New Photoblog of The New York Times Has Big CUNY J-School Connection

Lens, a daily photojournalism blog launched by The New York Times on May 18, was conceived by senior staff photographer James Estrin, a multimedia coach at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, with the help of two of his students. Kristen Joy Watts and Nicholas Loomis from the Class of 2009 have been assisting on the project as writers and producers since January. Both contributed to this audio slideshow on Harlem and have other pieces in the works.

Lens aims to showcase great photography from The Times staff and archives, as well as magazines, museums, books, and other sources from around the web. “We want to show our readers what we do as photographers so they get insight into the process,” Estrin said. “A critical aspect of this is we are looking to form an online community about photography.”

He credits Watts and Loomis with being instrumental in the editorial planning and development of Lens.

Watts is an interactive student in the J-School’s business & economics concentration who is doing a summer internship with another Times venture, The Local citizens journalism blog. She will also continue working on Lens.

Loomis, who is specializing in interactive and international journalism, is heading off to Swaziland this summer for an internship at International Bridges to Justice, a human rights organization that strives to protect due process and achieve fair trials for accused people around the world