Photos from the Vault
This morning I came across a story in Cal Poly Magazine on a blog by photojournalist David Middlecamp.
By Matt Lazier
Photographer David Middlecamp (JOUR ’85) walked into one of his newspaper’s storage closets to find an old picture and had an epiphany when he saw the dozens of yellow boxes of negatives – images of county news stretching back more than five decades.
“It seemed like such a waste,” he said. “These were people’s careers just sitting on the shelves, not being used.”
There were stories in those old boxes, he thought – history lessons about San Luis Obispo County’s past that could also give readers perspective on the present.
So to help people remember the past, Middlecamp looked to the future. On Nov. 13, 2007, he launched a thrice-weekly blog, “Photos from the Vault” on SanLuisObispo.com, the Web site of his longtime paper, The Tribune in San Luis Obispo.
Newspapers everywhere should be doing similar blogs. Its not only cheap to recycle historical material online, but more importantly it tells readers this is the local online news source you can trust. This background material becomes a competitive advantage against new local online sites.
For example, recent posts on Photos From The Vault, included material on the impact of the 1918 Spanish Flu Influenza on Central California. This was of course tied to the recent Swine Flu outbreak.
David Middlecamp is a 1985 Journalism graduate from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. His blog has links to other newspapers doing historical blogs, like The Daily Mirror at the Los Angeles Times. But this list is very short.
Now talk about shameless plugs. First I am a 1975 Journalism graduate from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. And secondly I work at the Los Angeles Times.