No slightly blurry, underexposed images. No, “look at me, I took these pictures with a broken down Holga standing on one foot” pictures. No, “I am so much more important than the story I am photographing” reportage. No, “look at my Lego skills dude”. Nope.

100 % pure photojournalism. This year World Press Awards are a photojournalism feast with a buffet of the highest quality. Sure, there are more independents than agency photographers ( who cares ?)  . Sure, little Getty images in favor of much more Panos ( I wouldn’t bury Getty just yet). Sure, much more color than Black and White. But that is irrelevant. The World Press Awards is not a crystal ball.

I would question the decision of using a portrait photograph as the number one winner. Not because the image is bad nor that the subject is not worthy. Not at all. I would question it for its potential consequences. Now, every photo reporter in shorts is going to think that the best way to cover a story is to take a bunch of people, stick them in front of a white wall and declare it photojournalism. This trend  is already plagging countries like France and this might make it more universal. Regardless, that should not be the jury’s problem.

I love the slap in the face given to AFP and Getty by attributing Daniel Morel Haiti’s images a well deserved award. I am sure they considered the little girl image as a first prize for a long time.

Not sure, finally, about the Google Street award. Isn’t that a funny subject for a magazine to put together but really not a World Press award contender? Furthermore, aren’t we fringing on copyright infringement here ? I suppose that was the World Press jury “social media” moment.

Now, if magazines ( especially in the US)  would only have the talent to publish more stories like these, the world would be a perfect place ( well, almost). If publishers worldwide would recognize how important these images are to their publications and pay a decent price for them, that would be heaven. Until then, we can hardly say that Photojournalism is dead ( or even dying for that matter). Congrats to all the winner and a double cheer to the talented jury.  ‘Nough said :

World Press 2011

Author: pmelcher

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