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March 5th, 2015

DOJ Report Blasts Ferguson Police for First Amendment Violations

Ferguson, Missouri, police officers “frequently infringe on residents’ First Amendment rights, interfering with their right to record police activities and making enforcement decisions based on the content of individuals’ expression,” according to a report released yesterday by the US Department of Justice.

The DOJ report, titled Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department (FPD), says “FPD engages in a pattern of First Amendment violations.” The investigation was  conducted by the DOJ’s civil rights division in response to citizen complaints and civil unrest in Ferguson following the police shooting death last year of Michael Brown.

The DOJ says in the report that FPD arrests citizens “for a variety of protected conduct,” including talking back to officers, recording public police activities, and lawful protest.

The report cites a number of examples, including several involving recent arrests of citizens who recorded–or attempted to record–police carrying out their duties in public. (more…)

March 4th, 2015

World Press Photo Disqualifies Controversial Prize Winner

After questions over whether Giovanni Troilo staged this image, new questions arise about his "Dark Heart of Europe" project.

After questions over whether Giovanni Troilo staged this image, new questions arise about his “Dark Heart of Europe” project.

World Press Photo has revoked a prize awarded last month to photographer Giovanni Troilo, on the grounds that Troilo’s entry “was not in compliance with the entry rules,” according to an announcement on the World Press Photo web site. (more…)

March 3rd, 2015

Controversial World Press Photo Winner Under New Scrutiny Today (Update)

After questions over whether Giovanni Troilo staged this image, new questions arise about his "Dark Heart of Europe" project.

© Giovanni Troilo. After questions over whether Troilo staged this image, new questions arise about the integrity of his “Dark Heart of Europe” project.

Photographer Giovanni Troilo’s controversial prize-winning entry to the World Press Photo competition is under new scrutiny today because of reports that Troilo did not shoot one of the images where he said he shot it, according to Lars Boering, Managing Director of World Press Photo.

Troilo had said his project, “The Dark Heart of Europe,” winner of 1st prize stories in the Contemporary Issues category, was shot in Charleroi, a town near Brussels.

But a journalist investigating the project in the wake of controversy it has generated has reported that one of the images was shot in Brussels, which is 50 km from Carhleroi.

“There’s new information out now that one photo was shot 50 kilometers away from Charleroi,” Boering says. Bruno Stevens, a Belgian photojournalist,  announced the finding on his Facebook page.

“Of course this is going to be looked at again,” says Boering, who has been on the hot seat for several days over the controversy surrounding the Troilo project and prize. (more…)

March 3rd, 2015

Ukrainian Photojournalist Serhiy Nikolayev Killed During Ceasefire

Photojournalist Serhiy Nikolayev was killed Saturday by a mortar shell near the village of Pesky, Ukraine, Reuters reports. The wire agency cited online reports from Sevodnya—the Ukranian daily newspaper for whom Nikolayev was shooting—that there had been artillery fire directed at Pesky, which is northwest of the rebel-held city of Donetsk. Nikolayev had been on assignment with his colleague Bodgan Rossinsky, Sevodnya reports. Rossinksy was not seriously injured.

According to Reuters, the shelling took place even though a ceasefire had been in place since February 15, when government troops and rebel forces pulled “heavy weapons” from the frontline. Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, says he will introduce a bill to parliament to formally request deployment of U.N. peacekeepers to monitor the ceasefire.

The Committee to Project Journalists (CPJ) called yesterday for the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian separatists to ensure the safety of journalists covering the conflict in east Ukraine, following Nikolayev’s death. Nikolayev’s editor, Olga Guk, called him “the bravest of professionals” in a statement.

March 2nd, 2015

PDN Video: Ruddy Roye on Instagram, Storytelling, and Risking the “Angry Black Man” Label

Photographer Ruddy Roye has attracted 116,000 Instagram followers despite–or perhaps because of–his gritty, difficult subject matter and the long captions he posts to help humanize his subjects. Using Instagram largely as a tool of social activism, Roye draws attention to racial and economic injustice primarily in New York City, and often in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, where he lives. “A lack of black images [and] black photographers has created this void for people like me,” says Roye, who was born and raised in Jamaica. “Instagram has allowed me a light that didn’t exist before.” In this video, he explains how he found his Instagram voice, and discusses the professional risks he is taking by refusing to look away and remain silent.

Related:
Q&A: Instagram Editorial Director Pamela Chen

February 18th, 2015

Gerd Ludwig Wins POYi’s Best Photo Book of the Year Award

Gerd Ludwig has won the 2015 POYi Best Photo Book of the Year honors for The Long Shadow of Chernobyl, his book about the lingering environmental, social, and economic consequences of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The award, part of the Reportage Division of the POYi competition, was announced on the POYi web site.

Ludwig’s book stands out as a case study in the challenges of photo book publishing. Not only did he pursue the project at great personal risk, as he explained in this PDN video interview last year, but he struggled to find support. He undertook two separate Kickstarter campaigns to fund his travel to Chernobyl, as well as the printing and distribution of the book.

Gerd Ludwig: The Long Shadow of Chernobyl from PDNOnline on Vimeo.

The project dates back to 1993, when Ludwig first visited Chernobyl while working on a story for National Geographic. “From that point on, I always wanted to return,” because he didn’t get as much access as he had hoped for, he told PDN last year.

He  returned in 2005, after Ukraine’s so-called Orange Revolution enabled him to gain better access. He planned to return again in 2011, on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the disaster. “The general media was not interested,” he said, so he collected funds for the 2011 trip through a Kickstarter campaign.

Ludwig left for Chernobyl while his Kickstarter campaign was still underway, and while he was there, the Fukushima nuclear disaster occurred in Japan. That stimulated more contributions to Ludwig’s Kickstarter campaign–a total of $23,316, which was almost twice his goal of $12,000. After his return, he used the extra money to publish an iPad app titled The Long Shadow of Chernobyl.

With plans to produce a printed book in time for the 30th anniversary of the disaster, in 2016, Ludwig made another trip to Chernobyl in 2013 on an $8,200 grant from Kulturwerk der VG Bild/Kunst, a German artists’ rights organization.

Meanwhile, publisher Lois Lammerhuber of Lammerhuber Editions (Austria) had approached him at the Lumix Festival of Young Photojournalism in Hanover, Germany. “He said, ‘I want to do your book,’but then the  distributor said to him, ‘Bad news doesn’t sell and Chernobyl is bad news,'” Ludwig recounted.

So he and Lammerhuber turned to Kickstarter once again in the spring of 2014, and managed to raise $45,571–well over twice his goal of $20,000–in pre-order book sales.

In a telephone interview today, Ludwig emphasized that the total funding he raised on Kickstarter “sounds like a high number” but only covered his expenses for the production and printing, and helped promote the project “It’s not a money maker,” Ludwig says. “If I count all my time, I definitely didn’t make money on this project. It’s a labor of love and an important piece of history that should be told. It’s a warning, a document to human hubris.”

Ludwig says he is continuing work on the project, and most recently had a story published in National Geographic about tourism inside the Chernobyl exclusion zone. “There are constant surprises” at Chernobyl, he says, and it stands as an archetype of nuclear disaster. “From Chernobyl, you can see what’s going to happen to these other areas” like Fukushima, he says.

Related:
Daniel Berehulak Wins Reportage Photographer of the Year at 2015 POYi Competition
Brad Vest Named Newspaper Photographer of the Year at 2015 POYi Competition
Cameron Spencer Wins POYi Sports Photographer of the Year Honors

February 17th, 2015

Daniel Berehulak Wins Reportage Photographer of the Year at 2015 POYi Competition

Ebola victim James Dorbor, 8, is rushed into a treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia. He died a short time later. ©Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Ebola victim James Dorbor, 8, is rushed into a treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia last September. He died a short time later. ©Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Australian photographer Daniel Berehulak of Getty Images has won Photographer of the Year honors in the Reportage Division of the 72nd annual Pictures of the Year International (POYi) competition, which is currently underway at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Paul Hansen of Sweden and Daniel Rodrigues of Portugal were the first and second runners up, respectively.

Berehulak’s winning portfolio emphasized his coverage of the Ebola crisis in West Africa. It also included stories about national elections in India, the economic downturn in Brazil, and single images from stories in Somalia, Afghanistan, and Kenya.

In other POYi Reportage Division categories, Lisa Krantz (USA) won the Community Awareness Award for her project titled “A Life Apart: The Toll of Obesity.”  Finalists for the award included Mario Tama (USA), Toni Greaves (USA), April Saul (USA) and Kuang Huimin (China). (Krantz also won second place for her obesity project in the Issue Reporting Picture Story category of the POYi competition’s Newspaper Division.)

The World Understanding Award went to Jan Grarup (Denmark) for “Somalia in Transition,” and judges awarded Special Recognition to Ryan Spencer Reed (USA) for his project titled “Despite Similarities to Reality.” Finalists for the World Understanding Award were Edu Ponces (Spain), Paula Bronstein (USA), and Renée C. Byer (USA).

David Chancellor (UK) won the Environmental Vision Award for his project “With Butterflies and Warriors.” Michael Robinson Chavez (USA) was awarded special recognition for “The Driest Season: California’s Dust Bowl.”

Other POYi Reportage Division categories and winners included:

News Picture Story: John Moore (1); Carolyn Cole (2); Arash Khamooshi (3)
Feature Picture Story: Hajdú D. András (1); Tomás Munita (2); Corrina Kern (3)
Issue Reporting Picture Story: Brent Stirton (1); Alex Masi (2); Daniel Berehulak (3)
Science & Natural History Picture Story: Javier Arcenillas (1); unidentified* (2); Stuart Palley (3)
Science & Natural History: unidentified* (1); unidentified* (2); unidentified* (3)
Best Photography Book Award: TBA The Long Shadow of Chernobyl by Gerd Ludwig

Judging for the POYi competition began February 2 with News Division Entries. Winners in that division, selected last week, included Newspaper Photographer of the Year Brad Vest of The Commercial Appeal in Memphis and Sports Photographer of the Year Cameron Spencer of Getty Images.

Judging for the Reportage Division took place from February 11 to February 14. The competition concludes this week with judging of the Visual Editing Division entries.

*Contest organizers have posted all the winning entries, but have not officially identified winners. Please help us name them.

Related stories:

Brad Vest Named Newspaper Photographer of the Year at 2015 POYi Competition

Cameron Spencer Wins POYi Sports Photographer of the Year Honors

Mads Nissen Wins World Press Photo of the Year 2014 Prize

February 12th, 2015

Mads Nissen Wins World Press Photo of the Year Prize

2014 World Press Photo of the Year. ©Mads Nissen/Politiken

2014 World Press Photo of the Year. ©Mads Nissen/Politiken

Danish photographer Mads Nissen of the daily newspaper Politiken has won the World Press Photo of the Year 2014 prize for an image showing a gay couple during an intimate moment in St. Petersburg, Russia. The image, which was part of the news coverage last year about rising discrimination and hate crimes attacks against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Russia, also won first prize in the Contemporary Issues category of the World Press Photo competition. The winners of the contest were announced February 12 in Amsterdam.

Read the full story at PDNOnline.com.

 

February 10th, 2015

Cameron Spencer Wins POYi Sports Photographer of the Year Honors

©Cameron Spencer

©Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Photographer Cameron Spencer of Getty Images has been named Sports Photographer of the Year at the 2015 Pictures of the Year International competition, organizers announced today. His portfolio included a variety of dramatic sports action and feature images from a wide array of sporting events, including the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Runners up for the award were second place winner Al Bello of Getty Images and third place winner Patrick Smith.

In other sports categories, first prize for a Sports Action photo went to Al Bello of Getty Images for his dramatic shot of New York Giants receiver making a one-handed touchdown catch.

The winners of other sports categories are:

Sports Feature: Robert Sabo/Getty (1); Cameron Spencer/Getty (2); Ricky Carioti
Recreational Sports: Jacob Ehrbahn (1); Sol Neelman (2); Austin Anthony/AP (3)
Sports Action: Al Bello/Getty (1); Alex Livesey/Getty (2); Joel Marklund
Winter Olympics: Lucas Jackson/Reuters (1); Joel Marklund (2); Ezra Shaw/Getty
Sports Picture Story: Jacob Ehrbahn (1); Cristina Aldehuela (2); Yasuyoshi Chiba (3)

Judging for the POYi competition began at the University of Missouri on February 2, and will continue through February 20. Sports photo categories fall under the competition’s News Division. Judging of Reportage Division entries begins tomorrow.

Related:
Brad Vest Named Newspaper Photographer of the Year at 2015 POYi Competition

February 10th, 2015

Funding Your Long-Term Photo Project—Upcoming Award and Fellowship Deadlines

Two awards and a pair of reporting fellowships are currently seeking applications.

The International Reporting Project at Johns Hopkins University is seeking applications for reporting fellowships on the topics of health/development and religion.

IRP says that the fellowship awards will include “roundtrip air tickets to and from [fellows’] homes and destinations, but all other travel must be arranged and paid by the fellow. IRP will offer a stipend based, in part, upon the budgets that all applicants must submit.”

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until the deadline on Monday, March 16. Applicants can be freelance or staffers. For more information visit the program website.

The 5,000 Euro (approx. $5656) Alfred Fried Photography Award is seeking photographs that answer the question, “What does peace look like?” All photojournalists may enter the Austria-based award competition free of charge. The entry deadline is May 17, 2015. Visit the Fried Award website for more information.

Last but not least, the New Orleans Photo Alliance is currently accepting applications for its annual Michael P. Smith Fund For Documentary Photography award of $5,000. The award is open to photographers based on the Gulf Coast of the United States—Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Emma Raynes, Director of Programs at the Magnum Foundation, is the judge for this year’s award. Applications require a fee of $25, and are due March 30, 2015. For more info visit the NOPA website.