Should people pay journalists and photojournalists to do what they do? As long as someone wants credible information the role of the professional remains important, but the role changes in that professionals are no longer the eyewitness. Think of all those [photography compilation] books in the 20th century which were called “eye witness” or “the eyes of the world” or something similar. That’s no longer relevant when there are 4 billion cellphone eyes out there.
Professionals are valuable as commentators, interpreters, validators. We know what is happening in Syria but for sifting all the detail and taking a position on all of that, we still look to the professionals.
Last year, during the Arab Spring, it was the “good little guy” against the “big bad guy”. Simple. Now, we are seeing is a much more complex mix of bad little guys as well a good little guys. I am learning all the different computations from experts — people who are studying the form, researching it, being present and reporting back out. That’s not something I can put together from Facebook. I need someone to guide me through that very complex area.