Photography, especially in its journalistic form has both changed the news medium and been changed by it. Specifically by the ever changing technology related to how news and information get delivered to the reader and viewer.
While more than 150 years old and used to document the human condition since its inception, the golden age of photo-journalism was born in WWII and blossoms in the post war years until TV takes its toll in the 1970’s on the great weekly magazines like LIFE which were a major venues for great photojournalism.
To this day, the discussion of photography more often than not centers on changing technology. The changing hardware is one thing but changing technology, media business models and legal issues such as copyright in the digital age mean a continued loss of traditional business and display venues for photojournalists. The 70's and 80's saw the move by many seasoned photojournalists away from the news media with its limitations and into the corporate communications world and the art galleries where there was a new appreciation for the realistic and documentary aesthetic. Online new media is the next evolution for photojournalism. It is seen in the better media websites with presentations that combine text, audio, video and still images combined to form a new medium. The technology also allows photojournalism to move beyond the constraints and limitations of its traditional home in the news media. World renowned photojournalist, James Natchwey, has taken the use of digital media as a photojournalism tool to a new level this month with the release of his new project. When James Nachtwey was awarded the TED Prize in 2007, he was given $100,000 and one wish to change the world. This was his wish:
“I'm working on a story that the world needs to know about. I wish for you to help me break it in a way that provides spectacular proof of the power of news photography in the digital age,” said Mr. Nacthwey.
TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds.
James Nacthwey’s presentation can be viewed at http://www.xdrtb.org/index.php