Abstract: Malcolm Ross was New Zealand’s first official war correspondent and from 1915 until the end of the First World War he provided copy to the New Zealand press. His journalism has been the subject of recent academic investigation, but Ross had another string to his bow—he was an enthusiastic photographer with the skill to develop his own film ‘in the field’. It might therefore be expected that Ross was the ideal war correspondent, an individual who could not only write the stories, but also potentially illustrate them with photography from the battlefields. Yet by the end of the conflict his body of photographs was largely unpublished and unrecognised. This article looks at Ross’s photography and, in an era when media organisations increasingly require journalists to be multi-media skilled, asks whether the role of the writer and image-taker are still two different and not necessarily complementary skills.
Figure 1: Through Te Heuheu’s Territory: Tales of Today and Yesterday, by Malcolm Ross (with illustrations by the author). Otago Daily Times Christmas Annual, 1905. Image: Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand.