It’s funny how a random picture taken on an 8 megapixel iPhone camera can have the same or even elevated effect to news media as a professional shot taken in the wake of war zones can. It’s kind of exciting that someone can be the lucky one to be in the right place at the right time and get that viral shot. Citizen journalists are the future.
With the current craze of social media and smart phones, photojournalists are everywhere. While the majority are not trained professionals actively seeking out breaking stories, citizens do offer a different perspective to the everyday American. Generally a simple iPhone photo will not speak to an audience in the same manner as one carefully crafted by a photographer. However, citizen journalists oftentimes connect more personally to stories and can tell them in a deeper way, making it easier for audiences of all types to relate.
“While verification can be a minor obstacle for photojournalists using social media as a resource, it lies at the heart of the ethical and aesthetic issues of crisis reporting.” – Jared Keller
Yes, the validity of photojournalism is often called into question. However, we can’t forget how it gives a story a face, or a setting, or a bigger picture. Consumers are enabled to see for themselves what is going on. News media would be completely different for the worst if photojournalism was to do away. A good photo can tell a story without words but we must not forget supplementary photos to breaking stories that also aid in our visualization of an event.
There is nothing that can replace the feelings that one feels when given a lens to see the world for its true self.