Editorializing by the press is often a subject that is much debated in public forums. The reality in media today is it is driven by much less righteous intentions than delivering well-balanced coverage of current events. In search of the truth is more aptly to be in search of more money these days, where news organizations pander to the public’s insatiable appetite for gossip and sensationalism. Christopher Dawson, a New York City based photographer decided to turn the cameras around, and focus, so to speak on the news gatherers themselves.
This project he initiated in 2000 hopes to capture the media’s growing fixation with tabloid journalism. While major events are unfolding elsewhere in the world with potentially profound effects on an oblivious and uninformed general public, news gatherers instead lavish time and resources on inane subjects like a Kardashian’s outfit, Mr. Bieber’s latest rant, or some other celebrity’s latest display of vulgarity. All in the name of wider circulation, more advertising dollars, or higher viewership levels.
This ongoing project is dubbed Coverage, and shows the reality of how some powerful news organizations have prostituted themselves to the public’s voracious desire to soak up the absurdity of the rich, famous, or notorious. It is also a graphic presentation of how valuable news assets are disturbingly wasted on a daily basis. Apparently some of our journalist friends have strayed quite a ways from their original mandate.
“I’m interested in the bizarre transformation that this massive enterprise brings to the landscape, and the means by which information is being produced and distributed at this important juncture in our history.
Each picture in the Coverage series is titled after the famous subject, though he or she is absent from the frame. In aggregate, the titles could function as a survey of who commands attention in early 21st Century America, while the images look at the assembly-points of public fascination.”
Dawson’s device of choice is a 4×5-inch view camera, which he points on scenes where individual people are “thrust into the forefront of the nation’s attention”.