What is photojournalism?

This is a post from the Ed Kashi site that has received a lot of attention.

Ed was asked recently by Whitney Johnson at the New Yorker magazine how he defined photojournalism today. Below is his response, illustrated with examples that highlight the 3 distinct parts of Ed’s definition.

PART I: Photojournalism is a unique and powerful form of visual storytelling originally created for print magazines and newspapers but has now morphed into multimedia and even documentary filmmaking. Through the internet, apps and the mobile device explosion, photojournalism can now reach audiences never before imagined with immediate impact, while continuing to write our visual history and form our collective memories.

In recent years, Stephen Ferry, self proclaimed “non-fiction photographer,” was the recipient of the Audience Engagement Grant from the Open Society Foundations for his body of work “Violentology: A Manual of the Colombian Conflict.” The photo essay is being made manifest in a book release (2012, Umbrage Editions), exhibitions, booklets, a video and a blog. The work is an exquisite example of photojournalism and the multi-platform approach that is being utilized today. Read more on Ed’s site.

About the author

RANDY OLSON’s 27 National Geographic magazine projects have taken him to many countries in Africa, the Siberian Arctic, Abu Dhabi, American Samoa, Austria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Dubai, Guyana, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Kamchatka, Newfoundland, Pakistan, Palmyra, Republic of Georgia, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, and the South Pacific.
National Geographic Society published a book of his work in their Masters of Photography series in January 2011. Olson was the 2003 Magazine Photographer of the Year in the Pictures of the Year International (POYi) competition, and was also awarded POYi’s 1992 Newspaper Photographer of the Year—one of only two photographers to win in both media in the largest photojournalism contest operating continuously since World War II. While working at The Pittsburgh Press, Olson received an Alicia Patterson Fellowship to support a seven-year project documenting a family with AIDS, and a Robert F. Kennedy Award for his story on problems with Section 8 housing. He was also awarded the Nikon Sabbatical and a grant from the National Archives to save the Pictures of the Year collection.
Melissa Farlow and Randy Olson are photojournalists in the documentary tradition. Their work has taken them to 50 countries over the past 20 years. Even though they are published in LIFE, GEO, Smithsonian and other magazines, they have primarily worked on 50 projects for the National Geographic Society. They normally work individually, but have co-produced National Geographic magazine stories on northern California, American national parks, and the Alps. They photographed the southern United States for a book by Collins Publishing and have collaborated on over 70 books by various publishers.