Published April 5, 2011
The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting was featured in an Atlantic article on new media and photojournalism. The article poses the question: what happens to the traditional photojournalist in the new media landscape?
"It could be a really negative thing," said Pulitzer Center Managing Director Nathalie Applewhite. "News agencies are often happy with random snapshots from Egypt and they don't necessarily need professional, thoughtful content all the time." Quality photojournalism creates images that stand the test of time. "Snapshots and photos taken by camera phones are not things we can come back to learn from and understand something deeper. Images from Haiti and the Congo, these images are telling a much bigger story than what's in front of them that moment."
The Atlantic article cautions that the influx of new media content, the speed with which information is now transmitted, and the fact that anyone with a phone can take photos gives the verification and authentication process of images a renewed importance. Images can easily be manipulated, and false information easily disseminated, but new media tools can also keep audiences interested and engaged in stories dealing with systemic issues such as food insecurity or lack of water, and with crisis stories that quickly fade from the 24-hour news cycle.