A Faster Kind of Photojournalism?

Open access

Abstract

This article examines factors influencing the editorial processing of photographs, the impact of photojournalistic practices on those processes as well as perceptions of images. Perspectives on visual gatekeeping and the news value of photographs were applied to a newsroom and interview study with a specific focus on photographs for the main news section of a Swedish newspaper. Findings identified routines, publication formats and resources as key factors, with some challenges posed by mobile publication formats and a focus on routine news. Photo editors were found to have a key function asserting expertise in a shared and interactive process. Yet changing routines and a reduced visual expertise on weekends were found to result in some lower image quality. While the ‘observed moment’ appeared to remain a photojournalistic ideal among visual gatekeepers, there were divergent perceptions found of the current and future functions of the news photograph.

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