Newspaper Removes All Images to Show Support for Photographers
French newspaper, Libération, published their November 14th issue without a single photograph. The stark blanket of text is all that is left of the issue. Their reasoning for leaving out the photos? They wanted to show their support of photographers who help bring the paper to life. They decided to publish on the same day as Paris Photo’s opening day, to make a stand for photojournalists who risk everything and receive very little in return.
In this article by The British Journal of Photography the French newspaper explains its decision on its front page:
“Libération vows an eternal gratitude to photography, whether produced by photojournalists, fashion photographers, portraitists, or conceptual artists. Our passion for photography has never been questioned – not because it’s used to beautify, shock or illustrate, but because photography takes the pulse of our world. To choose Paris Photo’s opening day to “install’ these white images highlights our commitment to photography. It’s not a wake, we’re not burying the photographic art [...] Instead we give photography the homage it deserves. Yet, no one can ignore the calamitous situation press photographers now find themselves in, especially war photographers who risk their lives while barely making a living. And for those whose work went on show today in the Grand Palais thanks to shrewd gallery owners, we might think that the odds are in their favour, but it’s all smoke and mirrors: the art photography market is currently confused.”
The last image shows the missing photographs without the written articles beside them.
My question in all of this is: Isn’t print media responsible for the lack of funding to photographers? They’re the ones who set the budgets so shouldn’t they be the ones responsible for the little pay that photographers receive?