The difficulties photojournalists face – journalist Russell Boyce shares his experience

Today, with all the technological advancements , it has become more challenging for photojournalists to survive in the media industry

Photojournalist Russell Boyce has worked for Reuters for more than 20 years and says that social media and live streaming are the competitors that journalists face. 

In a recent talk to aspiring journalists at  London South Bank University,  he described the main difficulties that he and his colleagues have to cope with on the daily basis.

One of the main issues he identifies is that of time. 

He asks: ”Why would people pay photographers to see what they have already seen online ?”.

This is one of the main principals in the job, he explains  – if you are the first one to get the exclusive photographs of the event – then you are the first one to deliver them to the client – thus you win , and you get paid for the shot. As we say – Time is of the essence .

“At the end of the day , it’s about making revenue, ” he continued – without the money you won’t be able to travel and afford the apparatus needed for the job.

One example Russell gave was about the exclusive photographs of the pope arriving into the airport for an important event . Lots of agencies gathered in the place in order to take the photographs. Some were early , whereas others were half an hour late , and Boyce says , ”They were not even in the game”

Another obstacle that Russell faces all the time is copyright .

”Life is getting more and more complicated , as we have to get copyright for graffity ” – he gasps. Some people even have a tendency of ‘stealing ‘the photographs and taking credit to themselves – that’s why having a small watermark on your work  helps.

Photojournalists are exposed to devastating content now and then , and many are interested how journalists cope with such pressure .

Boyce says that eventually people become desensitised and must have a break from that specific job . As he says , on one occasion a journalist wanted to publish a photograph where a man’s head was blown off – which was extremely devastating and inappropriate for publishing. The problem was that the guy saw saw shots like this every day , and had lost a clear judgment. Boyce aknowledges that many suffer trauma as they are are being exposed to a lot of such images– and says that there are helplines that workers are able to call , and have an expert to help them out.

Russell Boyce’s Twitter account : @cropperboyce

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