18 Jan 2014

After a workshop with teenagers - some fresh thoughts

I have just finished a workshop about basics of photojournalism, news and reportage photography.
The audience were Polish teenagers (between 11 and 15 years) that had made a mini-reportage about their school, discussed the quality of their work and got some information about most important aspects of photojournalism: what are the rules the photo journalists must obey, what are the most important attributes of this kind of photography.
Looking at the age of the audience one can say that it is a "Facebook" or in general "Digital media" generation - surrounded by digital pictures all the time. There are different opinions about this phenomenon, but quite often people argue that it leads to the "photographic analfabetism" - young people cannot read the pictures anymore.
To be honest, I was also curious whether the group would be able to distinguish the vital aspects of the news and reportage photography.
To my surprise, they knew (or felt the importance of) quite a lot of issues of the contemporary photojournalism. For example they knew very well what the "photo setup" means (in contrary to the natural scene), they realized the importance of privacy. They knew about digital image manipulation and where it is applied mostly.
I see it as a positive side of the overall presence of digital media. Somehow together with it there is probably also emerging self-consciousness of the young consumers who are able to sort out what is real and what not and when is it ok or not.