David Shankbone

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David Shankbone
WikiNYC-picnic-David Shankbone.jpg
Shankbone in 2007
David Miller
ResidenceNew York City
Alma materUniversity of Colorado, Fordham Law School
OccupationWall Street law office manager
Known forAmateur photojournalism

David Miller, better known by his pseudonym David Shankbone, is an American photographer, blogger and Wall Street paralegal.[1] He has been described by PBS as "arguably the most influential new media photojournalist in the world"[2] for his numerous copyleft photographs uploaded to Wikimedia Commons and seen in Wikipedia, documenting celebrities, political officials and events, notably the Occupy Wall Street protests. As a Wikinews citizen journalist, he was the first to interview a sitting head of state, Israeli President Shimon Peres.[3] His photography has seen much usage outside of Wikipedia, having been used by magazines and news websites such as the New York Times, the Miami Herald and Business Insider,[2][4] and featured in an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York.[5]

Career and coverage[edit]

Shankbone says that he began photography as a "cheap hobby" using a point-and-shoot camera given to him by his sister in response to a perceived lack of images on Wikipedia,[4] taking advantage of the relative accessibility of prominent individuals in New York City. He says that he has been mentored by Warhol collaborators Billy Name and Christopher Makos.[4]

Colleen Asper, writing in the Brooklyn Rail, described Shankbone's photographs as "incredibly wide ranging in their scope."[6] Shankbone began contributing to Wikipedia in June 2006, and in 2007 he was noted as a "leading Wikipedia editor" in Haaretz.[1]


Shankbone with Israeli president Shimon Peres in 2007.

In December 2007, he became the first of Wikinews's citizen journalists to interview a sitting head of state, Israeli President Shimon Peres.[3] Miller was also profiled in the Columbia Journalism Review in January 2009,[3] where his interviews were described as a "throwback to a time when Oriana Fallaci published long transcripts of her interviews in book form and David Frost broadcast a six-hour sit-down with Richard Nixon."[7] Shankbone's interview was described by InformationWeek as a milestone in the development of Wikinews.[3]

Shankbone was invited to Israel by the Foreign Ministry and the America-Israel Friendship League, as part of a delegation of technology writers, including representatives from BusinessWeek, USA Today, PC Week and Salon, to review the Israeli technology sector. David Saranga, spokesman at the consulate in New York explained, "More than once we have faced editors connected to Israel that appear on Wikipedia in English that do not represent the reality in Israel. We decided to initiate a visit by Shankbone to describe Israeli reality as it is."[8] While there, he requested an interview with Israeli President Shimon Peres, which to his surprise was granted. However, Shankbone later admitted he considered it to be one of the worst interviews he had undertaken.[7]

He returned to Israel in 2009 to take photographs of the country and the Negev desert.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Liphshiz, Cnaan. Your wiki entry counts, Haaretz, December 25, 2007.
  2. ^ a b Ordonez, Sandra. "Shankbone's Wikipedia Photo Portraits Spread Like Wildfire". PBS.org. Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Retrieved March 5, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d Jones, K.C. Wikinews Gets Big Interview, Information Week, January 14, 2008.
  4. ^ a b c Jefferson, Cord. "The Most Important Occupy Wall Street Photographer You've Never Heard of". GOOD Magazine. GOOD Worldwide Inc. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
  5. ^ Ordonez, Sandra. "Shankbone's Wikipedia Photo Portraits Spread Like Wildfire". WikimediaFoundation.org. Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Retrieved March 5, 2015.
  6. ^ Asper, Colleen. David Shankbone with Colleen Asper, Brooklyn Rail, April 2008.
  7. ^ a b Rose, Adam. The Wikinews Ace: Why Shimon Peres Sat Down With David Shankbone, Columbia Journalism Review, January–February 2009; also see here.
  8. ^ Kienon, Herb. Leading Wikipedia editor to visit Israel, The Jerusalem Post, December 8, 2007.
  9. ^ Udasin, Sharon. Photo Editing Israel's Online Image, The Jewish Week, April 3, 2009.

External links[edit]