What the World’s Best News Photos Tell Us About Humanity
The World Press Photo Contest just announced its selections today for this year’s best news photos.
The winning photograph depicts a man on the Serbian border passing an infant through a razor-wire fence—a brief, but illumainting image of Europe’s ongoing refugee crisis.
“I could feel the drama, the hardship, and also the hope,” Francis Kohn, a photo director at Agence France-Presse and one of the contest’s judges, told the New York Times about the image. “As I thought about this picture, it really grew on me day after day. The photo is not a punch in the face.”
Many of the contest’s top entries depict regions where the emergency food assistance of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is vital: Nepal, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Chad and Sierra Leone, among others. As Kohn notes, these images communicate global struggles in a way that words alone often cannot. Thanks to better technology and social media, photos like these can travel farther and faster than ever before.
Few understand the universal language of photography like Rein Skullerud, the head of photography at WFP. For the past 22 years, Rein has traveled to more than 50 countries documenting the communities that WFP serves. His images from the field remain one of the most effective ways to understand the agency’s work and its impact.
“Photographs bring a story to life and help defeat language boundaries,” Rein explained from WFP’s headquarters in Rome. “I have been blessed by having the opportunity to offer my skills in service to people in need.”
“Professional photographers deliver a really important service to humanity. I see myself as being part of this team.”