Does photojournalism contribute to positive change?
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The research question for this paper is "Does photojournalism contribute to positive change?" Through a dive into history and semi structured interviews with contemporary photographers I have gained interesting insight in how photography can create change by influencing people who see the images. Historical examples show how early social reformers used the camera as a tool to create awareness and influence those with power to change. The contemporary photographers also say that they use photography as a tool to communicate, because it is so powerful. Six documentary photographers with an aim to create change have shared their thoughts with me about their motivation and drive for doing the work they do, how they finance and disseminate their projects, what changes they have observed as a ripple effect of their images and how they see the future for documentary photography. Although it is hard to measure the effect of photographs, because photography is often just one of many influencers leading to action, my findings show concrete examples on how photographs have led to positive change. In some cases direct change for the persons portrayed, in other cases changed attitudes towards an issue and even changed policies.