Things As They Are by Mary Panzer

Things As They ArePhotojournalism In Context Since 1955, a large format photo book, was published in 2005, commemorating the 50th anniversary of World Press Photo.  I think Mary Panzer’s introductory essay is great.

Her essay ends with a remarkable statement about inevitable shifts in photojournalism, just as the ubiquitous nature of cell phone cameras had arrived as a new and viable way to produce photos and provide information… but before some of the huge social media platforms launched, including twitter and instagram.

Excerpt from Things As They ArePhotojournalism In Context Since 1955 by Mary Panzer, published 2005

“The borderless media world, with its promiscuous appropriation of images, has forced journalists to reexamine the relationships between authors, publishers and readers.  The publications of the future promise entirely new forms of communication – as different from our present magazines as Vu and the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung were from their predecessors. In the 1930s, a great transformation in communication came about in part because  rogue photographers like Erich Salomon used new cameras to make picture that were inconceivable beforehand.  In the era of the internet and the camera-phone, photographers and editors are inventing new means to reveal things ast they are, and readers, photographers and publishers are forging new contracts.

The application of the term “photojournalism” to camera-phone pictures of the 2004 tsunami will be questioned by some, but as published in magazines or on the internet, our criteria for its use here are met. We are forced to conclude either that photojournalism is alive and well and in the process of a dynamic reinvention. Or that something els is emerging from its history to take its place – and which yet to be given a name.”


Suggested Reading-

Part I

Twitter launched in 2006,  a year after the publication of Panzer’s essay.  In 2013 there were over 200 million active twitter users, including mainstream media outlets and officical government accounts, including the United States, https://twitter.com/WhiteHouse

There’s still a lot of things to iron out… White House Official on National Security Is Fired After Twitter Posts Are Unmasked

Here’s tthe NYT twitter page description- “Where the conversation begins. Follow for breaking news, special reports, http://NYTimes.com  homepage links and RTs of our journalists.” 

Check out official statements from the Kremlin, via the “President of Russia” twitter feed.

– In 2010, Utah’s attorney general announced a pending execution using twitter as a platform.
No joke. Here is it:
Mark Shurtleff uses Twitter to announce a Utah execution, by firing squad

Part II

Instagram launched in 2010 … and as of September 2013, Instagram has over150 million active users.

Here’s a description of Instagram straight from wikipedia, “Instagram is an online photo-sharingvideo-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, apply digital filters to them, and share them on a variety of social networking services, such as FacebookTwitterTumblr and Flickr.”

Part III

57th World Press Photo Contest- 2014

Part IV (Full Digression)

coming soon, or maybe even having arrived without me knowing it… “Promotions will start to appear on the mobile application, which lets users share images from smartphones, in the next couple of months in the U.S., Facebook said in a blog post yesterday. Instagram will deliver a “small number” of pictures and videos from a handful of companies that users aren’t necessarily following.”  -Oct 4, 2013