In the 1970s, magazines increased their use of photojournalism and many Magnum members excelled, finding that they had pages and pages of photographs published. But the paradox was that as magazine editors grew both more attached to photographs and more visually sophisticated they also began to use photography in a more decorative, illustrative way. Photographers would be told specifically how to set up a cover shot, lighting and color became the focus, and many of the more serious images did not fit the upscale ambitions of publishers acting to attract a more affluent readership.
So while photographers were having success publishing photographs in magazines, such as Susan Meiselas's photographs of the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua, or Gilles Peress's photographs of Northern Ireland and the upheaval in Iran, many Magnum photographers were increasingly turning to books and exhibitions to express themselves. Meiselas's "Nicaragua", Peress's "Telex: Iran", Salgado's "L'Homme en Detresse" were attempts to give a more sophisticated and visionary explication of world events. As Magnum's photographers began to experiment with text and with book and exhibition design, their photographic language began to evolve as well. For many the direct testimony that Magnum's founders believed in no longer was sufficient in a media-saturated world where photography was increasingly used to illustrate the points of view of editors and art directors, of politicians and movie stars, at the expense of the photographers.