Creative Commons License
This work by Coulter Loeb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Full images and permissions beyond the scope of this license are available by contacting

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The role of the Photojournalist

(Exert from a letter to a mentor)

"I certainly agree that, photographically, the subject of “the protest” has run its course. There are only so many pictures that can be obtained from any set of criteria. Especially with Occupy DC, where for me the overall feel of every action has come to be similar - the unique details are what must be hunted down and captured in order to present a unique photograph.

But is it not the duty of the journalist to keep an eye on the state, and report back to the public how the state interacts with it’s citizenry? With anti-protest legislation like HR 347 it is on the riot-lines of this country that our civil liberties are eroding. In an era of militarized police and the constriction of our civil liberties I would argue it is even more important that professional journalists are consistently at the scene of political protests and for them to enact the watchdog function of the 4th estate. This is for the sake of business, this is for the sake of democracy. Police, as agents of the state, behave themselves when there are lenses around, and to this end I have dedicated the vast majority of the past 6 months.

I certainly acknowledge that with my perspectives on the role of the American 4th estate that my photographs will carry a specific type of bias, but I find this bias to be far more appealing than the bias introduced when the journalist should have to cater their work to the perpetuation of their media outlet’s business. I find focusing on the stories that get you and your organization paid to be inherently unethical, as those are the stories that benefit no one but yourself. I recognize this condemns me to financial misery, but money cant buy me love. And that, the unfortunate inverse I have come to know all too well, love can't buy me equipment :/.

Plain clothes officers from the DC Metropolitan Police department block IMF protesters entrance to the One Washington Circle hotel when the protesters attempt to bring their messages to IMF delegates in their hotel rooms.

No comments:

Post a Comment