A second set of critics were cleverer than the first: they identified a genuine paradox in the modern routine of documentation, which claims to require that one prove both that each sentence is original and that it has a source.
(Grafton 1997: 143)
Witnessing the truth
“for what society makes of my photograph I do not know... others – the Other- do not dispossess me of myself, they turn me, ferociously, into an object, they put me at their mercy, at their disposal, classified in a file, ready for the subtlest deceptions.” - Barthes in camera lucida
Truth has at least three forms - absolute truth, perceived truth and witnessed truth. What photojournalists capture is witnessed truth, what writers write is perceived truth often without its causality or after effect or events leading to it and the absolute truth might be entirely different or part of witnessed and perceived or/and absolute truth.
Binaries are a myth. It is multiplicities and layers of several truths to be sieved through to find the next set of questions.
Absolute Truth is somewhere in the greys.
Truth in photojournalism is not about subjectivity of the event but about objectivity of its pursuit in totality.
Even as “the basic integrity of the camera as a recording instrument is fundamentally undermined (Roscoe & Hight as cited in Landesman, 2008, p. 35), audiences can experience cinema (and books) as correctives to the “relentless artifice” of the official narratives ceaselessly bombarding us. Mediation, here, is not the problem, nor is truth. Rather, belief, in the sense of affective and affecting, is.
Sontag herself says in ‘on photography’
“To photograph is to appropriate the thing that is photographed...Photographed images do not seem to be statements about the world so much as pieces of it, miniatures of reality that anyone can make or acquire.” -Sontag
Barthes talks about ‘scenes’ in Camera Lucida:
“My rule applied all the more closely in that other pictures from the same reportage were less interesting to me, they were fine shots, they expressed the dignity and horror of rebellion, but in my eyes they bore no mark or sign; their homogeneity remained cultural: they were “scenes” rather à la Greuze had it not been for the harshness of the subject.” - Barthes.
And a question arises, what is that truth, you believe in, the one you saw or the one you show ? Is there more..