George Rodger’s lessons for contemporary photojournalism


Looking back at the career of George Rodger, one of the four founders of Magnum Photos, allows us to understand the past and present challenges of photojournalism differently. The ‘golden age’ may have been very short and a poor model for the present.

Mythical power: Understanding photojournalism in the Vietnam War


Philip Jones Griffiths’ Vietnam Inc. is a masterpiece, a classic work of photojournalism in the Vietnam War. But it is often falsely claimed that the photographs in this book changed the course of world history. The latest iteration of this claim was a Magnum Photos tweet: Philip Jones Griffiths’ “Vietnam Inc.” was crucial in the … Continued

Agencies as publishers: a new approach to photojournalism


Should some photo agencies become publishers and broadcasters? Last week I concluded the post on the issue’s surrounding Magnum’s archive of Libyan Secret Service pictures with the view that agencies miss an opportunity when they don’t provide the most comprehensive context of their stories in conjunction with their images. The challenges of the media economy mean … Continued

The Libyan Secret Service Archive photographs: the importance of context


  Last week I asked Magnum Photos some questions about the Libyan Secret Service Archive Pictures on their site. I had been thinking about these images after conversations with Olivier Laurent of the British Journal of Photography about general issues arising from the use of found photographs. I recalled a Guardian report from earlier in the year reporting … Continued

Who’s afraid of home? Photojournalism’s foreign fixation


The US presidential election began this week. Although polling day is still 18 months away, yesterdays Republican candidates’ debate in New Hampshire marks the start of the race. As ever, the economy, jobs, healthcare and education will be key issues, with more people worried about these than war. In Britain, along with immigration and multiculturalism, the picture … Continued

Thinking Images v.8: Haiti’s eternal present


Thinking Images – an occasional series on some of the week’s visuals and the thoughts they prompt… Caption: Orich Florestal (left), 24 and Rosemond Altidon, 22, stand on the edge of their partially destroyed apartment of Port-au-Prince January 9, 2011. Photo: Allison Shelley/Reuters. One year ago this week a massive earthquake struck Haiti killing 230,000 people. Media … Continued