The Image as News

Photojournalism is a form of journalism that uses images instead of words to tell a news story. Photographic images can reveal great truths, expose wrongdoing and neglect, and inspire hope and understanding through the language of visual understanding.[1] There have been times when a single image has changed the course of politics, ended wars, and ignited revolutions. While individuals and groups have often used these images to advocate for one position over another, photojournalism’s primary goal is to depict the subject matter honestly. Therefore, photojournalism differs from other forms of photography – and, at times, from other forms of journalism – by its need to remain completely objective. This means that photojournalists should not be biased or take sides. Photojournalism must also be timely, as tackling current issues makes the images more relevant to the viewer. Just as the print journalist writes about a breaking news story, a photojournalist must capture the here-and-now aspects of the story.  Photojournalism must be interesting to catch the intended audience’s attention. For a photo to have the requisite social impact, it must also have the requisite aesthetic impact.

To learn more about photojournalism and to access Ocean Connect’s wide range of educational and career resources, please visit our Photojournalism snapshot.