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Columbia Missourian

FROM THE NEWSROOM: What happens after photos are taken?

By Lizzie Johnson
November 6, 2013 | 6:28 p.m. CST

Welcome to From the Newsroom, the section dedicated to answering your questions about the Missourian. Our goal is to be transparent about our practices and processes and to invite our readers behind the scenes of what we do. Suggest topics you’d like to see explained by contacting Joy Mayer at or 882-8182.

The Columbia Missourian has a staff of photojournalists and photo editors who produce photos and videos for print and online. They are overseen by Brian Kratzer, the Missourian's director of photography.


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Typically, one photo or a gallery of several photos is published online, either on their own or in partnership with another form of storytelling such as text, audio or video. Photos are selected for the print edition of the paper depending on the quality of the photo story and available space. Sometimes one photo is published; other times stories merit a whole page or more of images.

Reporters and editors typically alert the photo department when they are interested in working with photographers, and photo editors decide which assignments represent the best visual potential (Some stories are naturally more easy to represent visually than others.). The photo staff also contributes stories of their own to the daily report.

The number of photos taken varies based on the assignment. For example, a photographer might take 100 photos of a blood drive but more than 1,000 at a football game. From there, a photo editor, usually with the photojournalist at his side, looks through the whole assignment and discusses which photos will go online and in print. Those photos are cropped, if needed, and color corrected. The content or the message of an image isn't altered. Ethics guide the editors in the post-production of images. The photographer then writes captions, and the photos are sent along to the interactive copy editing desk.

Photos that are not published are kept on the Missourian's server for about six months. After that time frame is up, the photos are transferred to hard drives and kept in the photo office in case they ever need to be used again. 

The Missourian grants reproduction rights for individual photos to the photographers. If Missourian readers would like copies of photos, they can contact the photo department at 882-5732 or to be put in touch with the photographer.

Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.