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Instragram’ing Sandy

As Gingras has said, the new digital era is inevitable for traditional media. But not to worry,  journalism foresees a bright future. As long if you’re working along with it. That is what Time Magazine has probably thought too. In their coverage of hurricane Sandy, the magazine the popular mobile app Instagram to cover breaking news with photographs (Forbes.com). While Instagram users already thought they were aspiring photographers, documenting their lunch and laying impressively a sepia filter over a picture of their newly bought lamp, now they have even more reasons to think so.

Time Magazine however did not think of blatantly following the trend of the wildly popular social media app, they simply embraced the benefits of social media. Reaching the audience as quickly as possible was their motive to use the app. It is fast and direct, however some purists photographers are not fond of the filters presented by Instagram. The filters are some sort of manipulation which is taboo in journalism ethics, where documenting the truth and nothing but the truth is prioritized.

The impressive photo-reportage was controlled by five professional photographers, with their mobile devices as their weapon. Editorial control was also lost within the reportage, but Time’s editor Kira Pollack makes sure to have picked the right photographers. Is it going against journalistic ethics? I believe not. Working with the newest trends and/or technologies is done when editors see benefits. On the spot reporting is what the people want, and photojournalism has now a role in it too, thanks to the mobile app. The filtering might dramatize or change the mood of pictures, but I don’t believe it does such harm. Pictures say more than a thousand words, and creating a feel to it might just compliment the situation.


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