I remember a few months back some very provocative quotes coming from a speech Stephen Mayes gave but I’m not sure if the full audio ever made it out. Len’s Culture has it (here) along with those wonderful quotes:
“I wonder if World Press Photo is peeling away from reflecting the media as it is, and is rather reflecting the media the way we wish it were. Of the 376 images awarded prizes this year, I would be curious to know how many have been published in a paid-for context. Maybe all of them. Maybe. But the overall impression that I’m left with from the 470,214 images that I have seen entered into the contest in the current decade, is that they reflect a form of photojournalism that is now more romantic than functional.”
“The overwhelming impression from the vast volume of images is that photojournalism (as a format for interpreting the world) is trying to be relevant by copying itself rather than by observing the world.”
“As one juror said this year, ‘90% of the pictures are about 10% of the world.'”
Stephen is the Managing Director of VII Photo Agency and served as Jury Secretary for the World Press Photo Awards from 2004-2009.
UPDATE: It was originally published with the audio on Notes from Nowhere (here).