For years, the refrain was everyone’s a critic. Then, thanks to the Web, everyone became a journalist. Now, arguably, the latest variation is everyone’s a photojournalist.
This does not sit well with Nick Stern, a Los Angeles photojournalist with years of experience and many stamps in his passports to prove it. Via CNN.com Op Ed, he argues that new Smartphone Apps are helping devalue his time-honored profession:
Every time a news organization uses a Hipstamatic or Instagram-style picture in a news report, they are cheating us all. It’s not the photographer who has communicated the emotion into the images. It’s not the pain, the suffering or the horror that is showing through. It’s the work of an app designer in Palo Alto who decided that a nice shallow focus and dark faded border would bring out the best in the image.
Note that Stern is not disputing the public’s right to photo-file so much as the relative loss of picture quality when such images are sourced by the media. On his website, he details the elaborate photo kit he generally uses.