Posts by Kenneth Irby

About Kenneth Irby

Kenny founded Poynter's photojournalism program in 1995. He teaches in seminars and consults in areas of photojournalism, leadership, ethics and diversity.

Timothy Tai discusses standoff with Missouri protesters

The past 24 hours have been surreal -- “bizarre and weird" -- for University of Missouri senior journalism major Timothy R. Tai. The viral video and media coverage of his face-off with students protesting reports of racism on the Columbia, Missouri, campus has brought the talented and humble young visual reporter tremendous unwanted attention. In both of Tai’s Tuesday … Read More

Commentary: Corporate media’s lack of vision threatens photojournalism's future

Sometimes, the cumulative insults to talented visual journalists make me want to holler and throw up both my hands. Early last Saturday, veteran Pulitzer Prize-winning St. Louis photojournalist David Carson was approached via Twitter by a representative from CBS News to publish his compelling photographs from a chaotic shooting scene at a Friday night football game. PetaPixel's Michael Zhang … Read More

Tragic images of children captured by photojournalists over time

In most cultures, children are valued as precious gifts of life -- treasured icons of hope. That stands in stark contrast to photographs circulated this week of a small, lifeless refugee child lying face-down on a Turkish beach with his bright red shirt, little blue cargo shorts and Velcro-strapped, sneakers. Almost immediately, the image became a symbol of the plight … Read More

NABJ’s Visual Task Force restores the Moneta Sleet photo competition

After a five-year hiatus, the Visual Task Force (VTF) of the National Association of Black Journalists "revamped" The Moneta Sleet, Jr. photo competition by partnering with the Teripix mobile photo app. That partnership allowed off-convention site participation and remote judging, which was a first for the 25-year-old competition. This year’s competition chair, Boyzell Hosey, director of photo and video … Read More

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch photo department one year later, 'all hands are still on deck'

On the eve of the one year anniversary of Michael Brown’s death, which sparked many days and nights of rioting, protest and soul searching in Ferguson, Missouri and across America, Lynden Steele, the lead editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s photographic team, spoke about some changes in his life and his newsroom. One year later, “all hands are still on … Read More

Commentary: Obama's moving message includes lessons for journalists

Irby is a senior faculty member at The Poynter Institute. Irby is also an itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and pastors the congregation at Historic Bethel in St. Petersburg, Florida. President Barack Obama sings "Amazing Grace" during services honoring the life of Rev. Clementa Pinckney last Friday at the College of Charleston TD Arena in Charleston, S.C.. Pinckney was … Read More

Opinion: The door is open for restoring America's race narrative

Sen. Clementa Pinckney's wife Jennifer Pinckney, right, and daughters Eliana, left, and Malana walk in for his funeral service, Friday, June 26, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/David Goldman)On the pastoral grounds of Peace Village, 873 miles north, via I-95, from Charleston, South Carolina, I too am remembering the life of the Honorable Rev. Clementa Carlos Pinckney, who was … Read More

When deciding to run an open-casket photo, picture editors matter

As news organizations debated their lead image options yesterday during the first of a two-day public viewing for slain Senator and pastor Clementa C. Pinckney, a key voice was silent in many newsrooms: The picture editor. Given the magnitude of this story and the historical significance, many publications and news sites presented the open casket public viewing prominently. Read More

How Wired is using Periscope

Since Periscope launched in March, Patrick Witty, the director of photography at Wired, has been thinking about ways to use it. "It’s so experiential, ephemeral and counterintuitive to most other ways of storytelling," he said. "After 24 hours, it's gone. But that’s what I like about it." When the publication decided to cover the opening of a … Read More

Photojournalism ethics needs a reexamination

The latest in the world of photojournalism contest ethics and photo sleuthing took another turn yesterday with World Press Photos’ rescinding a first-place award after disqualifying 22 percent of the entries that had made the penultimate round. Amid controversy, World Press Photo announced yesterday that based on its investigation, it is withdrawing the controversial “Dark Heart of Europe” award … Read More

Hysteria or proper precaution -- a conversation with Michel du Cille

Michel du Cille (Photo by: Julia Ewan/TWP) Kenny Irby interviewed Washington Post photographer Michel du Cille about his work in Liberia covering the Ebola virus, but before we get into his work, we will address Syracuse University's decision to disinvite the three-time Pulitzer Prize winner from its S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications Fall Workshop. Each side … Read More

Keith Jenkins answers questions about his meteoric ascension at National Geographic

In just about one year’s time National Geographic’s Keith Jenkins has gone from director of photography to executive editor for digital content to general manager, National Geographic Digital. Jenkins will be charged with restructuring, reimagining and elevating the venerable organization in the digital space. In a recent telephone interview with Poynter’s Kenny Irby, Keith shared plans and hopes … Read More

Advice on publishing graphic photos from Iraq

It’s just a matter of time. That’s what I told a Kalish Visual Editing workshop on the campus of Ball State University just last week. I told the group that it was a matter of time before they were forced to make a decision on a graphic photograph and they needed to be prepared to defend their decision. Read More