Powerful and often controversial, news pictures promise to make the world at once immediate and knowable. Yet while many great writers and thinkers have evaluated photographs of atrocity and crisis, few have sought to set these images in a broader context by defining the rich and diverse history of news pictures in their many forms.
For the first time, this volume defines what counts as a news picture, how pictures are selected and distributed, where they are seen and how we critique and value them. Presenting the best new thinking on this fascinating topic, this book considers the news picture over time, from the dawn of the illustrated press in the nineteenth century, through photojournalism’s heyday and the rise of broadcast news and newsreels in the twentieth century and into today’s digital platforms. It examines the many kinds of images: sport, fashion, society, celebrity, war, catastrophe and exoticism; and many mediums, including photography, painting, wood engraving, film and video.
Packed with the best research and full colour-illustrations throughout, this book will appeal to students and readers interested in how news and history are key sources of our rich visual culture.
"These 49 essays are far-ranging and cogent, and shed new and needed light on the visual culture of the news. The essays address topics as varied as technology, style, fashion as news, veracity, the myth of the decisive moment, censorship, and photojournalism as art. Mostly, this work is not about the specific, and sometimes iconic, photographs cited but instead uses the pictures to illustrate larger cultural and professional issues. In ""Street Execution of a Viet Cong Prisoner, Saigon, 1968,"" Robert Hariman and John Louis Locates supply needed background information on Eddie Adams's photograph, but more importantly argue that ""the significance of 'Saigon Execution' was not that it represented or misrepresented an execution but that it embodied the moral ambiguity of violence that characterized US involvement in the Vietnam War. Its continued circulation suggests that in more ways than one, the war is not over."" Regarding celebrity, Ryan Linkof makes the case that ""photojournalism plays an inseparable role in making celebrities, but also works to drag them into a court of public opinion; it is at once a condition of celebrity and a consequence of it."" This book is an important and timely addition to the literature of visual media. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readership levels."
--C. Baker, Baylor University, USA, CHOICE
"An immensely rich collection of essays that will change the way that we understand and study the visual culture of the news."
--Lynda Nead, Birkbeck University of London, UK
"The representation of the news in pictures has a complex history that extends from early print-making through the industrial revolution to the contemporary digital device. It is amazing that this is the first book to attempt an in-depth account of this history, which is not just about images, but about editorial practices, technologies, censorship, authenticity, and styles of seeing and showing. Assembling a team of experts on everything from lithography to the laptop, the editors have created an essential scholarly compendium that will have a major impact on the general study of media and visual culture, as well as the specific fields of photography and art history."
--W. J. T. Mitchell, The University of Chicago, USA
"Getting the Picture is a fresh examination of the visual media that bring us the news. Its editors and contributors excel at drawing attention to moments of modernity captured, interpreted, disseminated and undergirded by the visual practices of the popular press. Historically grounded, theoretically informed, stylistically elegant and interpretively challenging, this anthology is an excellent foundational text."
--Laura Wexler, Yale University, USA