This blog is produced by Curt Chandler, a senior lecturer in the College of Communications at Penn State University who teaches multimedia reporting.
Chandler earned a BSJ in newspaper writing from Northwestern University, but he’s spent most of his career working as a visual journalist and manager. He started out as a freelance photojournalist in Chicago, moved to Pueblo, Colorado, to be a writer-photographer, then skipped over the mountains to be chief photographer at the Ogden Standard Examiner in Utah. About the time he figured out that the mountains were now to the east instead of the west, Chandler left the Rockies to become a photographer at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, where he helped to pioneer the transition to both color photography and digital workflow. In 1995 Chandler moved east again, this time to be the director of photography at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where he also helped the paper transition to color and digital imaging. While he was in charge of the department, Post-Gazette photojournalists won a Pulitzer Prize, the inaugural ASNE Community Photojournalism award and many other honors, including national recognition for picture editing and use of photography from NPPA’s Pictures of the Year contest.
In 2000 Post-Gazette editor John Craig announced that he thought there might be something to this Internet thing. He asked who in the newsroom could learn new technology while still committing journalism? That’s how Chandler became the editor for online innovation. For seven years Chandler experimented with multimedia reporting, training an entire newsroom to gather and edit audio, and creating a video production team. He had free rein to experiment with coverage on post-gazette.com, from the intense daily coverage of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, to long term projects.
While working full time at post-gazette.com, Chandler also taught photojournalism as an adjunct at Duquesne University. That class helped him to hone his teaching skills and provided a classroom of test subjects he could use to observe how they consumed the news.
In 2007 Penn State asked Chandler to make teaching a full time gig. He taught the first hands-on multimedia reporting class at Penn State and has also taught international reporting, principles of multimedia journalism and basic news writing. His students have been recognized many times in the Hearst competition and one student has gone on to be one of the youngest winners of the Pulitzer prize.
Chandler has presented at workshops for the National Press Photographers Association, the Online News Association, the Society for News Design and many other organizations. He has presented to journalists from California to Maine, and traveled to Rome to teach multimedia reporting to the Vatican press corps. Chandler has been affiliated with the Northern Short Course on Photojournalism for many years, presenting full day workshops on newspaper design, helping with multimedia critiques and most recently helping to recruit keynote speakers. He has been a coach for Multimedia Immersion, the Keystone Multimedia Workshop, the Kent Multimedia Workshop and Picture Kentucky.