Overexposing Leads to Underexposure of Memories

NPR takes a look at the effect of too many photographs on memory development.

The piece is aimed at families, more or less, but does it pertain to journalism, too? I think so – the sheer volume of images we are bombarded with every day is devaluing each one of them. As journalists, our goal shouldn’t be so-called “blanket coverage,” it should be accurate, balanced and meaningful coverage. It means we should use our skills to determine what is news and what is not, what images best tell the story at hand for our specific audience*. Those massive galleries of random, unidentified people that have become popular? That’s not journalism. It’s marketing, at best, pandering, at worst.

Tell stories that matter. Tell them well, tell them succinctly, tell them memorably. Otherwise they’ll just get lost in the constant flow of moments.

* If you don’t know who your audience is, you cannot tell them a story. Audience metrics should be a part of your daily reading.

Mark E. Johnson

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