What do newspapers lose when they use non-professional photography?


Times have been tough for journalists recently, and even tougher for photojournalists and some newsrooms have had to lay off their entire photojournalism staff. 

Publishers may see that photojournalism can be replaced with smart phones and video technology, but new research suggests this is not the case.

Researchers compared non-professional photos placed in newspapers to professional photos to see how readers would respond. They also categorized photos based on if they provided information to the reader or tapped into their emotions. 

The study found that professional photos were more emotionally and graphically appealing to readers than non-professional ones. They were also more likely to depict action and conflict, qualities that increase audience attention. The research concluded differences between professional and non-professional photos exist. 

This is good news for photojournalists because it means their work matters and impacts how readers perceive content. When photojournalists are the first to go, the newspaper is eliminating a compelling component of itself.

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