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02/28/2002 Entry: "Photojournalism is Vital, Damn It."

I've heard a lot of photojournalists speak to the fact that they don't have a say in how news is covered. This article questions why this is so, and I think it is excellent for its attempt to question that power balance- as photographers are considered 2nd class citizens within the newspaper industry.

Fortunately enough, my own experiences with shooting for newspapers have been unlike those mentioned in the article. At a local non-profit paper that I shoot for every month, the power of photography is clearly appreciated, and attempts are made to have as much photography in it as possible. One of the main reasons for this is the nature of the paper- it is sold by homeless vendors who spend hours in front of bookstores, grocery stores, and other places with heavy foot traffic trying to sell this paper to people who walk by. People will often give the paper no more than a glance as they walk by, and studies have always shown that people are much more likely to focus on pictures than text, so it is that cover picture that can make the sale. Why that point doesn't resonate with newspaper editors is beyond me.

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