The cycle of life is such that everything must grow or die – professions like photography are no different.
Photojournalism is at an interesting cross-roads right now. Demand for traditional media is decreasing yet the number of photographers is multiplying. This has been catalysed by digital cameras which mean that the cost of learning to photograph has plummeted making the craft accessible to many, rather than an elite few.
Most photojournalists have yet to completely embrace the infinite nature of new media. The web gives us the space within which to publish our photos and bloggers in other realms such as fashion (think The Sartorialist) and interiors (think The Selby) have helped us move beyond the limitations of pages or columns.
These trailblazers have led us to demand more from media - demands that online multi-media can meet. Some media outlets, like the BBC World, are moving with the times. They include space for submissions from amateur photographers. Others, like Intelligent Life, don’t have photographers on staff but only publish commissions or submissions.
Who we are shapes our experience and what we see. In many developing countries, the spaces that men and women inhabit are segregated so, to get a holistic view of a story, you need the perspective of both men and women. I was excited to see a project by the Global Press Institute that aims to train female photojournalists in developing countries to cover news. As the founder of GPI, Cristi Hegranes, states in her blog, "In the developing world, where few women are photographers, our new photojournalism training program is ... yielding some extraordinary images and elevating the quality of our news coverage." Over the last 7 years GPI has employed 133 women in 26 developing countries to be journalists and they want to train another 30.
Introducing more women into the field, especially in developing countries will give readers everywhere a more co. Who knows, maybe we will start to see more stories about education, healthcare and gender-based violence.
No doubt it will take many more than 163 journalists to reshape the news and pictures that we see but it's a start.