French Paper Publishes Photo-less Issue to Stress the Importance of Photojournalism


French newspaper Libération is about to score huge brownie points with photographers the world over. At a time when newspaper photography jobs are disappearing and some newspapers are replacing professional photojournalists with iPhone toting writers, Libération is removed all photos from one of its issue as a show of support for photographers.

According to BJP, the photo-less issue was released yesterday, and it wasn’t just a paper full of text. The frames where photos should have been were left in so as to emphasize how much photography adds to and helps to tell a story.

Here are a few photographs of the issue courtesy of BJP:




And just in case an unsuspecting reader might simply think they’ve simply picked up a misprinted issue of the paper, Libération ran this text on the front page:

Libération vows an eternal gratitude to photography, whether produced by photojournalists, fashion photographers, portraitists, or conceptual artists. Our passion for photography has never been questioned – not because it’s used to beautify, shock or illustrate, but because photography takes the pulse of our world. To choose Paris Photo’s opening day to “install’ these white images highlights our commitment to photography. It’s not a wake, we’re not burying the photographic art…

Instead we give photography the homage it deserves. Yet, no one can ignore the calamitous situation press photographers now find themselves in, especially war photographers who risk their lives while barely making a living. And for those whose work went on show today in the Grand Palais thanks to shrewd gallery owners, we might think that the odds are in their favour, but it’s all smoke and mirrors: the art photography market is currently confused.

The issue was released to coincide with the opening day of Paris Photo — an annual international fine art photography fair that began in 1997 — and stands as a solitary ray of light for photojournalists looking for support from a newspaper industry that seems to have all but turned its back on them.

To see the whole issue for yourself, head over to Libération‘s website by clicking here.

(via BJP)

Image credits: Photographs courtesy of the British Journal of Photography

  • MMielech

    Well, I guess the French retouching police assigned to that paper took a long lunch that day. But, something tells me they do that every day.

  • Lynda Bowyer

    Three cheers for Liberation! Alas in this day and age there will always be the iPhone-toting journo or the bystander who uploads their accident videos to YouTube, but professionally shot images by an experienced photojournalist does storyboard an image in a by far more powerful way than nothing else ever could – in my opinion anyway.

  • superduckz

    I wish I spoke French and could subscribe! A million Bravo’s for making this point!

  • Stan B.


    Vive La France!

  • ParanoidGuy

    The headline is a report of the racism against one of France’s (black) liberal politicians. The newspaper decides to show white boxes bordered by black borders in place of photos. Coincidence?

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  • superduckz

    Is ParanoidGuy your full name?

  • bob cooley

    This is excellent.

  • PJ

    As a frenchman myself, wtf did you just say???

  • Jan

    Looks pretty nice with alle that whitespace! They should do this more often.

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  • Ratata

    Forget about it, just another closed-minded ignorant who enjoys his own stupidity too much.

  • ChristianBokeh

    The French did invent the medium after all, glad they’re taking care of the photogs ! or at least trying.

  • Aiki

    They also printed the entire newspaper in black text over white paper. Coincidence?