The Fight Within the Frame: A Comparative Analysis of American Conflict Photojournalism

Mentor: Dr. Joseph Lucchesi


Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between conflict photojournalism and American perceptions of war, specifically during the 1960's and early 2000's. Since the Civil War, Americans have developed a standard way of viewing documentary photographs, allowing images of war and conflict to carry significant weight in public opinion and understanding of war. This paper shows how a practice of viewing developed and then analyzes images from Vietnam War and the Iraq War to argue that photographs can have a powerful impact on political action. Finally, this paper argues that the government has consistently approach conflict photojournalism in a problematic way, which actually makes photographs more powerful.