Photojournalism in Society


Photojournalism is defined by google as “the art of practice of communicating news by photographs, especially in magazines.” I believe photojournalism is easily argued for both sides as either a depleting or increasing career. In some cases I could see how photojournalism is depleting. In our society today almost every single person has access to some type of camera to capture a moment whenever deem fit, but on the other side of the argument without even considering quality and talent, how many of those people with access are willing to go to an extent a photojournalist would for a photo.

When watching the James Foley film I have realized that photojournalism doesn’t just involve the click of a button at a highly popular social event. It is a dangerous, yet beautiful career full of opportunities and exploration. Like the picture above, a photojournalism not only beats the rest of the population with standard camera access with a better quality camera and photos, but also with the mentality and passion for capturing something the rest of the world is not seeing.

Telling a story through a photo can sometime be a difficult task which is why it can benefit photojournalists to podcast, write, video tape, etc. in order to share a story that they get to witness first hand. “Photojournalists are making beautiful images, but they’ll also make video, make podcasts, write, whatever it takes to get the message across.” Leslye Davis, New York Times video journalist and photographer said.

Personally, looking forward I think that trying to make photojournalism a career is on a downward slope. I respect the task at hand immensely but I think that because the internet is a public display board there will be very low chances a company will be in need of one specific photojournalist. Maybe the best of the best, that have been in the field for a long time and are respected will remain as a source a company depends on but otherwise it will be a difficult field to get started in.

Also, due to the expansion of social media and the internet there is a negative effect on the willingness of companies to pay higher amounts to worthy photojournalists, which has also lead to less expectations and standard of pay by photojournalists themselves. Due to this I could also see the field decreasing.

“The pool of available photographers expanded exponentially with the advent of a global communications network. But that wasn’t necessarily good for the photographers. That made them available, but it didn’t mean that they were being properly paid or that their work was being properly used,” Photojournalist Donald Winslow said. “You drive down the street and there’s 50 fast food restaurants, but that doesn’t mean any one of them is any good for you. Or quality. In many ways, photography became junk food for editors.”

I hope I am wrong about the future of photojournalism because I respect the field and all the people who have made that their career. I do think that having a trustworthy and talented photojournalist can reek major benefits on companies looking for respect from it’s viewers. The reason I believe that is because of how visual our country is. Continuing on with the boom of internet and all types of media, people of this country have a source at their fingertips almost 24/7 that offers access to images and updates that can make them feel connected in some way to that specific company.


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