Reviews -- Truth Needs No Ally: Inside Photojournalism by Howard Chapnick

Article excerpt

Chapnick, Howard (1994). Truth Needs No Ally: Inside Photojournalism. Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri Press. 369 pp. Hardback. $49.95.

Fifty years at Black Star Picture Agency in New York City has given the author a true insider's look at the photojournalism professional. Chapnick, who was the agency's president for many years, uses his vast experience representing photographers to various media outlets as the foundation for the book's overview, which should be of interest to all aspiring photojournalists.

The usefulness of this lively text should not be limited, however, to those teaching photojournalism courses. Chapnick covers such a range of topics that many faculty members will find chapters they can use in discussions of ethics, philosophy, history, women, and minorities, as well as the business side of journalism. Internship coordinators and placement officers also could benefit from his many practical career tips.

Chapnick's long, successful career has brought him into contact with many of the world's finest photojournalists, picture editors, and fellow picture agents. These relationships are the basis for his advice on such basic career components as developing a portfolio, dress, manners, behavior, intercultural sensitivity, workshops, awards, contests, and grants, which are found in the book's second and third sections.

Truth Needs No Ally, as the title implies, goes beyond the purely practical. Chapnick does not shrink from philosophical and ethical discussions about documentary photography. He covers a broad range of subjects, including the electronic manipulation of images, setting up pictures, conflicts of interest, issues of privacy, and participatory photojournalism.

Students may find the vignettes of 29 different careers to be especially interesting. …