Thursday, December 20, 2007

Worth a thousand words!

Photography plays a huge role in the world of journalism. Politicians, athletes, religious figures, celebrities, and everyday people grace the pages of our newspapers, magazines, and the Internet. Their faces are often filled with emotion— whether it joy, pain, disgust, confusion, or otherwise. It may seem simple: take a picture, write a caption, and publish it! However, many photojournalists have made some seriously unethical decisions regarding photography. You may be wondering what I am talking about, let me explain. The creation of the computer program Photoshop has led many people to alter their photographs from their original state…to pretty much anything they want, without explaining that it has been altered. With a program like Photoshop, a person can change the exposure, colors, and insert or delete objects. Another unethical thing photojournalists do is set up shots. A photographer’s job is to capture life, people, and real situations—in order to show society things that are going on in the world. However, when a photographer says ‘stand there’ or ‘hold this’ or ‘cry’, they are altering the situation and creating a moment that did not in fact ever happen, but was set up! Over time, many photographers have made this unethical decision, and paid the price by losing their jobs. Pictures are worth a thousand words…something we have all heard a million times…photojournalists should just make sure the thousand words, are the right ones!