Review on the Ethics and Aesthetics of Photojournalism

In her essay, Marina Smolens considers the ethics of photojournalism by analyzing and comparing photojournalism to photographic art and contrasts the elements of editing used in both types. She attempts to answer the question, “When do these images become exploitive, and is there really a difference between photojournalism and art?” She generally does a good job of providing evidence and backing up her arguments although there are times when her position on the question seems slightly unclear.

She analyzes photographs from Sebastiao Salgado and Paolo Pellegrin to support her argument, who both use editing and the addition of artistic elements to their photos to leave a deeper impact on the viewers. Smolens’ also quotes reputable sources on photography, specifically photojournalism, such as the National Press Photographers Association and their Code of Ethics, author of “Photojournalism” David Finkelstein, The New York Times, and more. She bases most of her evidence off of the Code of Ethics. Her strong use of examples makes her essay a success.


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