The Inclusion Challenge in Photojournalism: Working Toward Solutions

Written by Lee Catherine Collins, Ole Miss

SND hosts a panel session, The Inclusion Challenge in photojouranlism, from right to left, Susan Mango, Akili-Casundria Ramsess, Nicole Frugé, and Kainaz Amaria come together to discuss the under-representation of women and people of color in photojournalism.

This afternoon’s panel on photojournalism featured Kainaz Amaria, Nicole Frugé, Akili Ramsess, and Susan Mango Curtis. The panel, hosted by Troy Griggs, gave a rundown of representation in the newsroom all the way through the hiring process today.

A high point of the conversation, however, was when Griggs asked the panel how they would advise a young journalist who may feel uncomfortable challenging situations where photos are not representing equally or ethically. It makes this student journalist wonder, “What would I really do in a situation where I felt lead to speak out because of a lack of diversity in a piece?” These powerful journalists with lifetimes of experience had something to say.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, Susan Mango Curtis, advised the audience to pick your battles. She noted that always being the person with some complaint is never something that goes over well.

Vox Visuals Editor, Kainaz Amaria, advised against popping off on Twitter. She encouraged listeners to read things carefully, learn, and make awesome, thought-out arguments.

Executive Director of the National Press Photographers Association, Akili Ramsess, recommended that when trying to critique a piece in the newsroom in relation to diversity, pose a solution with your critique. She warned against being a “whiner,” and, instead, encouraged listeners to be a solution-maker.

This panel inspired the audience to take agency in the newsroom. Speak out when you see injustice. Fight for better representation. Find photos that challenge the narrative we have always been told.

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