Visual storytelling is one of the most in-demand skillsets in journalism today, and for good reason: Content with relevant images gets 94 percent more views than content without. That means all journalists and strategic communicators need to understand how to use images in their work.

“Visual storytelling has always been important, but it’s more important now more than ever due to the amount of visual information that is flooding society, particularly in social media,” said Sung Park, co-director of the UO School of Journalism and Communication’s (SOJC) Multimedia Journalism master’s program. “Social media has had an enormous impact on news organizations, and visual storytelling is in the forefront of that, so we need to make sure we do it well, with ethics in mind.”

To help journalism students and professionals get up to speed on the latest developments in visual storytelling, the SOJC is collaborating with the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) to host a three-day short course on visual communication. The Northwest NPPA Short Course, scheduled June 24-26 at the SOJC’s George S. Turnbull Portland Center, will bring together top visual journalists from around the Northwest to lead a variety of lectures, panels and workshops on all aspects of visual journalism, from lighting and multimedia production to drones and storytelling techniques.

During the weekend event, attendees will also get the opportunity to network with and receive professional feedback from the faculty’s award-winning editors and photographers. Course faculty include:

  • NPPAfacultyErika Schultz, staff photographer for The Seattle Times
  • Nicole Dahmen, assistant professor of visual communication in the SOJC
  • Rob Finch, award-winning visual storyteller
  • Eric Sander, photojournalist for King TV
  • Matt McKnight, freelance photographer and photo editor
  • Rod Mar, freelance sports photographer, team photographer for Seattle Seahawks
  • Jon Martin, photojournalist at King 5 Television
  • Mitch Pittman, multimedia and photojournalist for KOMO News
  • Leah Nash and Christopher Onstott, NashCO, Portland-based photo and video team specializing in commercial, editorial, corporate, education and travel photography
  • Bruce Ely, lead photographer for Portland Trail Blazers

“The speakers will help inspire journalists at various stages in their careers,” said Park, who is one of the event organizers. “We’ll have portfolio reviews for students and emerging visual journalists who want to improve their work. For professionals, it’s a great way to recharge, retool and give back to the visual journalism community.”

To try out their skills while having fun, event attendees will also get the chance to compete for prizes in the Portland Polaroid Shootout.

Registration is now open for the Northwest NPPA Short Course. Tuition is $30 for students and NPPA members and only $20 for NPPA student members. Non-member tuition is $75.