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The Pulitzer: Plus ca change…


Photo by Mary Chind

Photo by Mary Chind, Pulitzer winner 2010

Photo by Annie Wells

Photo by Annie Wells, Pulitzer winner 1997

Given the extraordinary turmoil in the field of photojournalism, it is perhaps a bit odd that the Pulitzer Prize given to the best “breaking news” photograph of the year is one that we have become so accustomed to–the brave male fireman/construction worker rescuing an individual (often female). For example, the 1997 winner, by Annie Wells, is not all that different than this year’s winning image, by Mary Chind. They are both dramatic and interesting photographs, and the heroism of the rescuer is extraordinary, but might this visual trope be by now a bit overused?


  1. Bruce DeBoer wrote:

    Good point - could it be that it is BECAUSE of the industry’s turmoil that we’re drawn to comfort photos [similar to comfort food]. Face it, we’re a little clingy that way.

    Friday, April 16, 2010 at 10:01 am | Permalink
  2. fredritchin wrote:

    Or maybe the industry is in turmoil in large part because we are drawn to what you call “comfort photo,” what might also be called a lack of imagination.

    Saturday, April 17, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Permalink
  3. Bruce DeBoer wrote:

    I think at different times both are true. I know I suffer from both in my own work and only occasionally break out. But I almost never break out when stakes are high - I go with what I know as my “A” game. Only happy accidents take me to the next level in those cases.

    I suppose industry turmoil was brought on by imagination followed by innovation, followed by fear that induced a clinging to what had worked leaving imagination dormant again. Sound right?

    Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

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  1. 1416教室 » 周一消息树 on Sunday, April 18, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    [...] 突发新闻照片的获奖照片是否非常眼熟?这张照片恐怕会让新闻摄影同行立刻联想到美国新闻摄影教程的封面——而这张照片也是普利策获奖作品(1997年)。美国学者Fred Ritchin在其博客里指出,照片里的英雄主义隐喻,其表现方式仍然延续至今,这种陈词滥调何时才能停止呢? [...]

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