Pulitzer Center Update

Senior Editor Tom Hundley Offers Pitch Advice to Photojournalists

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From left, Pulitzer Center Capital Campaign Director Joan Woods, Senior Editor Tom Hundley, and International Women's Media Foundation Senior Program Officer Ann Marie Valentine at the 2017 Pulitzer Center Gender Lens Conference workshop on pitching and funding proposals. Image by Jin Ding. United States, 2017.

From left, Pulitzer Center Capital Campaign Director Joan Woods, Senior Editor Tom Hundley, and International Women's Media Foundation Senior Program Officer Ann Marie Valentine at the 2017 Pulitzer Center Gender Lens Conference workshop on pitching and funding proposals. Image by Jin Ding. United States, 2017.

In IJNet's "Perspectives in Photojournalism: 8 Pitching Tips for Photojournalists", Clothilde Goujard spoke with several experts about what makes for a strong pitch from freelance photojournalists. The article covers a variety of issues including the importance of providing a relevant and specific pitch centered on a story the photojournalist wants to tell. Pulitzer Center Senior Editor Tom Hundley emphasizes the importance of having a specific story or project to offer:

“We don’t send people to, let’s say Syria or Iraq, just on speculation that there might be cool pictures to take.” 

Hundley has previously offered guidance and training on issues surrounding photojournalism and setbacks that photojournalists can encounter in the field. He has spoken to Photo District News about the importance of ethics in journalism, particularly in situations where journalists are embedded or receiving material support. 

Frequently, the Pulitzer Center will partner print journalists with photojournalists, so each journalist can work to their strengths and come together to create a comprehensive story or project. “It sometimes helps if photographers can’t do it alone to pair them up with a writer," says Hundley. "That often makes it easier to pitch to an outlet and to get a commission”. 

One example of this is the Emmy-award winning PBS NewsHour series, "The End of Aids?", a collaboration between Jon Cohen, William Brangham, and Jason Kane. The series was part of a Pulitzer Center initiative spanning years and aimed at raising the global awareness of HIV/AIDS. By combining journalstic talents in one team, the series was able to engage a greater number of people with an important issue and raise awareness. 

The full list of photojournalism tips is available on the IJNet website.