December 31, 2011
In 2011, cameraphones entered the mainstream of photojournalism due to a combination of the Arab uprisings, the Occupy protests and improved technology.
The Guardian, wire agencies and major broadcasters used many more cameraphone and video images. The New York Times said its use has increased a hundredfold.
“That’s largely because of the Arab spring”, said Michele McNally, assistant managing editor for photography at the New York Times. “Most of the reporters are carrying smartphones because of the image quality of the cameras. They like the style of cellphone filtered imagery and they’re less intrusive [to use] in conflict situations.”
She said citizen media was an “instant document” of an event rather than a replacement for skilled photojournalism. She said: “Most amateur footage does lack the real smart interpretation of what it’s like to be there.”