From ArticleWorld

Photojournalism is a specialized form of journalism where news material is gathered, edited, and presented in a news story format for publication and/or for broadcast. Distinct from other fields of journalism, photojournalism or reportage stands apart in the timely and objective nature of the news story and the narrative style of presentation. Directly exposed to elements, photojournalists also make instantaneous decisions while gathering information on location depending on the circumstances occurring in the area such as war, rioting, flood, fire, etc.


Traced back to the early battlefield stories by British press during the Crimean war, photojournalism has become a phenomenal giant in terms of news reportage since the early twentieth century with the arrival of the 35mm Leica camera for the public. The term ‘photojournalism’ was coined by Cliff Edom, a professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, who taught the first photojournalism workshop there in 1946.

The Golden Age of photojournalism was a period of two decades from the 1930s to the 1950s where popular magazines such as Sports Illustrated, The Daily Graphic, Life, Paris Match, and other magazines launched impressive strides in growth and readership through the use of photography with well-known photographers such as W. Eugene Smith, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Robert Capa, and Margaret Bourke-White.

One of the greatest collections of documentary photographs in the world were taken during the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration under the leadership of Roy Stryker, with the insightful and moving photographs of people during the Depression, photographs that told complete stories on their own, without words.

The advent of World War II created an enormous surge in demand for photojournalists and also spurred the invention of new, faster, and smaller cameras. Since the 1970s, a lot of photographs taken by photojournalists are on display at art galleries and museums.

Media coverage has also changed with new technologies that take photographs and video very quickly, which allows the transfer of information to be often instantaneous. Ethical considerations that apply to all journalists have particular significance to photojournalists, who also have to consider factors such as accuracy and emotion portrayed in images that they capture and are later manipulated and edited by other staff.

Notable photojournalists include Eddie Adams, Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Roger Fenton, Dorothea Lange, Mary Ellen Mark, Steve McCurry, Ruth Orkin, James Robertson, David Seymour, Li Zhensheng, and W. Eugene Smith, to name a few.

Professional organizations

The culmination of World War II also resulted in the creation of a cooperative photographic agency called Magnum Photos two years later in 1947. Magnum Photos consisted of four photographers: Robert Capa, George Rodger, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and David Seymour.

Other professional organizations of note include the Danish Union of Press Photographers, The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), the British Press Photographers Association, the Hong Kong Press Photographers Association, the Northern Ireland Press Photographers Association, the Pressfotografernas Klubb Sweden, and the Pressefotografenes Klubb Norway, to name a few.