Who coined the term "photojournalist"?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Dirck Halstead : One Thread

It seems that every day now a new term emerges to replace an old one. Photojournalism seems to be no different. In the field of visual communications the new technologies make obsolete yesterdays jargon. Even the very name of this profession is on the verge of change some say. With these changing times do any of us remember the past, our roots. Does anyone know who coined the term photojournalist? Was it Erich Salomon, Wilson Hicks or has the author been forgotten?

-- Steve Renaud (shrenaud@minet.ca), January 26, 1999


It's hard to guess at this point, but everything leads to Wilson Hicks. In his 1952 book, "Words and Pictures" he said in the first chapter,"This particular coming together of the verbal and visual mediums of communication is, in a word photojournalism. Its elements, used in combination, do not produce a third medium. Instead they form a compex in which each of the components retains its fundemental character. since words are one medium, pictures another. Of various dissimilarities in the mediums, the one pertinent to an understanding of the photojournalistic technique is to be found in the ways in which they activate subjective responses in the reader" >---------- >

-- Dirck Halstead (dirck.halstead@pressroom.com), January 26, 1999.

I believe it was the Dean of the Journalism School at the University of Missouri. It was certainly before the reference to Wilson Hicks mentioned here. Cliff Edom, who founded the photojournalism school at Mizzou, told me he was talking with the dean about the future of the program and he coined the word right then and there. Cliff said he had never heard the word used before.

Maybe it came from several different origial sources. It's not the difficult to concieve.

-- Eric Welch (ewelch@ponyexpress.net), May 11, 1999.

It was definitely Cliff Edom of the University of Missouri. I knew him well, having worked with him during his famous workshops. NPPA has long credited him with coining the terms, and no one has ever disputed the fact that he did in fact coin the term. There has never been a greater proponent of the art/craft of photojournalism than Cliff Edom. He and his wife, Vi, lived it, taught it, and believed in in. As a result, many capable photojournalists have come along.

-- Donald P. Blake (donblake@aol.com), December 12, 2000.

The man who coined the term "photojournalism" was also the founder of Life magazine. His name is Henry Luce.

-- Ryan Croke (crokeman@mindless.com), October 08, 2002.

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