A photograph can tell a powerful story; no one knows this better than a photojournalist. Media images of dramatic events become burned into our collective memory, acting as visual shorthand for emotions long after specific details have faded. From Dorothy Lange’s photographs of the Depression, to images of police brutality during the civil rights movement of the 1960s, to recent television coverage of the falling Twin Towers, still and motion photography has played an important role, delivering the news and influencing public opinion. Photojournalists cover a wide range of subjects in addition to national and international news, including human interest stories, sports, and prominent people, like celebrities and politicians. As a photojournalism major, you’ll learn photography basics, including camera and equipment operation and technique, subject surveillance, and digital editing. You’ll also learn the fundamentals of journalism, from news editing and layout, to news team field operations, to professional standards and ethics. Many schools offer internship programs, where you’ll be able to get firsthand experience by working at a local paper or news broadcasting station. By the time you graduate, you’ll know how to shoot and lay out photo stories, and produce and edit your own features.
Take as many English and history classes as you can, in addition to photography classes offered at your school or in the community. A great way to get some practical experience and enjoy editorial freedom is to work on your school newspaper and/or yearbook. It’s also a good idea to stay on top of local, national, and international current events, so read a wide variety of papers and magazines, in addition to watching the news on TV.