Just over two years ago, right after the Chicago Sun Times decided to lay off its entire staff of photographers, the editors of Mother Jones asked photographer and theorist Fred Ritchin the question then ricocheting around the nation’s newsrooms: “Is there a future for photojournalism in the Instagram era?”
The answer, Ritchin said, is yes, but only if visual journalists up their game. “There is enormous need for professionals who know how to tell stories with narrative punch and nuance, who can work pro-actively and not just reactively, and whose approach is multi-faceted,” he said.
The four photojournalists whose work is featured on these pages, all students or recent graduates of MU’s School of Journalism, are each poised to fulfill the “enormous need” Ritchin describes.
Alexey Furman, 24, is a Ukrainian freelance photojournalist who is pursuing a master’s degree at MU on a Fulbright scholarship. His work has been featured in many of the world’s most respected newspapers and magazines. Kholood Eid, 28, is a documentary photographer and recent master’s program graduate from St. Louis. Now based in New York, she splits her time between the Midwest, Middle East and East Coast. Alex Scott is a freelance photographer and editor who also calls New York home. The 27-year-old Texas native earned his master's degree this May. While at Mizzou, he served on the staff of Pictures of the Year International and was assistant director of photography at the Missourian. Kevin Cook is a Philadelphia native who also earned his master’s degree from the School of Journalism earlier this year.
Though at the beginning of their careers, all four are powerful visual storytellers with a strong sense of what’s authentic and important. In their hands, photojournalism's future seems very bright indeed.