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Is really the Photojournalism truthful? Behind the Scenes (PART I)

10/02/2011 ISO 1200 Magazine 3 Comments


Presentation of Photojournalism Behind the Scenes, an auto-critical photo essay showing the paradoxes of conflict-image production and considering the role of the photographer in the events.

This project was awarded the Photodreaming Contest organized by Forma Foundation in which I was then selected by Denis Curti, the director of Contrasto (the major photo-agency in Italy, which represents Magnum's work in the country and for which the top Italian photographers work) to shoot an assignment for the prestigious agency.

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An interesting article by Paolino Accolla for PlanetNext on my work:​2011/​09/​media-photo-journalism-behind-the-scenes/​


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Jesús Martín Barbero, un gran filosofo Colombo- Español, teorizó sobre las ‘Mediaciones’, que es el proceso mediante el cual, los medios y los periodistas interpretamos la noticia, la redactamos y la trasmitimos a nuestras audiencias, ya sea a través de un texto o una foto. Eso somos los fotoperiodistas, unos ‘mediadores de la realidad’ que de acuerdo a las necesidades de nuestras Agencias, Periódicos, de nuestra ideología política o religiosa, estamos generando una imagen manipulada, siempre con un fin específico que favorece a unos y no lo hace con otros. La realidad está lejos de una foto o una foto está lejos de la realidad, pero aún existen miles de personas que creen en ello y por eso existimos. carlosjuliomartí

Keith weng said...

Great start to an expose. Now need to hear from other shooters (and better yet protesters) to assess how common this degree of influence is. Heisenberg Heisenberg, but not all influences are so damning.

You showed some examples where only a single photographer is near the subjects. I find those to be much less of a problem. There's no clear line between that and the best PJism.

I'd like to hear more about the anthropology angle too -- what kind of group choices get made that are particularly impactful on the behavior of the protesters, e.g. All clustering behind one senior guy to stay out of one another's pictures, but thereby becoming a visually dominant part of the scene; or all being unwilling to call it if someone is literally posing a subject.

John said...

It's called the Hawthorne Effect and is a reality of life. This is the reason why as journalists we have a very immense responsibility to show what we cover within its context. Not for the sake of creating dramatic images or to please our editors. This is where the mantle of ethics comes in. The very same reason why I do not put out photos, no matter how marvelous they are if they are done for the sake of our cameras. If so, we should at least indicate it in our captions.

As our images have wider and wider audiences due to the outburst of access via net, so does our responsibility as journalists to make sure that what we champion is truth within its context. We can always justify anything with strong but false reason, but that's where and when our integrity and character in our profession should come in.