Famous Photojournalist Takes on Gordon College

Famous photojournalist Stanley Forman recently visited Gordon College to discuss his artistic work with prompting from Gordon’s CommArts faculty member Eric Convey. Forman won three Pulitzer Prizes within four years—in categories of “Spot News Photography” and “Feature Photography”—while working at the Boston Herald American. He was the first photographer to win two prizes consecutively.

Convey states, “Back when I was a general assignment reporter—the best job in the world—for the Boston Herald, I used to see photographer-extraordinaire Stanley Forman at scenes. (Crime scenes, accident scenes, fires. Three Pulitzer Prizes under his belt, he already had switched to TV videography.) I already thought he was one of the classiest guys in the business before he accepted my invitation to address my Gordon College journalism class.”

When asked about the importance of bringing outside speakers into the classroom, Convey states, “I bring speakers because they bring energy, new perspectives and extremely authentic accounts of work in journalism. It’s also just fun to hear people talk about the field.”

Forman shared his experiences from the field, showing photographs from past decades, discussing how they were taken and highlighting their significance. He addressed topics that resonated with students, and Convey says “he showed a great willingness to engage the students on not just the usual how-did-you-get-that-shot topics but also the ethics of using or not using certain images.” Convey reports that “students reacted very favorably. In general, they like visitors who bring stories of first-hand experience with the subject matter. And in particular, Stan was fantastic.”

According to CommArts major Sarah Figucia ’17, “Stanley Forman’s presentation was really relevant not only to our class but to our whole generation as we transition from a print to digital age. Reporters and photographers are ‘behind the yellow tape’ now in the sense that they can’t get as up close and integrated with the stories like they used to. But there’s hope in adapting to new technologies and striving for quality in the midst of quantity. I learned a lot and was very inspired by his presentation and how he answered a lot of questions about the changes he experienced during his photography career.”

Forman spends most of his career around the Boston area, close to his hometown of Winthrop, where he showcases New England’s beauty and the fragility of humankind. In addition to being a photographer, Forman was also a cameraman for Edward W. Brooke’s political campaign while also taken a position as a videographer for WCVB-TV. His prowess with the camera is endless.

Convey, a 1987 alumnus of Gordon, worked at the Beverly Times (now the Salem News) for the first four years after his graduation,​ then for two years in Washington, D.C., as a press secretary for a congressman. After that, he spent 11 years at the Boston Herald as a reporter and editor, ending as a senior executive city editor. Eventually his career led him to six years as a managing editor of the Boston Business Journal, then a brief stint in PR, and finally for the last 18 months serving as digital editor at the Boston Business Journal. He currently teaches at Gordon.

By Alissa Frederico ’16, English Language and Literature