Narrative: The image adds to the clarity of events when combined with other stories and news elements and gives an insight to the person who is reading through or glancing at the pictures. Important war zones of the US such as Vietnam was an example of how photojournalists could influence public opinion.
There are certain marked characteristics that distinguish photojournalists from other photographers. One of the most important distinguishing factors is their capability to make instant decisions. They are always on the move and carry all their heavy equipment with them all the while. They are alert and think with the tip of their fingers as to which frame in time has to be preserved for posterity and for the world to see. They face the same risk and dangers as any serious journalist such as when at the war front or in the middle of a rioting crowd. They also lack the option to wait and watch for the worst to pass since they have to throw themselves in to the middle of the action if they are to make any good pictures. In fact, they take more risks and face far more dangerous situations that a conventional journalist.
As a descriptive term, photojournalism refers to the genre of photography that bears the distinct characteristics of that produced by photojournalists. A large number of commercial and fashion photographers today prefer to adapt this style into their works. Photojournalistic style has been widely accepted as the standard format in fashion photography as well as in event coverage such as marriages and child ceremonies. Commercial photography is keenly taking on the garbs of photojournalistic style to bring in more room for innovation as well as to increase public appeal for their works.
The term photojournalism was coined by none other than the famed professor of communication studies, Cliff Edom (1907-1991), who taught at the University of Missouri School of Journalism for 29 years. He is credited with the first establishment of a professional programme for photojournalism in 1946. The practice of printing press and the growth of print journalism and the print media brought to focus the importance of the media and role of photography in media. Since written language could be manipulated to any extent whereas a photograph could not, it added to the weightage of the newly introduced genre of photography. Early news photographs required the pictures to be reconstructed by an engraver before it could be published. The battlefield pictures captured by the famous reporters such as William Simpson of the Illustrated London News and Roger Fenton had to be published as engravings.
The public craved for more realistic representations of the pictures that go along with the news stories. Most newspaper companies were looking for trained photographers to be put to cover the wars and thereby report from the front, giving a new dimension to public imagination. There