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|| SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 2011-01-05

Patrick Fallon's Favorite Image of 2010
“Proof that community journalism isn’t dead…”

By PATRICK FALLON, University of Missouri

Editor's Note: For this issue of the Sports Shooter Newsletter I asked students that are members of ss.com or had attended one of the Academy workshops to submit their favorite photo of 2010 and write a short piece about it. This image could be from a favorite assignment, show something they had learned or is something of a personal nature. The one requirement was, the image had to have special significance to them.

Photo by Patrick Fallon / Valley News

Photo by Patrick Fallon / Valley News

Children jump off the diving board at Veteran's Memorial swimming pool in Lebanon, N.H., Tuesday afternoon, June 22, 2010. The pool opened for the summer last week.
This image is not the best image I shot this year, I don't know what that image even would be - but it is a photo that I enjoy. I shot it during my summer at the Valley News in New Hampshire, a wonderful place rooted in community journalism. In order to make the image, I floated around on top of some foam noodles near the diving board with a camera inside a plastic, low-tech fish tank, but made a series of images I really liked.

Spending the day in the pool was not a bad way to start the summer. It was a lot of fun, especially with the kids all asking me, “Is this going to be in the Valley News?” and “Am I going to be in the newspaper?” --- proof community journalism isn’t dead, at least not in the Upper Valley. Where I worked, people young and old still read and knew the paper, even the youngest generation of text messaging kids. To see someone in front of you at the gas station put down real money to buy a newspaper with your photo on the front cover is a cool feeling – a feeling of worth and value.

Perhaps that is why this image is one I like so much, I feel like it represents how there is some hope to the industry that a breath of fresh air may soon arrive as we surface from the depths of bad deals and a lack of quality, important reportage in journalism. Things will never be the same as they were in the good old days, but if people continue to work and strive to make the best from every situation possible - even with a cheap plastic tank and an old camera - then we have a chance of continuing the profession of journalism. I'm going to keep swimming.


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