All posts in category Personal Essays

Bringing change into focus: ‘Photo-activist’ sets sights on Kenya Parliament

He once delivered live pigs to politicians to protest their outrageous pay. This week, the President conceded: salaries must be slashed. Meet Boniface Mwangi, the former Standard photojournalist making change happen. 

They’re people, not props: Photographing across cultures

Following is an adaptation of presentations given during my professorship at the University of Montana, and a variation on earlier talks for the National Press Photographers Association, Poynter, SND, and my ongoing work with the photojournalists of Standard Media Group of East Africa. For more in words and visuals about my life and work in Africa and elsewhere in the world, visit this […]

For a new library in Kenya’s largest slum: 3,800 books, and hope

Story, Photos and Video by Ron Reason

Making a difference in Africa: 3 women share their passion for reaching out

[This post was originally published on my now archived travel blog, and has been revised for sharing with my class at the University of Montana, as many students were interested in international travel and outreach. Updates on each subject interviewed appear at the start of each segment. For a variety of other essays and collected writings and images […]

Advice for young (and seasoned) journalists? Ask some very recent grads

Grizzly grads tell us loud and clear: Get ready for digital-first publishing, heavy on social media, rocked by (and enjoying) constant change. [February 10, 2015, Missoula, Mont.] What an eye-opener it was for the journalism class I’m teaching this semester, “Critical Thinking About Design and Disruption,” to see #AdviceForYoungJournalists top the Twitter trends over the last 24 hours. Research they’d produced just the week […]

Need to transition? Move those feet!

Recently I was asked by DESIGN, the magazine of the Society for News Design, to contribute to its summer issue focused on theme of “transition.” SND President Sara Quinn suggested I frame my ideas around a series of photos that intrigued her in recent years, taken while looking down at my feet as I have […]

In the African dirt: The ‘truth’ behind one compelling photo

By Ron Reason For a variety of other essays and collected writings and images of my work in Africa and elsewhere in the Third World, visit this link.] Since my initial visit to Africa in 2006, I’ve returned a number of times and produced thousands of photos. Some have been published in magazines and newspapers; some have […]

Through photography, conquering fear and inspiring your passions

Things I learned today: That Moby (one of my fave musicians/DJs/artists) had an uncle who was a photographer at The New York Times. And that he (Moby) first picked up a camera at age 10, set it aside in college set to pursue his music passions, and just picked up the habit again in earnest […]

At Yosemite’s Clouds Rest, a story of determination and hope

[The following essay is among tales of life away from work I share periodically on this blog. It was among those selected for publication in the book “Inspiring Generations: 150 Years, 150 Stories in Yosemite,” curated by The Yosemite Conservancy to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Grant Act.] By Ron Reason

Thumbs up for Sun-Times’ backpage nod to Ebert’s legacy

“Do you go to work every day and try to master your job and feel deeply that it matters? Do you believe that you can, through sheer excellence, make it matter even more? Roger Ebert did.” By Ron Reason When big news breaks (and in Chicago, Roger Ebert’s death has been big news), those who […]