Message from the head of jury

For me, photojournalism means the register of a real fact by means of photographic images and these photos are no more than windows open to reality; a reality as it is, without additives.

Photojournalism is rooted on basic principles of impartiality, honesty, respect and objectivity, and we, photojournalists, have an obligation not only to practise our profession according to these standards but to promote them and even report situations and malpractices when they have not been respected.

Although our mere presence in an event to be photographed is enough to modify, in a way, the environment, it is unacceptable to manipulate reality deliberately to satisfy the preconceived objectives of a photographer, editor or anyone else interested in conveying a given message that goes beyond the reality one is photographing.

Nowadays, more than ever, we must relentlessly defend those fundamental values supporting our career. This will be the contribution for photojournalism to keep its good health and be able to resist the present alterations and moments of crisis which attack the media and in particular the Union of Journalists.

One must adapt to the changes imposed by the new communication platforms, and I think the only way to do it is one’s daily reinvention, not forgetting two fundamental features: ethics and quality. One must not undermine one’s work from the ethical point of view; besides, one must overcome a minimum quality that is imposed when we happen to face those millions of photos circulating in the net every day.

Antonio Pedrosa’s photos in his work “Iraqi” are an example of that good classical photojournalism that, without additives, depicts so well the living, the drama and the environment of those people suffering from social exclusion.

 My gratitude to you, Luís Vasconcelos, and my thanks to the rest of the team from ESTAÇÃO IMAGEM for continuing to encourage photojournalism in its pure state.

April 2012

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