(Continued…) Many predicting the death of the newspaper are wrong.  It will not die.  It will change.  The newspaper will become something different, its content will not compete with the internet, but complement it.  It will be read differently, and it will not just be on your mobile phone.  It will be everywhere, and all sorts of media will continue to play a part.  Video has many limitations, not the least of which is that it has to be seen end to end and anything longer than a minute or two is taxing and difficult to concentrate on on a tiny hand held device.

So there are a lot of issues and obstacles even in the new world.  Books are still around because they are cheaper, easier to carry, easier to store, easier to retrieve and share than anything technology has offered so far.  I am willing to bet that the book will survive a long time.

The sky is not falling.  Its colors are changing.

i think people like Anderson complaining about lack of editorial opportunities or credibility of amateurs are missing the point.

We are indeed facing change, but it is also an opportunity.  However, to find the opportunity we have to stop repeating the cliches of the camera industry or video industry, or those selling video journalism workshops and all the rest interested in selling us new toys.  We have to start to recognize that the economics has changed, that the previous outlets that kept us satiated are no longer able to do so for financial reasons.  that new toys, new software, sound along with pictures, is not the essential answer.  That media storm does not know what the future is going to be, that just because you have video, audio and text will not really make you a star.  Those who are doing better today are the ones who were doing better in the past anyways.  assuming a greater creative and editorial and also cost burden may make it interesting for a magazine/newspaper occasionally, but its an unsustainable model.  media storm stories cost a lot of money, and use a lot of resources, and take a long time to produce.

In the end, it is the big boys of news that will continue to thrive here.  And if you want to play with them, then you will have to fit into their structure somehow.

This piece sees photojournalism as an autonomous craft.  It is not.  It was from its birth intimately tied to the economics of publications.  When photographers challenged these they were left to starve.  Look at Eugene Smith’s career.  Now, finally, we are able to liberate ourselves from this stiffing, suffocating environment.  Now, finally, photojournalists can free themselves to be something beyond mere picture takers for ready-made stories or hacked together propaganda.  Its a brave new world complete with uncertainty and possibilities.

I say this as I sit here and stare into the void – confident that I have strong new ideas, scared that no one will value them, determined that i have no choice but to step into the void itself.  Your second reference about ‘tenacity’ was right on the mark.  Like any field where you pursue a passion a love and a need to be free of the machinery of the capitalist, you must be prepared to pay a heavy price.  Our societies do not value those who do not serve the interests of others, but merely their own whims, curiousities, loves and fears.

By the way, in conclusion; i am wrong in all that i say!

We are all wrong.  We cannot predict what will happen tomorrow.  We can only look at the facts in our face.  I am wrong.  I will be proven wrong and that is just fine.  What i am not prepared to do is to accept the incomplete justifications for known realities.  It is too easy and too unthinking.  Simply telling me that photojournalism is dead, long live citizen journalism, is nonsense.  There is no such thing as citizen journalism.  Citizens are not journalists – it denigrates the works of real journalists.  Citizens can only be bystanders, or witnesses to random events.  They cannot analyze, help us understand, nor can they be expected to follow up and follow through.  They cannot and will not investigate, pursue, search, question and create a context.

phew, and a good morning to you all!

asim