Pictorial Photojournalism: News Value Merging with Art

I was browsing through recent photojournalism contests and came upon the “Eyes of History” 2010 contest hosted by the White House News Photographers Association. With categories from portrait to sports action to politics picture stories, I had of genius work to mull over.

However, the category that really caught my attention was the pictorial category. The contest defines entrants of this category as photographs “that exploit the graphic or aesthetic qualities of the subject with emphasis on composition.”

When looking at this photographs, I was struck both by their ability to convey newsworthy information as well as their undeniable aesthetic appeal. These would be pieces I would consider stand-alone art, and all of the winners and runners up could no doubt double as abstract pieces in a fine arts gallery. Interesting enough, all the photographs displayed in this category, except for the first place entrant, came from the Washington Post or NPR. This surprised me as I did not previously consider NPR to be an organization that put a lot of emphasis on photojournalism, let alone photojournalism that straddles the fine line between news and art.

I love these photos for their ability to unite two things that I am increasingly seeing go hand in hand– art and journalism.

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