Having just begun my second essay of the Christmas holidays, my brain is literally worn out. But, I think it’s done me good. Because I have, in my weary state, looked at my current Media Ethics orientated essay in a different light. My focus of this essay was the negative effect of photojournalism. How difficult it is to talk badly about something you want to do someday. Don’t read this the wrong way, there is a lot of negativity hand-in-hand with the good that photojournalism produces but, starting a year of hard work talking about the bad, well that’s just not what I want to do.
So let’s start a clean slate on photojournalism, clearing the history of ‘bad’ photojournalism and journalism in general and look at some of the good. If you’re finding it difficult like I did before this afternoon, then watch this video like I did. Look at some of the fantastic images that the media have given the public eye. Share with the photographer the joy they felt when they got that perfect image. Try it out, just for a change if you feel like journalists only bring images of death, disaster and despair.
Photojournalism has the ability to open your mind in a different way. Imagine living before we had that ability to see something in all its trueness. These are important events of our time that will fill the history books of the children of our children to read. Photojournalists in this day in age continue to have more and more opportunities to represent unique situations. They have less and less limitations to where they can travel and the quality of the images continues to get better.
People are often blind to all aspects of life in another world. Where some of those images are horrific, there are equally as many that are beautiful like Steven McCurry’s image of the Afghan refugee featured on the front cover of the National Geographic.
These people, the photographers, have put themselves in difficult situations and often in places even they don’t want to be but they do it for your greater good. But sometimes, they’re in a place they love, capturing images of people or a place that they’ve become close to.
The ability of capturing an image that represents exactly what another person saw right before their eyes is a monumental achievement; having to rely on words alone would be certainly be a lacklustre world.
“It’s not easy to take pictures of real conflict,” says one of the photojournalists in the video above. “I look at it as a price that has to be paid…these stories have to be told.”
Being a photojournalist is never claimed to be an easy job, how could it be?
Hope you enjoy this video (par the graphic images) and hope this has made you think of photojournalism, if only just this once, in a slightly different light.