Because images from the fall of communism in Prague and Romania open this arresting collection of British photojournalism, the 5,000 figure seems to refer to that watershed political moment. But the actual reason for the book is to celebrate photojournalism as newspapers have begun to print photos in color and digital cameras have changed the form’s nature over the past 14 years: “[T]he run of British newspapers both national and provincial has finally come to appreciate the photograph on its own merits, rather than as an illustration,” as Evans writes. American readers, at least, will notice the British press’s comparative acceptance of violence and its grisly aftermath on the front pages of its papers. But a photograph of a shirtless hostage in Moscow, for example, slumped against a bus window during a gas attack by Chechen terrorists, indicates that crossing the border into putative tastelessness can impart visceral poetry in people’s daily read. A fair number of the 600-some images from 270 photographers embody Evans’s ideal: a “meaningful image” that merges with a “visual moment” that “directs the eye.” Divided into newspaper categories (hard news, sports, arts and entertainment, etc.), the book includes only a few misses, but they don’t deter from the collection’s overall vibrancy.
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From the Author
Harold Evans is one of the most influential names in the newspaper world. He was the editor of The Sunday Times from 1967 to 1981 and editor of The Times from 1981 to 1982. He was named Editor of the Year in 1973.
Evans is internationally recognized as an authority on the use of photography in the media; his definitive book on press photography, Pictures on a Page, first published in 1978, is still in print 25 years later. He has received lifetime achievement awards from, among others, the International Center of Photography and the British Press Awards. In 2004, Harold Evans was knighted for services to journalism.
- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Language: English