Whose Pictures, Whose Reality? Lines of Tradition in the Development of Topics, Negativity, and Power in the Photojournalistic Competition World Press Photo

Alexander Godulla, Daniel Seibert, Rosanna Planer
2021 Journalism and Media  
Initially founded in 1955 as a platform for Dutch photojournalists to increase international exposure, the World Press Photo competition has grown into the most prestigious contest of photojournalism worldwide, making it an important arena for journalism research. Using qualitative and quantitative content analyses, this study examines all photos shown in the competitions from 1960 to 2020 (N = 11,789) considering the origin of jury members (N = 686), participants (N = 132,800), placements (N =
more » ... 2347) and the Human Development Index (HDI) of the countries. The topics displayed on the photos, their degree of negativity, and potential power structures in the photos are analysed over time both in terms of continental and HDI-related differences. Significant results show that Africa, Asia, and South America are more frequently depicted by the topic conflict and characterised by negative images than continents with industrialised nations (Australia/Oceania, Europe, North America). Participating European countries have a significantly higher average number of jury members, participants, and placements than participating countries from Africa, Asia, and South America, which seems to account for a dominant Eurocentric view. Implications and critical discussions are summarized in three interim conclusions at the end of this extended paper.
doi:10.3390/journalmedia2040045 fatcat:nnqhov5frjhhhp4suvv7u5ohfa