And now Instagram


General Photography

A while ago, there was general hand-wringing about photojournalists using the Hipstamatic app, now there’s a debate about Instagram. I personally couldn’t care less about any of that stuff, because it omits all kinds of more important problems the news media have to struggle with these days. That said, most people would probably vehemently oppose manipulation of news images. So how then does that not apply when we’re talking about Hipstamatic or Instagram images? To give just one example, you can’t make a big fuss about how photographers are not allowed to manipulate their images (“Images in our pages, in the paper or on the Web, that purport to depict reality must be genuine in every way.” - my emphasis) and then happily use Hipstamatic images as if there was no problem. The same applies for Instagram images. You either allow image manipulation, or you don’t. You can’t have it both ways. Of course, this all points to the underlying problem here, which I’ve addressed ad nauseam before: Instead of talking about what images look like, in a news context we should really be talking about how images are used and what they say (and don’t say).