The Future of Photojournalism

Aug 16, 2010
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My blog post today, titled 'Is Photojournalism Dead Yet' talked about the future of photojournalism as an industry and how we are having to change the business model to survive.

The post has generated a lot of comments and emails; I'm curious to see what fellow photographers here on The Photo Forum think.

Ideas? Comments? What do you think the future holds for our profession?

Fire Girl Photography
Fire Girl Photography, The outdoor photography of Jessica McGlothlin.
Outdoor and Equine Photography
There is a search function on this site. Try it, and you will see some past threads on the same topic.
Hey guys, honestly not trying to promote the blog here... just interested in some honest opinions.

Uh huh.

Then why not just ask for opinions instead of, promoting your blog? And we've got these new features called "signatures", where you can put links to your blog instead of in the body of text like you've been doing to promote your bl... err, get an honest opinion... :er:

(Oh, that's right, because with it in the subject, if someone quotes you you get another link.)
Over this side they have laid off many staffers and use freelance, paying them very little per shot or simply buy shots from paparazzi agencies, who also don't pay too well, the only winners are the company directors and newspaper magnates. H
Over this side they have laid off many staffers and use freelance, paying them very little per shot or simply buy shots from paparazzi agencies, who also don't pay too well, the only winners are the company directors and newspaper magnates. H
The same has happened here.

The local paper has been equipping their staff photographers with P&S cameras for a couple of years now.
I decided to read your blog post. Being a quasi writer AND photog, I suppose it's a fair enough topic to re-hash. Even if you are secretly fibbing about trying to promote your blog so blatantly. :sexywink:

The beauty of the “new world” we are seeing being born in photojournalism is that we now have several platforms to spread our work.
Overall it seems like you're asking if it's dead yet so more people can start taking advantage of a saturated market of less-than-exceptional self-proclaimed "professional photographers". Not unlike myself.

I think it's great the way digital photography has become affordable to the masses, exposing the few exceptional photogs that would otherwise have taken up basket weaving. (I'm not claiming to be exceptional. Far from it. But I like it and am learning every time I pull the trigger.)

Personally, I had no intention of going where I've ended up when I first started taking snapshots seriously 4 or 5 years ago. I've been published in an international print magazine, newspapers and several other mediums including several online magazines, ezines, blogs etc. for my writing and photography. In fact, The New York Times Company paid for all my camera equipment, many times over, as a freelancer.

I don't know what pj will do in the future, but I know I've got my foot in the door all the way up to my ass. And I think I can squeak out a meager pittance if the walls do fall in.

I like your photography. You see things differently.
Rekd, glad you decided to read the post. It seems like professionally we often end up in a different direction than we originally intended - and I think that's a key principle in business these days. The ability to be flexible, to think on our feet and roll with the punches goes a long way in keeping a business thriving. Business models - pj included - are changing (obviously!) and it seems some people are having trouble grasping that idea.

Thank you for the comment on my work; I get tired of seeing the "same old, same old' images and try to make people take a second look at what they otherwise might pass by. I am still very new in the industry (and to photography as a whole, actually) but am intrigued by the profession...
PJ will always be around as a career choice, but you'll likely have to be a professional freelancer to do it. Most companies (newspapers, mags, etc.) have found it too costly to keep staffed with full-time PJs. It's more economical to work on a pay-per-image basis. Or smaller publications will give their writers cameras, and their photographers (if they still have any) writing duties. Essentially, if you're going to be on staff somewhere, you will have to wear many hats and perform many duties, not just be a photographer.

So photojournalism is not dead, it's just turned into a really different career than it was. So the difficulty now is really for the newcomers to the field. It used to be that the "staff" jobs is where you'd start and learn the ropes and develop your skills. Perhaps you'd start at a small-town publication then slowly build up to bigger markets and higher-end publications. There were stepping stones. But now, without staff jobs available, it's a more difficult field to break in to.

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