The AG Journey: Picture of the future
I’m often asked about the future and relevance of…
As AG’s photo editor for the past ten years, I have witnessed enormous technological changes the digital age has brought to traditional magazines like the Australian Geographic journal.
I’m often asked about the future and relevance of professional photojournalism in an age when everyone with a digital camera and internet access can become a publisher, where seemingly limitless quantities of images are available at the click of a mouse and where digital image manipulation raises questions of truth and credibility.
At Australian Geographic, we are committed to producing original work of length and depth. We commission many smaller articles nowadays so that we can produce quality short articles for the front section of the magazine. We love sending Australia’s brightest and best writers and photographers out yonder on those big field assignments and major projects that might take two or more years to put together.
We never let go of the principle of putting time and money into unearthing untold stories, giving our talented contributors the opportunities to get out there and uncover them, then fulfilling our part of the process by giving the words and photos the room they deserve on the page so that our readers have something fresh and original to look forward to every quarter.
In 2009, there aren’t many other magazines around that still work in this way. It’s a fair question to ask if the photojournalist is at risk of becoming an endangered species – but I don’t believe so. The still photograph endures and when it’s the result of the skill and talent of the professional photojournalist; artistry, truth, journalistic instinct and courage, it still has the power to set the agenda, thrill, entertain, inform, shock, and influence opinion whether on the printed page or the screen.
Currently at Australian Geographic, we are excited about the opportunities that our bright, new website offers. The web provides us with unprecedented access to vast amounts of information and imagery, and we are discerning in what we want to look at. The web also gives us the opportunity for instant feedback and commentary.
From a photo point of view, our assignments produce hundreds and thousands of images of which only a small number are ever published. We look forward to bringing you many of those unseen images, and our next phase when you will be able to share your images with us.