How can photojournalism survive and thrive?

February 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

Has social media killed photojournalism? That was the question debated last week at an Online News Association(ONA UK) event at the offices of the Telegraph Media Group, and it sparked some lively exchanges.

The panellists who led the discussion were Turi Munthe, founder and CEO of photo news site Demotix, Paul Lowe, course director of the Masters programme in photojournalism and documentary photography at the London College of Communication, and Edmond Terakopian, an award-winning photojournalist.

We ranged over many issues, among them: is agency boss Neil Burgess correct that the profession of photojournalist no longer exists? Who or what is a photojournalist? What’s a picture worth and who sets the rate? How can photojournalists survive? What’s the business model? Are amateurs being exploited?

When you strip away emotional reactions, it’s technological change that is at the heart of these issues. The barrier to entry has been lowered; the kit is in the hands of millions of people; it’s easier to use than it’s ever been; and the ability to distribute images is open to all.

All the hand-wringing from professionals that amateurs are undermining their livelihoods isn’t going to alter the fact. As attendee Frank Wales pointed out, portrait painters had the same beef with the early practitioners of photography, but it didn’t make a blind bit of difference.-Paul Brannan

I have never thought of other issues such as when photography developed and the painters were threatened but i also don’t see this as the same argument because where as photography and painting are different mediums they also have different uses where as photo journalism and a member of public using a iphone camera i see as the same thing they both provide the same medium for the same purpose.

Advertisers no longer want to spend millions of dollars just to reach mass audiences. They want smarter spend, to pay only for the people their product is aimed at. And as the metrics get better spending will be squeezed still further.

spending will be squeezed further ? this could really mean trouble for photo journalists, if they don’t start to adapt and change then this could mean we could we wont been seeing the breath-taking and amazing photos we see in newspapers and on websites, the article i read then goes on to talk about the new business model and photo journalists starting to produce there work for different cause, so maybe there work will struggle to be used in news papers and websites because of social media but other areas like Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting They rely heavenly on photo journalist of high quality, they believe that it is vital that the photos taken of such crises are high quality and tell a very broad and clear story of event in and around world events, we need this to learn and reflect on the issues now and in the future.



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