In an announcement recruiting citizen-sourced media a few months ago Reuters defined for its audience "What makes a good news photograph?" For many students of photojournalism Reuters' definition might be worth consideration.
What makes a good news photograph?
As you're thinking about taking news photographs, think about what constitutes a good picture.Most importantly, it will be of interest to a wide audience. It may depict an event in the news: a train crash, a clash in the streets, deliriously happy fans the moment the big game is won.Or it may not be of a strictly 'news' event. It could be an out-of-the-ordinary moment in time in an otherwise ordinary day. Something that has novelty and impact. For example, a model falling over her huge heels on the catwalk, or a fox running up Downing Street, or a fire station catching fire, or a mouse hitching a lift on the back of a toad during a flood.It may be unique. A picture that no one else took has much more news value than one taken alongside a rank of other photographers.A good news picture will tell a story without words. It will have context by showing the surrounding scene, or show the emotion on the faces of the people in the picture.Whatever the content, a news picture can lose its value in a short space of time. News events move quickly, and the shot of a mini tornado you took last week may have been destined for the front page when you took it, but of no interest to a newspaper or a website a week later. There are exceptions if the event is of huge significance and rarity. For example, a photo of a tsunami wave could still be of great interest days after it struck.And please remember, absolutely no photo is worth harassing others, putting yourself or others in danger, or getting in trouble with the law.