December 16, 2018

Event Coverage Highlight

Photojournalists in the Crossfire

Photo: Michael Robinson Chavez, taken recently in Mexico while covering crime in the state of Guerrero.

Front lines, once thought of as spaces where opposing militaries clash, are increasingly located amid cities and civilian populations.

Media covering conflicts and internal strife in places like Caracas, Mexico City or Tahrir Square are targets for the police or opposition thugs.

This presents a particular challenge to photographers and people operating video equipment.

Two photojournalists will discuss how they deal with these issues at a panel co-sponsored by the OPC and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism: Meridith Kohut, an American based in Caracas, Venezuela since 2007, who won the OPC’s Feature Photography Award this spring for her work in The New York Times showing the plight of people inside state-run psychiatric hospitals in 2016; and Michael Robinson Chavez, a staff photographer for The Washington Post who has covered assignments in over 60 countries.

A nurse ties Raul Martínez, a paranoid schizophrenic patient who was suffering a psychotic episode, to a gurney at the state-run psychiatric hospital, El Pampero, in Barquisimeto, Venezuela in July 2016. Without sedatives, nurses say, they must restrain patients or lock them in isolation cells to keep them from harming themselves. Photo: Meridith Kohut

Moderating is Judith Matloff, a veteran foreign correspondent who now teaches conflict reporting at Columbia and recently published her third book, No Friends but the Mountains, which explores the high proportion of conflict zones in mountain communities.

Presented in partnership with the Photojournalism program at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the Professional Prizes department.

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