Photojournalism is a form of journalism that creates images in order to tell a news story. Photojournalism is distinguished from other close branches of photography (such as documentary photography, street photography or celebrity photography) by the qualities of:

  • Timeliness — the images have meaning in the context of a published chronological record of events.
  • Objectivity — the situation implied by the images is a fair and accurate representation of the events they depict.
  • Narrative — the images combine with other news elements, to inform and give insight to the viewer or reader.

Photojournalists must make decisions instantly and carry photographic equipment under the same circumstances as those involved in the subject (such as fire, war, and rioting), often while being exposed to the same risks.

Photojournalism as a descriptive term often implies the use of a certain bluntness of style or approach to image-making. It has been a major element of newspaper and magazine reporting since the early twentieth century, and its use was spurred by the development of the commercial 35mm Leica camera. The invention of the term "photojournalism" is commonly attributed to Cliff Edom, who taught at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Ethics and legal mattersEdit

To read more about this topic, see ethics in photojournalism.

Photojournalism works within the same ethical approaches to objectivity that are applied by other journalists. What to shoot, how to frame and how to edit are constant considerations. The emergence of digital photography offers new opportunities for the manipulation, reproduction, and transmission of images, but has complicated many of the ethical issues involved.

The U.S. National Press Photographers Association, and other professional organizations, maintain a Code of Ethics to address what are thought to be the proper approaches to these issues.

Major ethical issues are often addressed by law, but laws regarding photography can vary significantly from nation to nation, and the situation is further complicated as photojournalism made in one country will often be published in many other countries.

Professional organizationsEdit

Photojournalism awardsEdit

Sources, links, and further readingEdit

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