Photojournalist and war photographer James Nachtwey received a Lifetime Achievement Award this past Monday from the American Society of Magazine Editors. The 3.5-minute video above is his acceptance speech in which he talks about the power of photojournalists to create positive change in the world.
Nachtwey uses his camera to give a voice to the voiceless who are trapped in worlds of injustice.
[…] but I’m only one among many journalists who’ve committed themselves to covering conflicts and revealing social injustices, that have been hidden or ignored, but that are crying out to be corrected. It’s the combined work of all of us, together, that builds the critical mass of information and insight that creates change and helps make the world a better place. And I want to dedicate this award to those who have only been silenced by imprisonment or by giving their lives.
We’re the point people, the first link with reality in a collaborative, journalistic chain. Each of us is a single mind, a single sensibility – one pair of eyes and one pair of ears – one heart – moving through the real world in real time, to tell the stories of what happens to people, one-by-one, at the sharp end of history.
We navigate dangers, endure hardships and get our hearts broken by what we witness, over and over again, because we believe that peoples’ opinions matter – that our society cannot function properly without the information we provide and without the stories we tell.
Here’s a 5-minute video that looks back on Nachtwey’s 30 years of work: