Home Writers Photojournalism and Plataforma: an essential dialogue

Photojournalism and Plataforma: an essential dialogue

Gonçalo Lobo Pinheiro*

The image is, per se and nowadays, half way to reach an end. In Plataforma, that end is the novelty, the fact, the news.

In Plataforma we do not neglect the image. That would never be possible in a multimedia project, where we highlight photography and video. And with the new website, the reader will understand this clearly.

As a photojournalist, I have the responsibility to ensure, at least, that the photographs chosen to be used in the news are, of course, of aesthetic quality, but above all informative in nature.

There has often been a clear disinvestment in good journalistic photography. With honorable exceptions, the majority of the press worldwide, whether on paper or online, mistreat journalistic photography. There is no clear and unambiguous bet on photojournalism. The photojournalist is almost always seen as the weakest link and I, disgustingly, do not understand this. Worse, I don’t accept it.

Too often the writer is given primacy, leaving the essential work of photojournalists and documentary photographers to the background, many of them – more and more – working on a freelance basis, and who knows what conditions. All for the best photography. All for the best story.

A little context. Press photography always has an autonomous structure. Or at least it should. Still, it is important to consider that photography – and in the particular case of photojournalism – is not isolated in the construction of the news that make up Plataforma. In fact, our photography is almost always surrounded by elements that end up helping or directing the understanding and reading of the image.

The photojournalist is almost always seen as the weakest link and I, disgustingly, do not understand this. Worse, I don’t accept it

The photographic image presents a first message, an immanent message, one that is registered in the image itself, when we look at it for the first time. It is what Roland Barthes called the obvious in his dissertations on photography and semiotics in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This obvious, for us, will always have to be clearly differentiating. It is important to consider that photojournalism has the human capacity to change our lives. It is a unique testimony, a mirror of reality and it cannot go astray.

Going back to the present. Plataforma makes a commitment to the reader. In fact, it assumes several. And it will stick to them. One of them is – and will be – showing the best photojournalistic images. Because yes. Because it is our obligation. We like the image. We create galleries, record videos, build multimedia.

It’s in our DNA and from that commitment, I don’t run away.

*Plataforma photojournalist and Portuguese editor

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