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Photography’s role in Media!

Jacob Cockle , Jan 24, 2009; 01:28 p.m.

Hi Al, Im wirting part of my dissertation on Photography's role in media. Throughout time humankind has been fascinated by imagery. It is printed in are genes, and primal instincts to relate to images, maybe this is one of the reasons why we feel comfortable in believing that photos tell the truth. Images have been used from the drowns of time, just look at Cave Paintings and Leonardo da Vinci’s “The last supper” for example. Images can have a huge impact on our culture. Both these images share information describing a scene to the viewer. Since the advent of the photographic image, the media has picked up on this. And have used photos heavily to tell stories to the viewer with out them having to read the text.

Can you please give me you views and thoughts on the relationship between photography and the media? also free to make any relevant points which will help or guide me in this investigation.
many thanks, Jacob

Responses

Dave S , Jan 24, 2009; 02:28 p.m.

Jacob, just wondering, what degree and at what institution?

Phylo Dayrin , Jan 24, 2009; 02:53 p.m.

"also free to make any relevant points which will help or guide me in this investigation."

I would think a relevant point to make before trying to answer the question is that photography doesn't have a role in the media, not in it. Photography, still or moving, is the media or it has become it and asking photography's role in the media is almost like asking the minds role in the brain.

Steve Swinehart , Jan 24, 2009; 03:10 p.m.

like asking the minds role in the brain.

Now, there's an interesting question.

we feel comfortable in believing that photos tell the truth

I don't know who "we" may be...but I've never believed photos tell the truth if they're being made by human beings ....as most people have "personal filters" (opinions) that distort reality to their own perceptions just a surely as a black hole distorts space and time.

But, as was pointed out previously - photography is a media in-and-of itself. If you're asking "How has the print or broadcast media used photography," or, "How has photography been used in conjunction with other media for xxxxx (name your purpose here)," - those are whole different questions.

To generally answer your question. Both print and broadcast media (today) use whatever photographic content will support their agenda; as the print and broadcast media are no longer content to present unbiased reporting; and instead, feel it is their duty shape opinion by presenting only the information that supports their undeclared agendas.

Jacob Cockle , Jan 24, 2009; 06:12 p.m.

Ok first off I will say sorry for any bad grammar or spelling, Im extremely dyslexic so expressing myself in writing form has never been easy for me.

Dave I am studying FDA Action Photography at Truro Collage, Cornwall

Steve thank you for pointing out the mistake I made, I did mean to ask "How has the print or broadcast media used photography,"? and by "we" I mean humankind. when you see a photo your 1st instincts are to believe that what you are seeing has happen.

The question I have asked is some thing that has been playing around in my brain for a few weeks now, and is in no what the theme for my dissertation just something I'm interested in and feel I could benefit for studying as I do a lot of editorial and one day I wish to make my own magazine.

Jacob Cockle , Jan 24, 2009; 08:13 p.m.

Phylo such a good point, It has become media.

Eric A , Jan 24, 2009; 11:18 p.m.

Both print and broadcast media (today) use whatever photographic content will support their agenda; as the print and broadcast media are no longer content to present unbiased reporting; and instead, feel it is their duty shape opinion by presenting only the information that supports their undeclared agendas.

Well, if that isn't a bias opinion. I can tell you from first hand, daily experience that the only agenda that the newspaper I work for has is to keep printing. Readers are always reading into anything printed their own prejudices and biases. But there is little we can do to prevent that. Someone who has left leaning political views will see a vast right-wing conspiracy, and someone who has right-wing political views will see a vast left-wing conspiracy. This us versus them perception is more a measure of the readers own affiliations, and in some cases afflictions, than any substantive reality. There are exceptions but they are just that.

Now to Jacob's question. That's a pretty difficult question to answer briefly, but I'll give it a shot. I'm going to stick with print media (specifically newspapers) since that's my field and I'm not qualified to answer question relating to broadcast media.

Photography is to media as a stage is to Shakespeare. Sure, Hamlet can be a good read all by itself, but put it on a stage and its power to touch people expand exponentially. The same is true for photography and media. Take any story and it may tell you who was killed, when they were killed and offer some quotes. But add a photo of the grieving parent, with tears rolling down there cheeks and you change the dynamic of that story. It suddenly has a lot much more oomph. A story about a team winning a championship becomes more satisfactory with an accompanying photo of said team celebrating. You get my drift.

Next is adding faces to a name. While not necessarily new, photography certainly expanded newspapers ability to show "People". Think of all the mug shots and portraits of people (sports figures, politicians, celebrates and just normal fold) that you see in any given publication. Putting faces to names makes a story more relevant to the reader, it allows the reader to make judgments about the person in the photo. And that passing of judgment is vital to maintaining the readers interest.

Then there is the simple record of the moment. Certain images stand out as summations of an event. Examples are too numerous to cite, but suffice to say that that's something that photography in newspapers do very well. Certain images will stay in your head long after the event had passed.

Jacob Cockle , Jan 27, 2009; 08:35 a.m.

Eric exerlant answer, you have a poetic way whit words. " Photography is to media as a stage is to Shakespeare"
The next thing I'm inquireing about is.
The evolution of the medion of photography in the media...
If anybody could help me out in anyway. It would be greatly appreciated
Thanks,
Jacob

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