5 Nov. 2009

I'm a Journalist

I was reading Jelicas beautiful post this morning. She had been to the World Press Photo exhibition and asked why we need photos of peoples pain.

It made me think. (And write practically a dissertation in her comments)

I poke and prod into peoples lives every day. It's my job. And I daily have to defend it. To spouses, to annoyed companies, to readers. I stick my camera in peoples faces, and then ask them why and how and what.

Now you have to be over average curious to be in my line of work. But you have to be over average compassionate as well. And when I prod I really believe it is for the greater good. To tell someones story. To reveal something that shouldn't be hidden. To protect the weak. To challenge the strong. To educate. To make people feel.

I could go on and on and on.

Journalism is all about ethics, and I allways question mine and others motives to have something printed in the paper.

And I make mistakes. Like everyone else.

I've never had a problem with blogging publicly because of that reason. I expect people to reveal, and more importently, share with thousands of readers. I should only expect the same of me.

Being a journalist has made me a better person.

I think before I speak. I consider other angles. My already over developed sence of empathy is evolving into ESP.

But maybe that's just Old Age Wisdom.

Jelicas post. Her questions. Reminded me of why I do what I do.

I'm in it for the people.

However pompous that sounds.


  1. Hi, I popped over here from Jelica's post because I found your comments interesting.

    As a photographer I really enjoy photojournalism. I have a book filled with some fantastic photo journalistic shots, this one small book makes , me laugh, smile, cry, I feel empathy, anger, love, sorrow and happiness. Each time I open this book I experience life.
    I don't agree with airing people's dirty laundry but stories for the greater benefit like you said, to educate, protect and challenge should be told.

    A line from a song by my favourite songwriter says... "truth worth more that pride." This quote is something I like to think I value within myself.

    PS: I'm glad I found your blog

  2. I agree with you on why these pictures are necessary, and I have great respect for press photography. For me personally the dilemma with taking such pictures lies not only in the publishing of them and displaying human suffering, but also in the act of taking the picture itself.

    When Im looking at someone and see a potential motif for a picture, my mind starts thinking aesthetically. And catching myself considering the best lighting or composition for a picture of human beings in pain is a situation I am not able to deal with. I am glad we have people who can. but I cant.

  3. Liss: Truth is important, and truth is hard. Also when it comes to ourselves. There is often more to a story than what is published, and in my experience I protect people more than I expose them. It really is a little known fact that we keep a lot back rather than telling all.

    chichida: I haven't had to take those really tough pictures, but I have had to talk to people in mourning, in pain, and I've had to defend why me asking and why I'm there. Not always easy.

    On my own with a camera and a notepad I feel really exposed, but I also feel protected in my role as a journalist. I didn't start taking pictures aesthetically, but journalisticly. I have always had to tell a story with my pictures. That has made a huge difference in my growth as both a photographer and photo journalist.


You're comments keep me going. Keep them coming.

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