Getty Images Year in Focus -- The Most Compelling Photographs of 2012

As print media across the world faces a stark economic reality, many have also speculated about the demise of photojournalism. The images that follow show that assumption to be far from the truth.

Whilst ink on a page may be a difficult business model to sustain, the public's appetite for -- and ability to consume -- imagery online has never been greater.

The photographer's role is now about much more than documenting unfolding events, it's about telling the story: finding the visual narrative that conveys the chaos and fear of the battlefield, the awe-inspiring power of the athlete and the consummate grace of the performer.

A great photograph has always conveyed information in layers, rewarding the viewer's engagement as the details within the frame reveal more and more about the subject. This remains true today, though what has changed is the volume and speed at which readers can demand and absorb imagery.

This has been a year of momentous events. A U.S. president has been re-elected following the most expensive campaign ever; financial crisis has blighted economies across the globe; war has raged unabated in the Middle East; Hurricane Sandy causes massive flooding across the Atlantic seaboard; and London played host to the world for the 2012 Olympics.

Our photographers have again been at the very heart of the action, capturing the decisive moments as well as the emotion, the atmosphere and, most importantly, the story.

As this slideshow attests, we are fortunate to work with outstanding photographers who excel in their chosen genres. We also acknowledge and thank those who work behind the scenes, the unsung heroes: the desk staff, photo editors and technicians who ensure that our imagery reaches the end-user in a shape and time to make a difference. They bring the stories we tell and events we document to life, and it's a responsibility we do not take lightly.

PHOTOS: The Most Compelling Photographs of 2012 from Getty Images

Getty Images Year in Focus – The Most Compelling Photographs of 2012

This story appears in the year-end photo issue of our weekly iPad magazine, Huffington, in the iTunes App store, available Friday, Dec. 28.