By SHAI FOX SAVARIAU
As time goes on, it is becoming evident that there is a decline in professional photojournalism. Even more recently, there has been a shift in the videographer field as well.
Because of technology and the rapid pace at which it is created, there are many more commonly named “citizen journalists.” These are people who capture newsworthy photos and/or videos on the street and send them to news organizations.
Another problem for photojournalists/videographers is that the people who are submitting images and videos don’t necessarily have the initiative to get paid. For any news company, this is a gold mine because, in contrast, a photojournalist would be paid for his or her services. So the potential of free services of these citizen journalists is highly desirable.
News organizations are not doing as well as they once did. Staffs are much smaller now and saving money is key for managers. Why hire a photojournalist when they can just get one of the reporters to take their own pictures or when they can get submissions from these citizen journalists?
This is a huge blow for someone like me because I am currently studying photojournalism. Recently, I discovered that my major has been taken out of my school and has been merged with the journalism major. This is so that writers and reporters will learn the craft as well. This drastic change is a reflection of how the business is changing and that the need for photojournalists is declining.
One of only things that can keep some of these citizen journalists from being too popular in the news industry is validity. How can a newspaper or news channel be completely certain that the submissions they are receiving are real? This is one of the reasons why I argue that there is still a need for photojournalists. I also argue that great feature photography is something that amateurs will never be able to recreate. A photojournalist is taught to have a certain eye for capturing images. It is a learned skill whereas citizen journalists may have just been at the right place at the right time.
Getting a job in the future is definitely going to be a challenge for people like me. The jobs in photojournalism may be dwindling but I feel that photojournalism will always be extremely important.