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What is photojournalism?

This is a complex question and one that continues to present opportunities and challenges for practitioners. While we hear much about the decline of photojournalism, and there is undoubtedly a lack of financial security in the profession, there are new approaches that aim to invigorate the way we tell visual stories and to also increase equity in the field.

Recently, the Pulitzer Center in the US teamed with Diversify Photo to launch the Eyewitness Photojournalism grant for underrepresented stories and photojournalists. Women Photograph is an emerging global force that advocates for greater diversity in editorial commissions. Individual photojournalists are also finding different ways to push boundaries and engage with audiences. For instance, Robin Hammond is working with refugees in Europe, providing the means for refugees to tell their own stories with his project 1000 Dreams. Anastasia Taylor-Lind is using poetry to convey the ongoing impact of conflict. Everyday Climate Change (Instagram) has launched a series of video interviews with photojournalists from around the globe.

All these activities contribute to a greater understanding of the issues facing society, but they also present new avenues for photographers to directly communicate with audiences and find new ways to craft stories. It’s an exciting time for photojournalism. For those who are unafraid to challenge conventions, there are no limitations.  


Image: wirestock

About the author

Alison Stieven-Taylor is an international commentator, journalist and scholar specialising in photography and specifically social documentary. Alison publishes Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up. The blog was started in 2012 as a means of exploring the changing face of global photojournalism in the wake of the impact of digital technologies. Subscribe to receive the weekly post by email or follow on  Facebook.


Robin Hammond
Anastasia Taylor-Lind


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Head On Photo Awards 2024

Entries to the Head On Photo Awards 2024 open in May/June.

Image detail: Gary Ramage