Special Issue CFP

Article Really Social Photojournalism call for papers on Instagram
©Erik Palmer

Really Social Photojournalism

Issue Editor: Erik Palmer, Southern Oregon University

As the disruption of traditional business models and practices of journalism plays out in 21st-century industrial societies, a paradox has taken shape around the theory, practice and discourse of photojournalism.

At one inflection point of the paradox, the professional craft of institutional photojournalism struggles to remain relevant in the face of ongoing technical and economic transformations: the digital revolution in photography, the emergence of citizen journalism, the audience’s turn to social media, and industry restructuring.

At another inflection point of the paradox, photojournalism seems to be an even more essential element of the diverse universe of content that we call journalism. Compelling visuals remain among the most potent means by which journalistic enterprises can engage their audiences, and among the most favored form of content shared by audiences via social media. Photojournalistic images powerfully engage news audiences, and some even have the potential to change the world.

This special issue of Visual Communication Quarterly is committed to exploring the landscape of photojournalism that is both REAL and SOCIAL. By Real, we mean photojournalism that fulfills the highest values of social responsibility entailed in the larger calling of journalism. By Social, we mean photojournalism that lives natively on social media, or which is designed with the expectation that most audiences will encounter it via social media platforms.

And by calling for photojournalism that is uncompromisingly Real and Social, we aspire to an agenda for research, criticism and strategy that pragmatically embraces the challenges raised by today’s technological, economic and social disruptions.

Expanding on a research session organized by the Visual Communication and Newspaper and Online News divisions at AEJMC’s 2016 national conference, this special issue welcomes submissions of both research articles and critical essays that can help move forward the conversation about the future of photojournalism for educators, practitioners and audiences.

What is Really Social Photojournalism? Where is Really Social Journalism? And what can we do to promote more Really Social Photojournalism in local, national and global news ecosystems?

We welcome submissions and proposals according to this timeline:

By April 1, 2017: Please submit 200-word abstracts/proposals via email to Erik Palmer.
May 1, 2017: Notification of accepted articles and essays.
August 1, 2017: Submission deadlines for accepted articles/essays and accompanying visuals.
Nov/Dec 2017: Publication date in VCQ.