Understanding Photojournalism and Its Impact on the World

Photojournalism is a sub discipline of photography which involves of capturing images to help tell a story. In a large number of cases, these individuals are hired by newspapers or magazines. A number of famous newspapers have made a name for themselves based on the photographs that were published under their publications.

Characteristics of Photojournalism

There are three qualities which make photojournalism distinct from other branches of photography such as documentary, celebrity or street photography. The first is relevance. In photojournalism, the images captured have meaning consistent to the published record of events. Objectivity is the second. The image captured must be unbiased, accurate and fair in representing the event being documented. This has become harder in the days of the digital camera and the use of editing programs. The third involves the narrative that combines the image with the other elements of the news, giving the reader or viewer greater insight into the event or situation.

Types of Photojournalism

There are two basic types under this field. The first branch involves capturing photos in support of a news article. Some journalists work closely together with photographers for a particular story. The photographers would be paid for the images that get published along with articles. Under this type of photojournalism, there is no limit as to the number of photographs will be used or published. This decision is left to the discretion of the photo editor. 

The second type is the more popular form of photojournalism. Under this type, the photograph stands on its own without any article or words to accompany and describe the image. The number can range from a single picture to as many as ten to one single publication.

The Impact of Technology in the Field

Smaller, lighter and more powerful cameras and equipment have made the job of photojournalists easier. However, it has also made their responsibility more difficult. With the development of digital cameras, thousands of images can be captured and then stored on a single memory card. Images can be captured, scanned and sent to their respective publications or news companies within minutes or even seconds of being taken. This is a big leap from 15 years ago and more where publications need to wait at least 30 minutes before receiving the images. The availability of such technologies to the average consumer has given each one the ability to become a photojournalist.

How Photojournalism Has Made an Impact

Citizen journalism has become more popular with the development and availability of more powerful cameras and equipment. This makes each individual who owns a camera or camera phone aware of their own surroundings, capturing the moment and publishing them online. Photographs are a testament to what has happened in the past and present, capable of making people aware of events and situations which are happening in other places.

Photojournalists document events, helping communities connect with one another. Even years after the event is over, people will remember the event and the emotions involved with just seeing a single photograph.