Lament for a Dying Field – Photojournalism

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“I’m 92 years old, and I’ve survived a lot of crises in photojournalism,” he said. “I find the present situation depressing, but I’m crazy enough to be hopeful. There have never been more images out there, and we need more help in sorting out all the information.”

John G. Morris, a former photo editor via  NYTimes.com.

There Are 6 Comments On This Article.

  1. I’m so tired of the culture of pessimism that has permeated the photojournalism world. It seems now that it’s quite cool to be a downer on this issue if you’re on the inside.

    This is NOT the end of photojournalism, just as the advent of radio or cassette tapes or CD’s or mp3 players weren’t the demise of music. This is simply the end of an old, outdated, and tired business model for distributing images. In fact, as a photojournalist I am EXCITED about the way the internet opens the market to an enthusiastic and creative field of persons, whose goals may not be traditional, but whose passion for storytelling remains fervent. Because we can’t just lay back and let the market do it the old way, we are required to think critically and be innovative about how we do this. And that, I have no doubt, will take photojournalism to a new, inspiring level.

    When newspapers inevitably fold, we will simply move on to another model. There will always be a demand for high quality images in society. This ridiculously melodramatic pessimism is not just annoying, it’s downright wrong.

  2. Photojournalism must have a cat-like supply of lives to survive so many deaths. It’s like a bad zombie movie the way we keep coming back from the dead.

  3. I don’t think photojournalism is dead. But, I think it will be a boutique field when all is over and done. With the acceptance of the automobile, everyone thought the horse would become extinct. Horses, of course, are still bought and sold today. Most horse breeders today are hobbyists and their sales do not even cover feed costs. Sound familiar? I guess I’m one of the pessimists.

  4. The last sentence of that quote has been on my mind for the past day. I was thinking about some artist friends of mine who are selling their wares on etsy.com, or the like. I was asking myself, how can they better sell their stuff on a huge website like that, when there are so many great artists to compete with and whatnot. The fact of the matter is that we are all looking for talent, and looking anywhere we can get it. Whether it is engineers from China, or photographs from Flickr, it really doesn’t matter as long as the work is there to be done. I personally think that there will always be a place for photojournalism at the table, as an image relays more information per microsecond than anything else out there.