Oct. 23, 2007
By Janelle Huelsman | Photos by Rick Fatica
He has lived in India, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere around the globe. He's photographed everything from American researchers in Antarctica to the back rooms of the White House to the fall of Saddam Hussein. Now, U.S. News and World Report photographer Jim Lo Scalzo is sharing these experiences and more with Ohio University students and in his debut memoir, "Evidence of My Existence."
In the first stop on his national book tour, Lo Scalzo visited Monday evening with residents in the Read-Johnson Scholars Complex on East Green. About 20 students gathered in the Read lobby to discuss Lo Scalzo's experiences as a photojournalist, the future of the profession and the new book.
"Evidence of My Existence" was published by Ohio University Press in association with the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and the Ohio University School of Visual Communication -- hence Ohio University students' VIP standing among the author's audiences. Read Hall residents have the chance for impromptu chats with Lo Scalzo, too, as he's staying in an apartment there during his three days on campus.
"It's absolutely fascinating to hear about the amazing places he's been," said Meredith Barnett, a junior journalism major and Read Hall residential assistant. She worked with Honors Tutorial College Assistant Dean Jan Hodson to promote the event.
Some of the students at Monday's gathering already had read Lo Scalzo's book, which allowed for a lengthy discussion with the author.
"It's all of the highlights of my life and the products of the gaps between them," Lo Scalzo said of the book. He also discussed major changes his career field is facing -- changes sure to affect up-and-coming photojournalists.
"People flood the photojournalism market with little, actual reporting experience and knowledge," Lo Scalzo said, but today's photojournalism students need both sets of skills. "The whole profession is morphing into this 'content' thing."
The photographer -- and now published author -- said he is looking forward to his tour. The School of Visual Communication and the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism worked with Lo Scalzo to map out a tour that includes visits with journalism and photojournalism students nationwide.
"I can't wait to talk to the students," he said. "I couldn't be happier or more eager to guide today's students in the direction they need to go," he said.
If Monday night offered any indication, his messages will be well-received.
"It's really important to learn every aspect of the journalism career, and it was great to hear his insight and point of view," said Savannah Aepli, a first-year Honors Tutorial College journalism major.
Lo Scalzo will give a free public lecture at 7 p.m. today in Anderson Auditorium, Scripps Hall.