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Photojournalism is a particular form of journalism (the collecting, editing, and presenting of news material for publication or broadcast) that creates images in order to tell a news story. It is now usually understood to refer only to still images, and in some cases to video used in broadcast journalism. Photojournalism is distinguished from other close branches of photography (such as documentary photography, street photography or celebrity photography) by the qualities of:

  • Timeliness — the images have meaning in the context of a published chronological record of events.
  • Objectivity — the situation implied by the images is a fair and accurate representation of the events they depict.
  • Narrative — the images combine with other news elements, to inform and give insight to the viewer or reader.

Photojournalists must make decisions instantly and carry photographic equipment, often while exposed to the same risks (war, rioting, etc.).

Photojournalism as a descriptive term often implies the use of a certain bluntness of style or approach to image-making. The photojournalist approach to candid photography is becoming popular as a unique style of commercial photography. For example, many weddings today are shot in photojournalism style resulting in candid images that chronicle the events of the wedding day.

A similar and related term is reportage.

EtymologyEdit

The invention of the term photojournalism is often attributed to Cliff Edom (1907–1991), who taught at the University of Missouri School of Journalism for 29 years. Edom established the first photojournalism program there, and created the Missouri Photographic Workshop in 1946. Edom said, during the judging of the 1989 Pictures of the Year Contest (which he also founded), that the then-Dean of the School of Journalism, Frank L. Mott actually coined the word.

HistoryEdit

FoundationsEdit

The practice of illustrating news stories with photographs was made possible by printing and photography innovations that occurred between 1880 and 1897. While newsworthy events were photographed as early as the 1850s, printed news stories were illustrated with wood engravings exclusively until the 1880s. News photographs had to be re-interpreted by an engraver before publication in order to be compatible with the printing presses of the time.

The pioneering battlefield photographs from the Crimean War (1853 to 1856) by British press reporters such as William Simpson of the Illustrated London News and Roger Fenton were published as engravings. Similarly, the American Civil War photographs of Matthew Brady were engraved before publication in Harper's Weekly. Because the public craved more realistic representations of news stories, it was common for newsworthy photographs to be exhibited in galleries or to be copied photographically in limited numbers.

On March 4, 1880, The Daily Graphic (New York) [1] published the first halftone (rather than engraved) reproduction of a news photograph. Further innovations followed. In 1887, flash powder was invented, enabling journalists such as Jacob Riis to photograph informal subjects indoors. By 1897, it became possible to reproduce halftone photographs on printing presses running at full speed.[2]

Despite these innovations, limitations remained, and many of the sensational newspaper and magazine stories in the period from 1897 to 1927 (see Yellow Journalism) were illustrated with engravings. In 1921, the wirephoto made it possible to transmit pictures almost as quickly as news itself could travel. However, it was not until development of the commercial 35mm Leica camera in 1925, and the first flash bulbs between 1927 and 1930 that all the elements were in place for a "golden age" of photojournalism.

Golden ageEdit

In the "golden age" of photojournalism (1930s1950s), some magazines (Picture Post (London), Paris Match (Paris), Life (USA), Sports Illustrated (USA)) and newspapers (The Daily Mirror (London), The Daily Graphic (New York)) built their huge readerships and reputations largely on their use of photography, and photographers such as Robert Capa, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Margaret Bourke-White and W. Eugene Smith became well-known names.

File:Lange-MigrantMother02.jpg

Until the 1980s, most large newspapers were printed with turn-of-the-century “letterpress” technology using easily smudged oil-based ink, off-white, low-quality “newsprint” paper, and coarse engraving screens. While letterpresses produced legible text, the photoengraving dots that formed pictures often bled or smeared and became fuzzy and indistinct. In this way, even when newspapers used photographs well — a good crop, a respectable size — murky reproduction often left readers re-reading the caption to see what the photo was all about. Not until the 1980s had a majority of newspapers switched to “offset” presses that reproduce photos with fidelity on better, whiter paper.

By contrast Life, one of America’s most popular weekly magazines from 1936 through the early 1970s, was filled with photographs reproduced beautifully on oversize 11×14-inch pages, using fine engraving screens, high-quality inks, and glossy paper. Life often published a United Press International (UPI) or Associated Press (AP) photo that had been first reproduced in newspapers, but the quality magazine version appeared to be a different photo altogether.

In large part because their pictures were clear enough to be appreciated, and because their name always appeared with their work, magazine photographers achieved near-celebrity status. Life became a standard by which the public judged photography, and many of today’s photo books celebrate “photojournalism” as if it had been the exclusive province of near-celebrity magazine photographers.

The Best of Life (1973), for example, opens with a two-page (1960) group shot of 39 justly famous Life photographers. But 300 pages later, photo credits reveal that scores of the photos among Life’s “best” were taken by anonymous UPI and AP photographers.

Thus even during the golden age, because of printing limitations and the UPI and AP syndication systems, many newspaper photographers labored in relative obscurity.

Susan Davenport - I noticed there are no conmmets. You can understand why. How in the world can you comment on that picture? Well, looking at it again, guess there really are many conmmets. For instance, it looks like he is wearing a halter top under his gown. The gown, that's a very interesting gown all covered with artificial flowers and held together at the top with a safety pin. Then you have the pigeon roosting on his head, messing up his veil. I'm guessing he keeps bird seed up there for his feathered friends. This is a man with a great deal of self esteem to go out on the streets of of New York dressed like that. A man who likes to call attention to himself. A man who likes to wear dresses. The picture leaves me wondering what kind of shoes he was wearing. Were they heels perhaps? Susan Davenport - I noticed there are no conmmets. You can understand why. How in the world can you comment on that picture? Well, looking at it again, guess there really are many conmmets. For instance, it looks like he is wearing a halter top under his gown. The gown, that's a very interesting gown all covered with artificial flowers and held together at the top with a safety pin. Then you have the pigeon roosting on his head, messing up his veil. I'm guessing he keeps bird seed up there for his feathered friends. This is a man with a great deal of self esteem to go out on the streets of of New York dressed like that. A man who likes to call attention to himself. A man who likes to wear dresses. The picture leaves me wondering what kind of shoes he was wearing. Were they heels perhaps?

Acceptance by the art worldEdit

Since the late 1970s, photojournalism and documentary photography have increasingly been accorded a place in art galleries alongside fine art photography. Luc Delahaye, Lauren Greenfield and Chien-Chi Chang are among many who regularly exhibit in galleries.

Professional organizationsEdit

The Danish Union of Press Photographers (Pressefotografforbundet) was the first national organization for newspaper photographers in the world. It was founded in 1912 in Denmark by six press photographers in Copenhagen.[3] Today it has nearly 800 members.

The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) was founded in 1946 in the U.S., and has about 12,000 members. Others around the world include the British Press Photographers Association (1984), Hong Kong Press Photographers Association (1989), Northern Ireland Press Photographers Association (2000), Pressfotografernas Klubb (Sweden, 1930), and PK — Pressefotografenes Klubb (Norway).[4]

News organisations and journalism schools run many different awards for photojournalists. Since 1968, Pulitzer Prizes have been awarded for the following categories of photojournalism: 'Feature Photography', 'Spot News Photography' and 'Capture the Moment'. Other awards are World Press Photo, Best of Photojournalism, and Pictures of the Year.[5]

File:Starlette.jpg

Ethical and legal considerationsEdit

Photojournalism works within the same ethical approaches to objectivity that are applied by other journalists. What to shoot, how to frame and how to edit are constant considerations.

Often, ethical conflicts can be mitigated or enhanced by the actions of a sub-editor or picture editor, who takes control of the images once they have been delivered to the news organisation. The photojournalist often has no control as to how images are ultimately used.

The emergence of digital photography offers whole new realms of opportunity for the manipulation, reproduction, and transmission of images. It has inevitably complicated many of the ethical issues involved.

The U.S. National Press Photographers Association, and other professional organizations, maintain codes of ethics to specify approaches to these issues.[6]

Major ethical issues are often inscribed with more or less success into law. Laws regarding photography can vary significantly from nation to nation. The legal situation is further complicated when one considers that photojournalism made in one country will often be published in many other countries.

The impact of new technologiesEdit

Smaller, lighter cameras greatly enhanced the role of the photojournalist. Since the 1960s, motor drives, electronic flash, auto-focus, better lenses and other camera enhancements have made picture taking easier. New digital cameras free photojournalists from the limitation of film roll length, as hundreds of images can be stored on a single microdrive or memory card.

Content remains the most important element of photojournalism, but the ability to extend deadlines with rapid gathering and editing of images has brought significant changes. As recently as 15 years ago, nearly 30 minutes were needed to scan and transmit a single color photograph from a remote location to a news office for printing. Now, equipped with a digital camera, a mobile phone and a laptop computer, a photojournalist can send a high-quality image in minutes, even seconds after an event occurs. Video phones and portable satellite links increasingly allow for the mobile transmission of images from almost any point on the earth.

There is some concern by news photographers that the profession of photojournalism as it is known today could change to such a degree that it is unrecognizable as image-capturing technology naturally progresses. There is also concern that fewer print publications are commissioning serious photojournalism on timely issues.


NotesEdit

  1. collections.ic.gc.ca/heirloom_series/volume4/14-15.htm
  2. Robert Taft, Photography and the American scene: A social history, 1839–1889 (New York: Dover, 1964), 446; and W. Joseph Campbell, "1897: American journalism's exceptional year", Journalism History 29 (2004) (also here et seq.)
  3. Template:Dk icon Pressefotografforbundet history.
  4. British Press Photographers Association; Hong Kong Press Photographers Association; Northern Ireland Press Photographers Association; Template:Sv icon Pressfotografernas Klubb; Template:No icon Fotojournalisten.
  5. World Press Photo; Best of Photojournalism; Pictures of the Year.
  6. USNPPA Code of Ethics

Further readingEdit

  • Don McCullin. Hearts of Darkness (1980 - much reprinted).
  • Zavoina, Susan C., and John H. Davidson, Digital Photojournalism (Allyn & Bacon, 2002). ISBN 0-205-33240-4
  • Kenneth Kobre, Photojournalism : The Professional's Approach 5th edition Focal Press, 2004.
  • The Photograph, Graham Clarke, ISBN 0-19-284200-5

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

OrganizationsEdit

  • American Society of Media Photographers
  • American Society of Picture Professionals
  • National Association of Freelance Photographers (USA)
  • National Press Photographers Association (USA)
  • White House News Photographers’ Association (USA)
  • World Press Photographers

EthicsEdit

Digital cameras and photo editing software enable more opportunity to manipulate photos.

Here are key statements from Paragraph 4 of the National Press Photographers Association ethics code (at http://www.asne.org/ideas/codes/nppa.htm):

"In documentary photojournalism, it is wrong to alter the content of a photograph in any way (electronically or in the darkroom) that deceives the public. We believe the guidelines for fair and accurate reporting should be the criteria for judging what may be done electronically to a photograph."

The reference to "documentary photojournalism" is apparently intended to allow for photo illustrations.

Whether a photo illustration is acceptable can hinge on whether it is obvious that the image is not accurate.

External linksEdit

Credit and categoriesEdit

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at {{{Photojournalism}}}. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Journawiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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