Can Photojournalism Change Our Biases?

Overview

In an exploration of photojournalism, visual storytelling, and how it can potentially reshape our understanding of certain groups of people it offers insights which can potentially change our biases. I intend to introduce various types of images from the blog Humans of New York that can elaborate on how photojournalism presents an opportunity to change our biases beyond online mediums. Throughout this experiment, I will engage with images on a superficial sense, and on a practical level where I can probe certain visual literacies of an image within the context of Humans of New York.

Problem

Since the emergence of new media sites, it has given birth to various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram which has offered individuals a way to express themselves in unique discourse communities than before. In doing so, many individuals use photos with or without content as a way of to give a voice to voiceless individuals. Does photojournalism paint a fair picture of our culture today? Specifically, can photojournalism reshape our understanding of certain types of people and offer insight, which can possibly change our biases?

Solution

Over the span of all of our lives we have digested millions of images. Many of these images has shaped how we perceive the world and it has been reinforced by mass media. My contention is that photojournalism offers individuals a chance to offer new understandings of certain kinds of people and perhaps in doing so we can end our biases about certain groups of people. For this project, I will examine the blog Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton, a blog that shares stories while offering a new light on photojournalism and cultivating a new type of visual experience. I will view 1,000 of out 3,530 photos and explore 3-5 that I find visually captivating and content that sheds light on the individual in an effort to chart how I am transformed through this experience. 

Deliverables

  1. To create a comparative analysis which I write about my emotion about a certain image and then write about my emotions are reading the content of the image and write about the emotions I feel after the image. This will be executed by leaving a comment on Instagram/Facebook below the image.
  2. A PowerPoint/Prezi presentation with images that carefully assess each photos for the overall image, the image point of view, the quality of the image, the subject matter of the image (if there is any) whether it is environmental, controversial, or presents a challenge to ethical values.
  3. A blog post to my personal blog Black Attire Aficionado that I can reflect on the success, emotions, and revelations of how I was affected by the images and contents of the Human of New York and if I was changed by the visual storytelling. (Hyperlinks to ePortfolio, to Black Attire Aficionado, and to OpenLab)
  4. Create a image that mirrors Human of New York and tracks its success on Instagram and Facebook. (Use hashtags on Instagram and Facebook)

Objectives

The visual language/ visual rhetoric, multimedia storytelling, and how our cultural beliefs leads to misinterpretation of an image has affected how we quantify ourselves and the people around us.

Questions to Probe

  1. How does cultural beliefs affect visual storytelling?
  2. Can an image stand without content?
  3. What factors play a part in interpretation?
  4. How does culture affect the way we interrupt an image?
  5. Why does culture affect the way we interrupt an image?
  6. Can we un-train our eyes?

Goals

To successfully chart my discoveries and offer insight on how we shine a new light on the ways in which photojournalism plays role in how interpret images and perhaps how we can begin to un-train our eyes.

Timeline

11/12 View 100-500 photos

11/15 View 100-500 photos

11/18 Narrow down on 3-5 photos

TBD

 

Methodology

TBD

 

Sources (subject to change)

Humans of New York

Photojournalism 

The Importance of Storytelling 

Visual Narratives 

Forbes 

Photojournalism and Rhetoric

One thought on “Can Photojournalism Change Our Biases?

  1. Jodie, as we discussed, this focus on visual rhetoric and interpretation is quite interesting, but even with this revised sense, there is still some clarification necessary if this is to move forward. Is it necessary for you to sort through 1000 photos for this project? Is it useful for you to only focus on this one particular site (Humans of New York)? How will this project (which is, in your own words, focused primarily on your emotion) going to help you and your audience understand this in the context of new media composing?

    Additionally, the timeline & methodology for this project needs to be fleshed out, to get a sense of how it will unfold throughout the rest of the semester. What will happen after you view all this images (timeline)? How will this move beyond person reflection / introspection / emotions (#1)? Is the presentation (#2) the required presentation for this project (worth 10%), or something different? Why are you posting to your own personal site rather than your ePortfolio, where the content needs to be housed for this assignment (#3)? How will the image you create be tracked (#4)? Will you be just taking a photo or creating or remixing an image using various software (e.g., Photoshop)? Please revise.

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