Well, they say journalism is the first draft of history. If journalism is the first draft of history, photojournalism is the evidence of that draft – who we are or who we were. Most of us today don’t have the patience or the sensitivity to look at images, into the images, every element therein, every body language, every expression, and fathom what it means. The consumers of electronic media, where images are being bombarded one after the other, are particularly uninterested. The flickering screen doesn’t let you focus at the moment – the moment that says what needs to be said. These still images are here to stay, as a visual history, and a witness to what it was. History is written and rewritten but visual history is something that cannot be rewritten. It is the final evidence, and a simple clean mirror to where our nations stand today.
It is also unfortunate that the editors and wordsmiths of newspapers and magazines think their words matter a lot more than anything else. The next in importance are ads because money is to be made. So the photograph is the first casualty – reduce the size. In addition, most photojournalists today tend to be more of professional photographers who provide photographs of different events and situations. They don’t become explorers who’d want to go deep into the essence and meaning of the story. This is one of the reasons why photographers are not given that importance in terms of editorial say and print space. A true photojournalist must not just remain informed about the happenings of the day and the news stories, but should have the learning and the wisdom to choose the right moment in its rightful relevant space. Only then does a photograph become an image of power and strength.