How are photographs important to newspaper and television?

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Photojournalism plays a prominent role in disseminating both information and misinformation nowadays. Photographs can also arouse emotion much more quickly than the written word.

For one thing, a photograph of a crucial or significant moment can "say" more than a long article and, also, convey much more emotion. The capture on film of a candid expression on the face of a prominent businessman or on that of a political, famous, or controversial person is sometimes very powerful in its influence on public opinion. Unfortunately, the camera can also distort reality at times. For instance, a small crowd can seem larger than what it is if the photograph or camera shot is taken so that it excludes the surrounding area which provides perspective. 

The expression that "a picture is worth a thousand words" has sometimes been distorted nowadays by altered photography. In an article entitled "Staging, Manipulation, and Truth in Photography," printed in The New York Times (October 16, 2015), a report was made on a survey given to photographers who entered a photojournalism contest. The sixty-three question online survey was completed by 1,549 of 5,5158 entrants. Nearly ten percent of those surveyed were from North America.

One of the most disturbing findings was that more than half of the news photographers who replied said they sometimes staged photos — with 12 percent saying they did so at least half the time. All of the major wire services and newspapers in the United States forbid staging news photos. (New York Times)

As a consequence of the manipulation of cameras, viewers of news often do not know what is real and what is "staged." Therefore, while pictures retain their prominence in the news, the public cannot always trust in photography as a neutral medium.

boryung | Student

The saying "one picture is worth a thousand words" demonstrates the importance of pictures and the information that they can convey. Written and spoken words are essential for communication, but sometimes, pictures can make a point even more powerfully. Newspapers and television stations that are trying to report news can make good use of pictures to show what is going on in the world.

Pictures of the World Trade Center collapsing in 2001, for example, showed the world what had happened on September 11 more powerfully than words ever could. The many pictures that television and newspapers showed their vast audiences helped to raise sympathy for the victims of terrorism. The world was shocked and angered, realized what a threat terrorists are to the world, and rallied its forces to combat this new threat to world peace.

There is also the saying "I'll believe it if I see it." Studies prove that people tend to trust their eyes more than their other senses. One of the duties of newspapers and television news stations is to report the truth. Pictures can be used to back up statements of fact that people may doubt.  

phylis | Student

 Photographs are images of somebody,something or of a place.To begin,photographs important newspapers and television in that they help to bring out the subject matter and also to ease our understanding of the subject in question.It also enables us to actually visualise and see what is going on and it also helps us to write more if we were writting an essay.

   To conclude,if photograhs are abcent in televisions and newspapers,it makes it boring and less interesting.

arrellbelle | Student

Photographs, at the time, when they first started to appear because an essential part of newspapers and television because at first, people knew the news because they heard it by the television or read it on the newspaper and of course, that was all people had to go by. However, when photographs started to appear, it became a source of evidence for people to understand and not question whatever they heard or read.