PhotoNight to increase focus on diversity themes in media and journalism through 2018-19 speakers

PhotoNight — a guest speaker series featuring photographers and photojournalists from all around the country — will focus on themes of diversity in the 2018-19 academic year.

"We are trying to focus more on bringing in a more diverse group of speakers that can talk to more things beyond just showing their work and discussing the basics of traditional journalism," said senior Alex Kormann '19, co-chair of PhotoNight along with fellow senior Courtney Staton '19.  Kormann is also president of the UNC chapter of the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA). UNC NPPA has organized the PhotoNight event series since Spring 2007.

On Tuesday, Nov. 14, PhotoNight will feature Deb Pastner, director of photo and multimedia at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, at 7 p.m. in 33 Carroll Hall. 

Past speakers have included photographers of prestigious publications, such as Chris Rainier of National Geographic, Erin Brethauer of The San Francisco Chronicle and Cath Spangler of The New Yorker, as well as freelance photographers, such as Louie Palu and Maggie Steber.

Pastner’s visit and presentation is the first in a special series of PhotoNights, funded by the school’s Hearst Visiting Professionals program, that will focus on issues related to diversity and diverse perspectives in the media.

Pastner — a member of the LGBTQ community — serves on the Associated Press Photo Managers Board and has served as a Pulitzer Prize juror. She has been the picture editor at the Star Tribune for nearly 20 years leading a staff of two dozen photojournalists through coverage of major news events including natural disasters, police shootings, elections and everything in between. Under her guidance, the Star Tribune photo desk has earned countless awards and recognition for their visual coverage of the state of Minnesota. Pastner will also provide insights related to job and internship applications. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with students and faculty. Her perspective on the media industry based on her own experiences, challenges and observations can be invaluable to students as they prepare to enter a diverse workforce.

Stay tuned for the UNC NPPA's slate of Spring 2019 PhotoNight speakers.