Stuart Franklin is an award-winning photographer and a former president of Magnum Photos. Below, he shares his views on the quality of the shots entered into this year’s contest and the state of photojournalism.
It’s impossible to pick an overall winning image
“If I look at the rump submission of 85,000 pictures, a few immediately floated to the top. When the entries got distilled down to the last few there was some fabulous work.”
Our industry needs investment
“I’ve learned quite a lot about the skeletal state of the industry, especially the photojournalism side. It suffers from bifurcation ‒ you’ve got a few peachy assignments done by a few celebrated photographers while the rest of the industry is poorly supported, particularly where detailed or longer-term reporting is concerned. I thought there was much more investment in the industry than there is.”
Photojournalists need to work harder to make us feel something
“One of the things that is generally lacking from the reporting of global events is personal depth. Look at all the work coming from Mosul, for instance. We don’t know who anybody is. And if we don’t understand who these people are, how can we be empathetic towards them?”
If you’re a young photographer, don’t follow the crowd...
“Photojournalism needs to go beyond the pure illustration of text. I recommend that young people don’t follow the crowd. As I mentioned above, they should tell stories from the front line that genuinely get beneath the skin of the people in their images, otherwise we will end up with a one-dimensional genre.”