The job of the press is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
My formative years were spent chasing ambulances, fire trucks and athletes (victorious and fallen) in the service of small- and medium-sized local newspapers. There can’t be a better education for a photographer than to work under tight deadlines, editorial guidelines and budgetary constraint — in direct daily competition with other, larger papers. Every single day presented a challenge: create something that was worth printing 35,000 copies and distributing, at large cost, to a group of people with very short attention spans.
Now I’m more likely to be chasing a bride than an ambulance, but my background as a journalist informs everything I do. Reality trumps fiction nearly every single time.
Th’ newspaper does ivrything f’r us. It runs th’ polis foorce an’ th’ banks, commands th’ milishy, controls th’ ligislachure, baptizes th’ young, marries th’ foolish, comforts th’ afflicted, afflicts th’ comfortable, buries th’ dead an’ roasts thim aftherward”.— Finley Peter Dunne