There’s no question that photos like the one above that accompanied a New York Times article on China’s surging demand for coal accentuate storytelling.
In some cases, we’re actually seeing storytelling revolve around visuals like the seafood charticle in WIRED Magazine.
I think The New York Times does a particularly good job in building their stories around a strong narrative and compelling photographs. At a time when the photo staffs of newspapers have been decimated (to be kind), The Times augments its skeleton crew with other photo sources.
The photo of the chap shoveling coal comes from the European Pressphoto Agency. It fits perfectly with the opening graph of the NYT story:
Even as China has set ambitious goals for itself in clean-energy production and reduction of global warming gases, the country’s surging demand for power from oil and coal has led to the largest six-month increase in the tonnage of human generated greenhouse gases ever by a single country.
Furthermore, two more photos round out The New York Times’ story on the China energy challenge, both secured from Reuters.
What does this mean for communications professionals?
It behooves us to strengthen our stories with compelling photography or other visuals.
In fact, one could make an argument that internal staff cutbacks create even more opportunity for companies to use photography to make a case for their stories with the media.