How does a solutions focus change the frame of documentary photography?

January 25, 2022
10:00–11:15AM EST
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Photo: Celia Talbot Tobin.

Documentary storytelling regularly focuses on the problems around us. While such investigations are both necessary and vital for a democratic culture, they do not, by themselves, offer a comprehensive picture of the world, and need to be supplemented with different perspectives.

Solutions journalism is a new perspective in visual journalism that changes the frame of the story to address the negativity bias in the media. Rather than focusing on problems, solutions journalism looks for where people are already taking action to deal with difficult issues. As such, a solutions story is the product of rigorous reporting on efforts currently underway to respond to a problem.

In this event we will explore what a solutions focus in documentary photography and photojournalism involves, why it is important, and show some recent work that embraced this alternative frame.

Indonesian photographer Michael Eko and American photographer Celia Talbot Tobin will present work they produced for the Solutions Visual Journalism Initiative. They will be joined by Kyser Lough from the University of Georgia, who will discuss his research on visual communication and solutions journalism, with an emphasis on photojournalism.

This event was recorded and you can watch the video here


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