There is a sort of misconception that journalism is only about newspapers, radio and tv. Even journalists suffer from this mistaken belief. Actually any medium through which we communicate, whether it is posters, pamphlets, even power-point presentations, can be a kind of journalism.
Photojournalism is more about 'journalism' than about 'photos'. And now with online journalism, the border between print, audio, video and visuals is blurring. In the age of the citizen journalist, the whole definition of who is a reporter and who is not is also gone. In essence, whoever can communicate promptly, professionally, reliably and credibly is a journalist.
Which is why the book, The Constant Change is such a landmark: it integrates photojournalism with in-depth reporting. And instead of a newspaper or magazine format, brings it out as a book. It proves that photojournalists don't just point and shoot, they think and shoot. The most important tool in photography is not the eyes, but the brain.
Kishor Sharma, NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati, Sailendra Kharel, Prasiit Sthapit, Nirman Shrestha, Shikhar Bhattarai, Gaurav Dhwaj Khadka, Phurpu Tsering Gurung, Prem Tsering Sherpa, Uma Bista, Narendra Shrestha, Niranjan Shrestha provide us a behind-the-curtains glimpse at everything from the life of Mahabir Pun to everyday struggle of HIV patients. With a profile of a wild frontier town in Rasuwa, and a dramatic glimpse at Nepal's ethnic diversity.
Everything is supposed to be 'new' in the New Nepal, and The Constant Change provides us a Nepali version of Tom Wolfe's New Journalism. The chapters in the book represent long form journalism at its best, richly complemented with brilliant photography. The two blend seamlessly, without overlap and duplication, taking the reader on a vivid bus trip across Nepal, getting us up close and personal with the gay community, or intimately introducing us to Lakshman Khadka, the 'cleaner of Nepal'.
To be sure, it will be difficult to sustain a documentation project like this in the media marketplace. But the value of a book like this will in the long-term have an impact on mainstream mass media, hopefully making journalists even more sensitive to the extraordinary lives of ordinary Nepalis, forcing reporters to be more interactive and truthful about the society we live in.