UMPI Has What?

New opportunities open at the University of Maine in Presque Isle. A video production studio located on the bottom floor of the Center for Innovative Learning will be accessible for students, staff and faculty. The video production studio offers students with project-based classes better resources to use. So, if you take pride in your work and want to learn or practice previous knowledge, this is a great place to start. The studio will be open throughout the week on the same days the CIL is open, with posted hours.

“At UMPI, we have many great things. But a lot of times the things that hurt us are a lack of resources,” Dr. J. said.

Dr. J. went on to explain how she feels that a Video Production Studio will benefit everyone. She hopes that not just her own students take advantage of this room, but all UMPI’s students, faculty and staff, as well. The room is filled with very nice equipment that can be checked out and used. The equipment is durable and can be used for school projects or personal projects. “It is something I have wanted and advocated for, for 12 years,” Dr J. said

A couple of years ago there was a grant and with enough people on board, this grant was approved and went on to what is now called the Video Production Studio. It’s been a slow process since July, but after finding a room in the basement of the CIL, the Video Production Studio finally had a home on our campus. The room was used previously for storage and it is thought that back in the day it was once used for radio. The room’s soundproof walls make it perfect to work in comfort.

“What do these students really need?” Dr. J asked.

Dr. J. explains that hands-on equipment will help students get prepared for life after UMPI. She hopes that students will feel free to use the room whenever available, whether it is for a project, a class or just to gain some extra learning experience on their own.

“It’s good to know something like this is available,” UMPI freshman Chessintra MacArthur said.

Students are invited to take full advantage of the studio. Hours will be posted online through the Center for Innovative Learning web page. Any other questions about the Video Production Studio can be answered online at

A Podcast About History Made at UMPI

You might have seen a flier or you might have heard a radio ad about it, or you might have just tuned into WUPI 92.1FM and listened to it. The rumors are true: there is a podcast made here at UMPI every month. Part of a partnership between the UMPI History Club and the WUPI 92.1FM Radio Station, the History Hour Podcast made its debut last fall of 2019 here on campus in the studios of WUPI 92.1FM in Folsom Hall. The podcast is about history and fascinating stories throughout the world. Since September of 2019 it has produced 13 episodes with topics varying from local history such as “The Only Lynching in New England, the Story of Jim Cullen,” to global history such as “The Story of Otto Von Bismarck” and many more.

The motto of the podcast is The podcast for history, about history, by students, and it promotes the idea of sharing while learning. The show is recorded at the WUPI 92.1FM studios and it has been on the air on 92.1FM every Saturday at 4 p.m., while at the same time the podcast owns its own YouTube Channel and periodically it also manages a SoundCloud page. This partnership between two clubs on campus has created a listeners’ sensation on the WUPI station, according to the station manager Max Bushman “Since the History Hour Podcast started broadcasting on WUPI, I have received many compliments about it. One person told me that it was something different and unique from what any other station in the county was playing.” Bushman added, “As the station manager, I keep track of our programs that we have to understand what people in our community like and what they don’t. We can only keep track of our live stream listeners, but have continuously noticed that the History Hour Podcast has the most listeners by far.”

Everything on the podcast from the music, the sound, the graphics, to the editing and the ideas for the episodes are created by students. The music is composed by Billy Zarkadas, a 17-year-old high school student who is a musician at heart. Billy will be going to college to study music next year and he has already received many music awards and honors. The graphics for the podcast were created by one of its own members on the show, UMPI senior Bethany MacPherson. Bethany is an art major and enjoys creating art. She has created both logos that have been used so far for the podcast and as mentioned, she has been part of the podcast team since its inception. The podcast producer, editor and content director is the person who is writing to you right now.

This semester, the podcast will have seven episodes, with one already recorded and released in February. The podcast team has in line some very interesting and fun episodes with many special guests. Some of the episodes are: “The Untold Gospels of the Bible,” with Dr. John DeFelice, “The History of the Acadian People,” with Lise Pelletier, the director of the Acadian Archives in Fort Kent, and “Lost Atusville, A Black Settlement in Maine,” with Marcus LiBrizzi, the author of the homonymous book.

The podcast team is very happy with the way the podcast has been made so far and is always excited for more episodes and even more knowledge to be shared with the public. If anyone is interested in listening to the History Hour, the link to its YouTube Channel is the following:

For more information you can email the team members at


The History Hour Podcast Logo for Spring 2020, designed by Bethany MacPherson.

Kick Start 2020

Happy New Year from Gentile Hall!!  Now is the time to make New Year’s resolutions

and the hard part is sticking with them.  This year I kick started 2020 with a diet cleanse.  It’s

nothing really extreme, but it’s good to do to get your diet back on track after the holidays.  It

consists of avoiding chips, soda, candy, doughnuts, cake, ice cream, white bread, French fries, fried food, cookies and pizza for one month.  If you are looking for some motivation with your workout routine, come see me and we can talk about goals and what you want out of your fitness program.  For more details about personal training, diet, workouts and body fat testing, you can email me at

Welcome back students for a second semester!  Let’s get active with some intramurals.

Basketball intramurals will start soon and then volleyball will follow.  If anyone is interested in

playing or has any questions, please contact Jonathon Bowman at

Students, faculty and staff, don’t forget about all the rentals Gentile Hall has for you  to take part in outdoor activities.  Get outside and enjoy some fresh air skiing or snowshoeing.  We have skis, boots, poles and snowshoes for you all to use.  There are wonderful ski trails and snowshoe

trails at Aroostook State Park and the Nordic Heritage Center.  Stop by our front desk for any

questions concerning our rentals or email Dick Gardner at

February is heart health awareness month.  Some healthy tips for lowering your

cholesterol are increasing your omega 3’s by eating more fish.  Salmon is very high in omega

3’s.  Almonds, olive oil and avocados are also high in omega 3’s.  Increasing fiber in your

diet has also been proven to help lower cholesterol levels.  Oatmeal for breakfast is a great

choice with lots of fiber.  Fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants such as strawberries,

blueberries, spinach and broccoli have also been proven to lower cholesterol levels.


Here is a heart healthy protein smoothie that is a perfect option for breakfast or lunch.


½ Banana

½ Cup Strawberries

¼ Cup Oatmeal

½ Scoop Protein Powder

1 Cup of Yogurt

1 Cup of Juice




Rippin’ Lips

What was once a few holes poked in Long Lake now has blossomed into the state’s largest grossing fishing derby.  At this year’s 15th Annual Long Lake Ice Fishing Derby, anglers had a chance to leave with $50 thousand-worth of prizes and as many fish as they could net.

Though home base for the derby was on Long Lake in St. Agatha, fisher-men-and-women were scattered across 10 of Aroostook County’s northern waterways.  From the Canada-bordering St. John River to Cross Lake, lines were prepped, tackled and set with hopes of reeling in the big one.

Over 1,600 men, women and children tried their luck competing for a top-three fish in any of the derby’s 10 different categories.  And those were only the people registered.  Long Lake Ice Fishing Derby Committee member Don Raymond shares how the demographics on the lake have changed over the years.  “This year, as much if not more than any year, the derby is really a family event.  A good portion, probably as much as half of our participants, are young people out here just having fun.”

Families and friends filled every cove of Long Lake to fish, grill, snowmobile and party out on the ice.  When the fish weren’t biting, snowball fights and sled races passed the time.  While local anglers didn’t have far to commute for the derby, others traveled from Florida, Massachusetts and southern Maine to try their hand at rippin’ lips.

Like the group of six men, all residing in central Maine, who won the “booby-prize” for most perch caught.  By pooling their time and fish, the crew amassed over one thousand of the nuisance fish over the derby’s span.  Though the weekend may have set them back a couple of thousand dollars in travel and other expenses, the men admitted they’d be back again next year.  “We come to fish specifically for the perch division and we look forward to it every year.  It’s worth every penny.”

Richard Chandler, co-owner of Caribou-based Channel X Radio, has been at every derby since it began in 2005.  When asked about this year’s derby compared to years past, Chandler shared a heart-warming observation on what an event like this means for a small town such as St. Agatha.  “It was unlike any derby I’ve seen.  The restaurants were packed. The weather was so nice there were people fishing in T-shirts.  I don’t know how many kids were there, too–absolutely everywhere.  It was almost hard to find a state of Maine license plate in the Sporting Club and Lakeview parking lots.”

A tradition once reserved for Aroostook’s tough and rugged north is now shared across all ages, genders and regions.  Though populations have changed, the same old adage applies: a bad day fishing always beats a good day working.



Winners of the Most Perch category pose with their weekend haul. The crew, led by team captains Trentyn Holyoke and Joshua Saunders, harvested over one thousand fish on Jan. 25 and 26.

A Welcome Display of Beauty

“It couldn’t be more different, that’s right,” museum staff are overheard saying, “It couldn’t be further away from the last exhibition at the PMA—it’s fantastic” This catches the mood among Portland Museum of Art staff as, despite an ice storm earlier this month, the PMA opened “Carrie Moyer and Sheila Pepe: Tabernacles for Trying Times.” It’s the first major joint exhibition of Skowhegan School alum, queer activists and loving spouses Carrie Moyer and Sheila Pepe.

One step into the gallery confirms what everyone is saying. This exhibition is vibrant, colorful and engaging in a way that many exhibitions struggle with.

The PMA’s last major exhibition explored the works of N. C. Wyeth. That show was both striking and beautiful in its own right. It was also exactly what many people think a major art exhibition looks like. It held many classic paintings and illustrations of people, places and landscapes, all mounted on the wall. It was also a show dedicated to the patriarch of the Wyeth family.

In this way, “Tabernacles for Trying Times” is completely different. It’s a breath of fresh air and a welcome change.

Painter Carrie Moyer and sculptor Sheila Pepe met at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in the summer of 1995. In the most recent issue of “PMA Magazine,” Moyer tells of the first time she met her wife. Pepe casually entered Moyer’s private studio and began talking about her paintings. Moyer says of that encounter, “As offended as I was by her casual audacity, I was secretly intrigued to meet another working-class lesbian artist my age.”

Since that summer in Maine, the two artists have worked alongside each other. This, however, is their first major exhibition together. And in this exhibition, their art works so well together. They are known globally for their colorful abstract works that are informed by feminist politics and queer activism.

Moyer creates vibrant, lush and richly colored abstract paintings. They’re dazzling to see and impressive to behold. They make viewers reflect on both what is on the canvas and what is on their own minds. She sometimes mixes glitter into acrylic paint. It’s a technique best described as a way of subverting abstract art’s reputation for being dominated by hetero men.

Pepe’s abstract sculptures are equally engaging. She doesn’t just sculpt, she creates whole environments using yarns, rubber bands and nautical line to create spaces that capture the senses. Pepe’s works transform the gallery space into something most viewers have never seen before. It’s also oddly familiar. Her sculptures hang from the ceilings and the walls like spider webs in some places. In other places they play with the space in a whole new way. They are colorful and inviting in their own way. Being around them brings a sense of security.

This sense of safety is a big theme for Moyer and Pepe. It’s an idea they call “big tent.” They invite visitors to spend time, and in special cases engage directly, with the art. This is reaffirmed in the show’s title. The PMA reminds us that “tabernacles” have many meanings, but most generally involve people gathering for religious ceremonies. There’s nothing religious about this exhibition, but it does inspire people to gather.

The gathering is thanks in part to the curator behind the exhibition, Jaime DeSimone. In the most recent issue of “PMA Magazine,” DeSimone said of Moyer and Pepe, “I have long admired each artist’s dedication to and ongoing exploration of abstraction, and I was drawn to their feminist practices.…” Her appreciation for Moyer and Pepe shows throughout the exhibition. The show spills out into the PMA’s Great Hall and up into the second floor spaces where older portraits hang. DeSimone’s work as curator shows a commitment to presenting these works in a way that opens conversations and engages the community.

At the end of the day, that is the goal of this exhibition. It aims to create a sense of togetherness. Moyer and Pepe bring much-needed color, motion and life to an otherwise gray February. There is art for everyone in this exhibition’s use of both painting and sculpture. Moyer and Pepe create spaces, share ideas and open doors while offering a visually stunning and immersive experience.

This exhibition, on view through June 7, 2020, is a must-see, if for no other reason than it’s certain that viewers have never seen anything like it before.

Carrie Moyer & Sheila Pepe, image courtesy of the Portland Museum of Art.

The World’s Most Powerful Weapon

What makes a photo worthy of a Pulitzer Prize? There are many things that can qualify. The short film, “A Glimpse of Life–The Pulitzer Photos,” features many photojournalists discussing  the Pulitzer Prize. “It’s not a photography contest. It’s about telling some of the biggest stories of the year,” William Snyder said. Since the 1960s, there are two Pulitzers for photojournalism: Feature Photography and Breaking News Photography.

“Burst of Joy” is a photo from 1974. It pictures a group of five rushing to greet a former POW who has returned to America. The amount of happiness coming from this photo is unreal. One of the three women in the photo has her arms open to hug the POW as he walks toward his family. All in this picture have smiles on their faces. This photo is an important example in photojournalism because of how well it can portray the emotions of that family from that point in time.

In “Babe Ruth’s Farewell” from 1949, we see the back of Babe Ruth, with his baseball jersey, his hat in one hand and bat in the other, resting on the ground like a cane. All eyes are on him as he stands alone by home base. When you look at this photo, there is an air of sadness from the crowd as the famous player prepares for retirement. With photos like these, “It’s a front seat to history” John White said.

John White’s pictures showing life in Chicago is a moving collection. One picture shows a nun praying with a young boy with her hand on the back of his neck. According to White, “Everyone has a story. And we sing their song. If we don’t do it– if the journalist doesn’t do it– who’s going to do it?” With his collection “Life in Chicago,” readers can see the backbone of the city and what makes it Chicago.

In “Ruby Shoots Oswald” we see the moment in time right after Oswald is shot. There is panic and disbelief on people’s faces in the surrounding area. There are even some in the photo who seem to not know what is going on, and they won’t know until they turn around. Robert Jackson, the photographer, said, “If I had planned it, I probably would have missed it.”

The last picture is from 1998, showing a young boy surrounded by others, but you can only see their hands or feet. The boy is looking up with curiosity just to the right of the picture. Children can have a sense of hope, even in the hardest of times. This picture confirms that. Martha Rial’s “Rwandan Refugees” shows the struggles that this community had and its hardships during that time.

The thing that sets theses photos apart from others is how they illustrate the world around us. Photojournalism is more than a profession, it’s a calling. Just with any writer or dancer, there needs to be that passion to continue doing it. Otherwise pictures have no life or character to them. “The most powerful weapon that we have in the world is a still photograph.” Pulitzer winner Eddie Adams said.

Iwo Jima.

The Work for Something More Than a Picture

To win the Pulitzer Prize for photojournalism is an honor for journalists. “It’s not a photography contest. It’s about telling some of the biggest stories of the year,” Pulitzer winning photojournalist William Snyder said. The award is given to a photo that captures a moment in time that touches people. The picture should make the viewer understand the story in a new light, with emotion. “Something about that still moment in time that does touch people,” Pulitzer winning photojournalist Carol Guzy said. The photo should bring emotion and awareness. The goal for photojournalists is to be invisible and be the eyes of the people who are not there.

In 1945, Joe Rosenthal’s photo of raising the flag on Iwo Jima won. The iconic photo holds the still moment of five American soldiers working together to raise the American flag. The photo gave hope to Americans. The photo fits the quote by John White: “It’s a front seat to history.” The picture is a perfect poster image for the war. The photo captures the emotion from the war and still shows hope for the audience.

Eddie Adams’ 1968 photo of the “Saigon Execution” won. The photo shows a South Vietnamese general firing his pistol at a Viet Cong officer/ prisoner. The photo shows another soldier in the back and the horror coming from the Viet Cong’s face. As this event was happening, Adams had to fire his camera as the general fired his pistol. The picture created controversy, but is a true view of war.

Jerry Gay captured a famous firefighter photograph from 1974. The photo shows four exhausted firefighters sitting on the side of a muddy hill, reflecting on what just happened. The photo captures the firefighters as soldiers with their helmets off. The picture captures the intense feelings as if the viewer is right there with the smoky haze, mud and emotion.

In 1982, John White captures a photograph of two children running in front of a Chicago housing project. The picture captures the innocence and fun of the happy children. As they play, their smiles make the shot a good-feeling picture for the viewer. The picture allows a light to shine through the element of children in these events.

Annie Wells captures a young girl being rescued from flooding waters in 1997. The photo shows the girl holding onto a branch as the muddy water around her swirls and a man rescuing her with a vibrant red lifejacket on. She looks into the shot for hope and survival. The picture shows the true moments of horror escaping fast to save the girl. For Wells to take this picture, she had to join the experience of the flood and follow the hope to help save the girl.

To capture these shots is a journey. Photojournalists truly go through an experience for a photo. They are the first responders to these events. “Everyone has a story. And we sing their song,” John White said. Photojournalists walk into these scenes that are often graphic. They go through the full experience of all the senses involved to capture these moments. The work is hard and they have to deal with the experience of the photo for the rest of their lives. Carol Guzy said, “ Someone once told me empathy was not imagining how you would feel in a particular situation, but actually feeling what the other person is feeling.”

This job is a calling because photojournalists go through the same experiences as captured in the pictures. Photojournalists have to hold onto that experience forever. Their profession is powerful. They can portray reality from their pictures, which can create change.

POW Returns From Vietnam, Photo by Slava Veder.

What Makes a Picture Worth 1,000 Words?

One picture can capture a moment worth far more than 1,000 words. Just ask these Pulitzer Prize winners. All of the following photojournalists and their pictures understand this concept. Whether they capture inspirational moments or devastating events, each picture is a brief moment in people’s lives. It is the journalist’s job to tell their story and, as John White said, “If the journalist doesn’t do it, who’s going to do it?” In the film, “A Glimpse of Life: The Pulitzer Photographs,” White and other Pulitzer winners describe what it takes to be a photojournalist, including the moving moments and the horrible sorrow.

The image of soldiers raising the American flag on Iwo Jima is very well known. It has become the symbol for national monuments and memorial pieces. Before the statues were built and art made, that image was of soldiers finishing their job. Four or five soldiers putting the American flag in the rubble of war shows the strength and resilience of soldiers across the globe. Taken by Joe Rosenthal in 1945, this image was a turning point for American forces in World War II. When speaking about the picture, photojournalist Eddie Adams said, “A still picture is in front of you all the time…. The most powerful weapon that we have in the world is a still photograph.”

War is time of incredible suffering, yet there are so many moments that are important to capture. The Vietnam War was one such war. With the massive amount of public attention, good and bad, it was up to the journalists and photojournalists to tell the story of the war. John White explained that photojournalism is “a front seat to history.” Two pictures, taken four years apart, show death and pain at the hands of Vietnamese and American troops. The first, taken by Eddie Adams in 1969, is of a prisoner of war and a Vietnamese general walking up to him in the road and executing him. The man pulling the trigger is calm, easily ending the man’s life.

As for the second picture, taken by Nick Ut in 1973, this was the aftermath of a napalm bombing on a small village. Families and young children are running away from the smoke and fire. Many are naked with their clothes having been burned off by the blaze. The picture clearly sees a young girl, naked and crying, while her home burns behind her. The general rule for news at that time had been no “titillating” nudity in the papers. Since there was nothing “titillating” about this image, they made an exception for this one because of the raw emotion shown.

Many images that come from war bring out emotions—whether anger and sadness or inspiration and respect. Natural disasters do the same thing, except the anger and sadness is directed at the earth. Carol Guzy and Michel duCille know firsthand what that is like. “You rage inside at the helplessness. To try to deal with it, you seek out elements of humanity and courage,” Guzy said, remembering what it was like in Colombia in 1986. A massive mudslide claimed the lives of more than 20,000 people. Guzy and duCille were there to capture the aftermath on film. They took a picture of a young girl, stuck in water, and rescue workers trying to save her. After 72 hours, she died from her injuries without being freed from the water.

Pulitzer Prize winning photos don’t need to be of death and suffering. Sometimes, it’s the pictures of freedom and success that make that picture Pulitzer worthy. In 1990, the Berlin Wall fell and signaled the end of the Cold War in Europe. David Turnley was there in 1990 as the destruction of the wall began. The image of a young man, with a hammer and chisel, breaking away piece by piece a wall that symbolized restriction and conformity changed the meaning of the wall. With its destruction, it became an image of freedom.

“There’s something about this business that can catapult you to the highest sense of being and purpose,” Don Bartletti said. That “sense of being and purpose” is what makes photojournalism more than a profession, but a calling. It requires courage, compassion, curiosity and empathy. Photojournalists witness the worst moments in history, but also the best. And all so that they can capture and share them for the rest of the world.

Photo by Stanley Forman.

The Power of Photography

Written words are powerful. But there’s a limit to that power. Great photography picks up where words stop and raises journalism to new heights. Photojournalism creates shared experiences that stay long after the headlines are forgotten. So, what makes a Pulitzer-worthy photograph? The answer is simple. These photographs capture history as it happens. They capture life. In some intense cases these photographs immortalize life’s final moments. Pulitzer-winning photography shows the rest of the world moments of great triumph. And also times of great tragedy. There are great images of loss, disaster and chaos. There are also many great images of hope, faith and the future. As American photojournalist John White says of his craft, “It’s a front seat to history.”

These photographs are some of the most iconic images of the last century. As example, consider Joe Rosenthal’s photograph “Iwo Jima,” from 1945. This image was taken during World War II. The history here is that American Marines were raising an American flag on the Japanese island of Iwo Jima. In the image, Rosenthal shows viewers how far away from America these Marines were. They are shown on the top of a mountain. There is nothing in the background. Just fields in the distance. The Marines take up most of this black and white photograph. At their feet are debris and rubble. These show evidence of war. It’s unclear what they are raising the flag on. Could it be broken trees? Fallen soldiers? The image doesn’t make it clear. The motion of the men shows their strength and persistence. Their uniforms and helmets make it clear this is an act of victory. Most important, this image was so well-received that it became the inspiration for a memorial to the Marines.

Often Pulitzer photographs appear like works of art in black and white. This is not always true, and sometimes color makes the image even more meaningful. David Turnley’s 1990 photograph “Berlin Wall Falls” shows the power of color. In the center of the image is a young man wearing dark clothes and preparing to swing a hammer at a chisel he holds against the wall. The Berlin Wall takes up the entire left side of the image. The wall is covered in red and yellow graffiti. In the background viewers can see the green leaves of a tree. This tree gives a sense of hope as the young man works to help tear down the wall.

Some Pulitzer photographs show trouble and struggle at home. Stanley Forman’s photograph of the Boston School Busing Protest from 1976 shows this sort of struggle. This is iconic image of midcentury racial tension. There’s a lot of motion in this tragic image of a riot in Boston. In the background of the city, viewers see many people moving, fighting. Some people look confused or scared. In the front of the image there is a young black man held against his will by a man whose face we cannot see. On the left side of the photograph there is a young white man lunging toward this captive man. In the white man’s hands are the pole of an American flag. The flag drapes towards the ground helplessly. It looks like he is about to stab or jab the black man with the end of the flag pole. This image captures senseless racism at its worst. Forman shows the audience how terrible people can be to one another.

Another great Pulitzer photograph showing American struggle is Robert Jackson’s 1964 “Ruby Shoots Oswald.” The image is special because it captures the moment Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who assassinated President John Kennedy, was shot. It’s a fairly dark black and white image with lots of men at the center. On the left is one man who appears unaware of what is happening. Just to the right of the center is Oswald. He looks terrified. Viewers cannot see Ruby’s face because his back is facing the camera. The men around Oswald appear frantic and alarmed. In this image, Jackson captured a pivotal moment in American history. He also captured the sense of being in the room when it happened.

Not all Pulitzer Prize photographs are about war and loss. Skeeter Hagler’s photographs of cowboys in Texas are just that kind of image. Taken in the 1980s, Hagler’s images might have been taken in the 1880s from the way some look. There is one particular photograph, taken at night, that shows a lone cowboy in the moonlight. The look of the dim light makes the ground look like it could be the surface of the moon. It’s rough and flat and barren. There is a fence with a little fog, but little else the viewers can see. This photograph shows the audience how lonely working as a cowboy can be. The flatness makes this feeling more intense. Looking at this photograph, viewers are left with a sense of duty and hard work, but also of loss. The only cowboy in the image walks proudly toward the right edge of the image. He walks with purpose. In this image there is no tragedy, only a pause.

These five images are only a limited example of the many award-winning images captured by photojournalists. These images make viewers laugh, or cry. Some images scare audiences. Others remind viewers of what is important in life. It’s this power that makes these images so important. These images may evoke many different emotions, but they certainly all do one thing very well. They capture the human experience.

Man at the Berlin Wall, seen with a chisel and hammer.

A Glimpse of Life: The Pulitzer Photographs

“A Glimpse of Life” is a film about the Pulitzer Prize for Photojournalism. The prize is awarded to a someone who does outstanding photo reporting. It highlights some notable winners and their photos. The film shows images from the 1940s to the 2000s.

“It’s not a photography contest. It’s about telling some of the biggest stories of the year,” prize winner William Snyder said. Winning photos have many of the same elements as a great news story. They are relevant, prominent and, above all, interesting. These pictures must tell a compelling story.

One of the first pictures the film highlights is a photo of Iwo Jima. It is one of the most iconic pictures ever taken. Joe Rosenthal took it in 1945. It shows some U. S. Marines raising the flag. They are surrounded by rubble. The picture was taken in the middle of the process. The soldiers appear worn out, but together they raise the flag. It’s a moment of brightness in a horrible war. The depiction of heroism and camaraderie continues to inspire.

Many Pulitzer winners didn’t portray the U. S. Army so positively. Eddie Adams won for Saigon Execution in 1968. It was a controversial picture. It shows a man being shot in the head. You can see the impact of the shot on his head. He is clearly a prisoner of war, being killed by soldiers. The soldiers were backed by the United States. The raw nature of this photo shocked people. It made a clear point about the injustices of the Vietnam War.

These injustices don’t only happen abroad. Pulitzer winners have explored the same themes on U.S. soil. John Paul Filo’s picture of the Kent State shooting is outstanding example. It shows a young woman crying over a dead man. She is kneeling beside the body with her hands in the air. He is face down on the pavement. The photo captures the tragedy of a life cut short. It shows the brutality of the U. S. government against its own people.

Other prize winners covered famines and natural disasters. William Snyder photographed orphanages in Romania in the 1990s. His pictures tell a story of neglect. One of his prizewinning photos shows a malnourished child in a crib. The room is almost empty. Only a doll is looking on. And the child isn’t much larger than the doll.

Not all prizes are given to work about wars and killings. John White won the Pulitzer in 1982. He made a series of photographs of life in inner-city Chicago. One striking photo shows a boy running in a hallway. His school had no track, so the children ran races in the halls. “They ran with their hearts – that’s why they’re state champs,” White said. Blacks in the city lived a life completely different from the rest of the country. White shone a light on their experiences.

Many of these photojournalists risked their lives. They witnessed deeply disturbing things. Some of them seem haunted by what they’ve seen. But they all love the craft.

“It’s an honor to be a journalist,” Stan Grossfeld said. “If I care about something, I can make half a million people care.”

“It’s a front seat to history,” John White said.

Photojournalism is a powerful tool. These pictures have a physicality and immediacy that written stories cannot capture. They arouse emotion. They stir the soul.  There is, as Carol Guzy said, “something about that still moment in time that does touch people.”

John White said it well. “Everyone has a story. And we sing their song. If we don’t do it – if the journalist doesn’t do it – who’s going to do it?”

Photo by Carol Guzy.