Newsletter No 3 13 October 2005
 
News from the Media Scene:
World Press Photo Hopes for Higher Arab Participation

World Press Photo is the world’s largest annual press photo contest. Its annual exhibition presents the best of press photography to more than one million people in over 40 countries.

“World Press Photo aims to reach every corner on the planet. We are already well-established in Europe, Australia, South America and Asia, but there are some gaps in our map that we wish to fill. The Arab world is one of them,” says Michiel Munneke, managing director of World Press Photo.

“Although Arabs had a presence in past editions of the contest, it was not significant. Nevertheless, an Arab photographer received an award in 2004, when a Palestinian photographer for Reuters, Ahmad Jadallah, won the first prize in the spot single news category; and in 1998 when the World Press Photo of the year, the most prestigious prize, was awarded to Hocine, an Algerian photographer working for AFP.”

Concerning the promotion of the contest in Arab countries, Munneke says “The World Press Photo exhibition play a major role in the promotion. We also would like to establish a network of Arab photographers and we hope that former Arab participants can help provide us with the means for it.”

As a first step, the organization has provided an application form in Arabic on its website for the 2006 competition (go to www.worldpressphoto.nl/contest ). Among the jury members for 2006, there will be a Lebanese photographer, Janine Haidar.

World Press Photo also carries out training programs.  “We have run seminars in Lebanon and Egypt in the nineties. Furthermore, we have had exhibitons in Egypt, Dubai, Bahrain, Lebanon, Oman and Morocco,” says Munneke. “We are currently trying to identify the right partners to work with in the region as well as looking for funds. However, as photojournalism is not really developed in the Arab press, maybe we should try to address the workshops not only to photographers but also to photo editors and editors-in-chief in order to show that pictures can tell stories and not only illustrate them.”