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Photojournalism at the Crossroads

Say what you want, 2010 has been the year when we heard so much about how photojournalism is dead. Pictures can convey an idea or message with so much more impact than mere text can. We love our pictures and no journalists would dare print a story without accompanying photos to back up his or her words.

Photojournalists often brave war and face death to capture prize-winning pictures. Today we find reporters carrying either a movie camera on one shoulder or a DSLR slung around their neck. Some contend that giving a camera to a news reporter (as opposed to using a dedicated and professional photojournalist) has resulted in poorer picture quality overall.

There are still photojournalists, but most work with the news photo agencies, with the result that we see the same picture in every newspaper and online. Question: does a local newspaper write any article anymore? Or does it just reprint packaged articles and pictures? Rarely do we read interesting photo essays anymore.

With all this in mind, here’s a look at Time’s “Photojournalism at the Crossroads” gallery. This is interesting because it was not too long ago that a certain Neil Burgess (of NB Pictures, and previously head of Network Photographers and Magnum Photos in New York, and Magnum London, and twice a former Chairman of World Press Photo) called Time magazine “a joke.” Ouch! But view the gallery and tell me if Time is agreeing with Burgess or simply saying that photojournalism is still here but changing medium, equipment and style?

View the gallery at: Time.