Photojournalists tell the story behind their Pulitzer-winning photos

Photo by Maria Lorenzino

Marisol Medina/Staff Writer

The Pulitzer Prize is coming to the University again, divvied up in six parts this time.

Following the “Capture the Moment: The Pulitzer Prize Photographs” exhibit currently visiting the Frost Art Museum, six photojournalists, winners of the prize, will host a panel to tell the stories behind their pictures on March 5 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Michel duCille, Nikki Kahn, Alan Diaz, Patrick Farrell, Carol Guzy and John Kaplan are the six photographers that will reveal the stories that led them to snap their prize-winning shots in the panel moderated by Eric Newton, senior adviser to the president at the Knight Foundation.

“The stories that I’ve heard are wonderful stories of true commitment to journalism and to the art form of photography from the photographers involved,” said Teresa Ponte, chair of the Department of Journalism.

Ponte, who organized the panel, said the photos in the exhibit were “extremely powerful,” and were a vivid testimony to the history of the world and the history of journalism.

“It’s a show that puts together the very best of the best in photojournalism,” she said. “It’s quite exceptional to be able to have access to all of these photos.”


The “Capture the Moment” exhibit at the Frost Art Museum has attracted people from all over the country. Rosemary Carroll, a retired lawyer from Manhattan, visited the exhibit in company of her husband.

Raul Reis, dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, said talking about the stories behind the pictures will get students excited about the profession of photojournalism.

“By listening to the stories, they might understand better why journalists do what they do and what photojournalism does,” he said.

The idea of bringing the 166 photographs to FIU began two years ago when Reis became dean and was given the book “Capture the Moment,” which is a collection of the Pulitzer prize-winning photographs, from Eric Newton.

“I told him I thought bringing the exhibition to South Florida was very important and he thought it was a great idea and we started working on it,” he said.

The “Capture the Moment” exhibit is on display until April 20 and free and open to the public.

Reis said the exhibit shows pictures from all around the world but that it also has pictures that have a connection to South Florida, like Patrick Farrell’s pictures of the aftermath of hurricane Ike in Haiti.

“There’s a huge linkage to Latin America and Miami so there [are] a lot of reasons for people and the students to see it,” he said.

Reis said seeing the impact of the photographs on the students who saw them reminded him of the role that photojournalism plays in our society.

“Professional journalism is irreplaceable because they are the ones that are sent to war zones, risking their lives to send back images that will illuminate the way people are thinking about those issues,” he said.

He added that in cases such as the current situation of Venezuela, where some pictures taken by social media users have been proven to be from other conflicts, the importance of having reliable and professional photojournalists covering these events is paramount.

“It’s a role that is extremely important for journalism and for democracy,” he said.

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