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GARY EMBURY


illustration


He says: “I do think illustrated or drawn reportage is a form of journalism albeit in an emerging form at the moment. I believe for drawing to be truly journalistic, it needs to be scrutinising or investigating an issue, location, activity or subject in a more inquisitive, investigative way.” While the technological advances that


have changed the way news is produced and shared online lend themselves to the visual format of illustrated reportage, opportunities for illustrators remain limited.


Greene sats: “It has had a touch of coolness in recent years with people in the UK dipping into it as a buzzword but then disappearing as soon as they find that there is nowhere in the UK willing to pay them to print their work. I’d like more people to be doing it but, for the amount of work that is involved, you can’t do it as a regular hobby and you really want it to be read. I am extraordinarily lucky to have found a good place that pays and prints reportage in the UK.” Embury adds: “I think the future is a combination of drawings, photography, interviews, commentary, data visualisation, and infographics – media-rich multiple journalism and interactive journalism employing many different traditional and emerging technologies. “I think in the age of the digitally mediated image, fast


news and 24-hour rolling news, the artist is now freer to offer something entirely different to the official news agencies. Reportage drawing is indeed slower and more reflective, possibly more humane. Reportage drawing is not always news reporting but often more aligned to documentary.”


The global genre sees artists using traditional journalistic methods. Joe Sacco, a Maltese-American, reports from Gaza, Bosnia and Sarajevo, producing comic strips and graphic novels of war crime trials and reports on migration that include descriptions and words from interviews. George Butler has produced illustrated reportage on the liberation of Mosul, on being a refugee in Bekaa and on leprosy in Nepal. Olivier Kugler has produced sketches inspired by annual reports on the New York public school system and Glasgow Housing Association. The form is clearly based in journalistic practice but, as the industry faces increasing concerns over objectivity, there could be questions raised about artists


Gary Embury


interpreting events. This is something both Greene and Embury have thought about. Greene said: “For many years, I was totally obsessed with being objective. I wanted no bias in the reports at all. But that just became mentally exhausting so I had to accept that even what I chose to report involved a small bit of bias. As a reader, I feel that journalism itself should be objective. A reporter is simply the vessel in which the news is delivered. “This is purely based on what I’ve heard from feedback, but


people say that illustration creates more of an atmosphere from the places or events than photography can do. This may be down to the simple fact that a photo has a rigid border which can stop it being immersive while a drawing can be more open.” Embury makes the comparison with photography too. He


said: “Many people struggle with the idea that drawing can be journalistic due to the belief that drawing is too subjective. As


USED WITH PERMISSION OF PRIVATE EYE MAGAZINE. MORE SCENE & HEARD REPORTS IN BOOK FORM AT DAVIDZIGGYGREENE.BIGCARTEL.COM


theJournalist | 17


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