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Tagged: / Posted: 6 March 2008

I'm a little surprised there's no reference in the book to the decline in standards of photography within the news media. I started out in this profession back in the 1970's, with two basic manual SLR cameras, just four lenses and black and white film, yet through the subtlety of the photojournalistic approach, we successfully tackled real issues then. Even with the "red tops", if you got a good result from a news story, thay weren't afraid to use a picture big and bold across the page. Then sometime in the early 1980's, someone decided that the quest for Joan Collins' latest boyfriend was of international importance. At the same time the arrival on the scene of a certain blonde princess attracted the paparazzi like bees round a honeypot. It's been downhill photography-wise ever since. Several decades on, we are required to do little else but go charging around with eight frames-a-second digital cameras after so-called "celebrities" more famous for their drug habits than their talent. Thanks to weak picture desks the paparazzi have the tabloids in their back pocket. To actually suggest a bona fide picture feature without celebrity involvement, is to be thought of as being about as outmoded as the steam engine. And has all this celebrity worship provided a boost to the fortunes of newspapers?, not if the year on year circulation figures are anything to go by. In case editors hadn't noticed, they've been in decline now for some time. How far do things have to go before editors take notice? Or is the hoary old chestnut of having to go even more "downmarket" to improve circulation too ingrained ever to be eradicated? Pictureman

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