Raghu Rai bemoans dumbing down of photojournalism

Published: 11th January 2013 11:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th January 2013 11:41 AM   |  A+A-


 “Infotainment is a dangerous word. Whoever has coined it has done something to destroy the journalistic profession. Issues which are serious should be dealt in a serious manner; Why do you want to have entertainment out of a serious issue?” fumes Raghu Rai, the ace photographer who had portrayed many national issues in an in-depth manner.

Speaking on the sidelines of a three-day photography workshop held here, Rai shares with Express why, according to him, ‘all that’s entertainment is frivolous unless it is great classical music or dance or something similar’. Instead of wasting time on Bollywood junk photojournalists should focus on something serious.

“When you have to take three pictures, make sure at least one of them is an image which speaks to the world,” he says. Rai is not fully happy with the way photojournalism is evolving these days. Even in the midst of daily pressures, there is scope for perfection, he says. “The question is, how frivolous you are,” he says.

“We used to have a philosophy. Stories are like brickworks, they make a wall; but great photographs are windows; windows to the outer world. The image should open a window to the socio-political and economic world around you. A photographer should always keep the explorer in him alert and vigilant,” he points out.

Still active in the socio-political sphere, Rai believes movements like that of Anna Hazare were able to bring in an awareness. “There are people out there who are frustrated over many things like corruption, crime and so on. When there is a movement, they all come together; they express their frustration over the system,” he says.

Raghu Rai earlier inaugurated a workshop on ‘Photo Journalism in the Digital Era’, a three-day refresher course organised by the Kerala Press Academy at Hotel Presidency here. Academy chairman N P Rajendran, veteran journalists K M Roy and V P Ramachandran were present. Anand Parthasarathy led sessions at the workshop.


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