog hog. And this isn't my blog. So I went and dumped it on my OWN blog, where it belongs. There. All better now.

I've frequently wondered what Anderson would look like with face fuzz. I've never seen him with any, has anyone else? I actually don't think he'd look good in it. He'd end up looking like a weasily little French dude with an itty little mooooostache. Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Christiane, I don't know why you allow Sharla Dawn to use such vulgar, truckdriver language on your blog. It degrades the great job you do on here.

Press Pass said...

@ sharla dawn,

How do I find your blog? I would love to see it.

Sharla Dawn said...

@ press pass- click my name and it goes to my profile, which has my blog listed.

And anon? Yes. My sister tells me I swear like white trailer trash. I noticed. It demeans me and everyone else. Trying to stop... it's like an addiction though.

Anonymous said...

@sharla Dawn,

Is thee a family history of Bi-Polar Affective Disorder? Just curious!

Sharla Dawn said...

anon 2:16. That is rude, cruel, and completely uncalled for. You do not know me and apparently don't wish to even try to understand my motives. Your mean, angry, and evil-spirited comment? I'm not going to let it bother me. I hope it makes you feel like crap to call me names because I know things about myself that YOU DO NOT.

Anonymous said...

Christiane? You REALLY got my attention. I just sent you an email at christiane@freakspeaker.com
J

Anonymous said...

That is rude, cruel, and completely uncalled for.

Then it should be right up your alley sharla dawn, since that's exactly how you seem to respond to other posters who are critical of you.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the facilities are like in those little huts Anderson and folks are staying in up there in the tundra. I will venture to say not glitzy and he could well be smelling rather manly now.

Anonymous said...

Sharla Dawn: What are your motives? I missed that part.

Sharla Dawn said...

anon 4:13- you are obviously new. I don't recognize you as a regular anon, and therefore, you really have no place to talk to me like you know me at all. That is not an "attack" as you have said, but a simple statement of fact. Let's remember that this blog is about ANDERSON, not "have a field day and harass Sharla Dawn"... to quote myself, you are working off of incomplete information and inconsistent observation, and therefore you have most likely come to the incorrect conclusion.

anon 5:57- never said. Try reading my own stuff and see if you can figure it out. Then email me if you want, which is my preferred method of communication. I have quite a list of people that I regularly email and don't even know their real names for months. Don't be shy!

anon 5:56- As for Anderson smelling manly... I bet he does... but I think man-musk is a nice smell, don't you?

Sharla Dawn said...

By the way, I know that's you, Stalker Boi.

Been watching your ISP for days. You've been lurking on Freaks, watching what we've been exposing about you. Truth hurts, doesn't it?

Why does is not surprise me that you're hiding behind the mask of anonymous? Why don't you come out to play with me, instead?

I already know it's you, you idiot.

Anonymous said...

Sharla dawn: which anonymous are you referring to as stalker boi?

Sharla Dawn said...

The one calling me names, of course.

I sent him a polite message to see if we can work out our differences through either email or AOL IM, but I guess he doesn't want to chat.

Or, you know, we could meet in person and talk, since I know where he lives....

Anonymous said...

Girl, you have COJONES! You know where he lives? Go kick his ass!

Sharla Dawn said...

GOLLY GEE WILLIKERS, anonymous! I would NEVER hurt an innocent man!

Anonymous said...

As for me, I'm just a curious on-looker. I like to read here and post now and again. Stay out of trouble, prefer not to give my name, I'm not the stalker boi, girl, or any combination thereof.

Sharla Dawn said...

OH MY! Really?

nice email you just sent me. I'm responding. look in your inbox, dumbshit.

Anonymous said...

He emailed you??

Sharla Dawn said...

Why, certainly! We're very polite to each other! I even invited him over for tea and crumpets!

(no really, I actually did.)

Christiane said...

Anyone interested in discussing Greenland and the Planet in Peril?

and J you can email me at christiane@freakspeaker.com

Sharla Dawn said...

Sure thing Christiane! I LOOOooooove Jeff Corwin. He' SO COOL. Let's talk about HIM!

Okay let's see... I believe he has a degree in Anthropology, right? I've been a bit confused about that... how exactly does THAT translate into being a WildLife Biologist? Maybe I just don't understand how that works.

Sharla Dawn said...

Okay I went and looked it up. He has a degree in Anthropology AND Biology. And an honorary doctorate, so doesn't that make him Doctor Corwin?

And for some reason People Magazine named him one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in 2002. Okay, he IS pretty good looking... but uh, yeah. Who votes for that stuff?

ivy said...

on the topic: the photos are BRILLIANT. John McConnico is really amazing. His photos' art and urgency is breathtaking. Thanks for the post, chris. It's good to hear he's as amazing as a person as his work.

4:13 said...

anon 4:13- you are obviously new. I don't recognize you as a regular anon, and therefore, you really have no place to talk to me like you know me at all.

I'm NOT new here. For the past several weeks I've seen how you swear and become belligerant at posters that make some comments that you don't like. I'm commenting on what I've read here and other posters have said the same thing about your behavior, it speaks VOLUMES and you don't have to know someone personally to see it.

Sharla Dawn said...

anon 4:13/4:29 - There is a method to my madness...

And I'm a nice person. If you knew me in person, you'd know that. Don't base your opinion of someone off of something you have read. That would be a colossal mistake.

Anonymous said...

Don't base your opinion of someone off of something you have read. That would be a colossal mistake.

Aren't you doing that with Stalker Boi?

And I'm not that other anonymous.

Sharla Dawn said...

Wow. You snapped up that bait like a shark to a piece of bloody liver.

You can get a sense of who a person is by reading their criminal records, looking at their work history, talking to them yourself, talking to their family, friends, and co-workers, looking at how they dress, looking at what crap is on their back porch, seeing what kind of car they drive (or don't), seeing what kind of pictures they like (Rorschach blot, anyone?), checking out where they went to school and what sports they were in, checking college records and what they did with it (and how they paid for it)... the list goes on. It's very much one of those "you are what you do, not what you say" type of things.

Case in point being Anderson Cooper. Lincoln Towncar? Wants to feel safe in his big giant tank of a car. The infamous white socks/no socks things? Doesn't give a flaming flying squirrel what people think about him. The sterile apartment? The instability of the outside world is offset by that. Tons of his own collection of stuff everywhere, but yet no personal bling-bling? To remind him of the reality of life. And that social facade he has (which, incidentally, I completely hate), is to hide his very vulnerable inner self and also placate to the masses so that everyone likes him- he's VERY insecure with who he really is, IMO.

It's like palm reading. You can be spot on, close, or completely off base. But like any good palm reader, you watch the reaction of the person to whom you're giving the reading, and adjust accordingly. I'm very observant of the little nuances that people give off, and their body language is a huge indicator of true self. Take a class on it. It's very interesting.

And this blog isn’t exactly the place to sit here talking about it. I’ve already been called a blog-hog once. You want to continue this discussion? Send me an email.

MANIFESTO

Don't think for me. Don't assume what I want to hear or read. Give me facts. Give me reasons. But not yours. Bring me debate. Enlighten me. Today, accountability is masked behind anonymity; bylines are hidden by zeros and ones. Everyone publishes; everyone is "in the know." Ethics are non-existent. Speculation is king. The truth is masked and a hostage. Empowered by our minds, WE ARE THE FREAKSPEAKERS!

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