"The omnipresence of television and print journalism provides a unique opportunity for photographers to define how the world is presented to the public, but also lays much responsibility on photographers to get it right."
Richards observes that in today's fast-paced media environment, photographers are inclined to make pictures increasingly metaphorical. "There is a trend now to make pictures more metaphorical and less direct," Richards is quoted as saying.
If the point of photojournalism is to make images that people can identify with in some real way, then, it is important to explore what Richards seems concerned about.
Compound the trend toward producing more symbolic and metaphorical imagery in photojournalism with an onslaught of new technologies that tend to, from Marshall McLuhan's view point, diminish the communicative power of the senses and consciousness, and we find ourselves on the edge of a massive change. Metaphors are about ideas, while photographs concerns themselves more with a physical reality.
Our perception or understanding of events changes with images become more about ideas than they are about an event or a person directly.