Slate’s Heather Murphy says Nick Stern’s post about how Instagram and Hipstamatic help people cheat their way to great images, and the ensuing photojournalism ethics debate, miss the point. Instagram’s key feature is the social network, not the filters:
… Instagram is a massive, daily-routine-altering photo-sharing network. … Serious Instagrammers interact with their feeds—uploading their own photos, and liking and commenting on others’—several times a day. This is the type of interaction Web sites die for. …
Instagram is not a threat to photojournalism. The real threat is that photojournalism professionals are refusing to engage with the platform. If they spent a bit more time with it, they’d see that Instagram is about much more than these faux-vintage-filters. It’s a community of millions of photo addicts, eager to embrace their work, journalistic standards and all.
Besides, she writes, the quality of most Instagram images actually demonstrates the value of photographic skill. “You cannot fake a real moment with weirdly placed blur; you cannot hide compositional flaws with a filter that reminds you of your parents’ wedding photos.”