Bringing new light to journalism

UPDATE: Michael Ciaglo was the photographer on an investigative series by the Colorado Springs Gazette that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting on April 14.

Ciaglo, who majored in journalism, graduated from the UO in 2012. The story below was originally published in April 2012. 

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Michael Ciaglo isn’t worried about the future of journalism. He just wants to capture a great image, and tell a great story.

“I love telling stories,” the University of Oregon senior said. “I love finding that interesting moment that brings light to a new subject. I want to provide pictures that make people so interested they want to read all about it.”

Ciago, 21, will get a chance to do that this summer when he serves an internships at News21, a program at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. The program is intended to foster “in-depth, interactive and innovative investigative journalism” among college journalists across the country.

“I think this is going to be an awesome way to learn how in-depth reporting can fit into a newsroom,” Ciaglo said, especially at a time when newsroom resources are shrinking.

Work produced by student journalists in the News21 program has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, MSNBC, Mother Jones and the Atlantic in recent years.

Each year, the program chooses a subject to investigate, such as food safety, aging in America and the role of money in politics. Ciaglo’s class will explore the issue of voter rights. He expects to be taking still photos, shooting and editing video and even writing on the issue.

Ciaglo has already gained a lot of experience and accolades. He’s finishing up a year as photo editor of the Oregon Daily Emerald. He served as photo editor for OR Magazine, a student-produced digital magazine designed to be viewed on an iPad. He worked on campus publications Ethos and Flux.

He spent six weeks in Ghana through Media in Ghana, a program of the School of Journalism and Communication, where he served an internship at the Daily Guide, the country’s largest independent newspaper. (A gallery of Ciaglo's photos from Ghana were published in Ethos.)

He was one of three grand prize winners in the World Wildlife Fund’s 50th anniversary photo contest. His prize was a six-day trip in the alpine tundra of Manitoba. A photo of a polar bear he shot on the trip won a first-place prize in the National Press Photographers Association’s student clip contest for October.

Ciaglo is set to graduate in June, and after completing his internship with News21, he said he’ll see a job or internship with a daily newspaper or other news organization.

“I love the daily news, the daily grind,” he said.

He figures the news industry isn’t dying, just changing.

“There will always be a need for media,” he said. “Someone, somewhere is going to be telling a story.”

Tim Christie