The Ethics and Aesthetics of Photojournalism Short Analysis

In Marina Smolens’ The Ethics and Aesthetics of Photojournalism, the aspect of photojournalism as art is heavily implied as to the main thesis throughout. Smolens’ argues that the “line between photojournalism and photographic art is sometimes hard to locate” and is able to prove this with evidence throughout the history of the topic at hand.

She gathers countless information, such as quotes from photojournalists and pictures that can be considered art, to start piecing together a definitive answer to her query. From journalists at the New York Times to the photographers who took the pictures themselves, Smolens’ deciphers how ethical of a decision it is to choose which photos are proper to show the public. One point she brings forth to the audience is how “a huge motivation for producing photographs is to initiate conversation, and if not conversation, at least spark compassion.” This helps strengthen her argument towards the influence that photography has had thus far and sets up for her next example as to its reputation.

Overall, this essay on The Ethics and Aesthetics of Photojournalism was able to do its job by analyzing how much significance the reader has in the photograph. One thing that was made clear constantly throughout this was that photography needs both the ethics of the photographer and the ethics of the viewer to line up so that the photo can be deemed appropriate.


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