Alumni and Friends

National media outlets rely on VisCom alums to photograph Ohio news for global audience

The New York Times and other leading media outlets hire award-winning photographers trained at Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication to cover Ohio and nearby news for a vast global audience. These alums, based in Ohio, photograph breaking news, politics, sports, trends and more for top-tier out-of-state clients, helping visually tell stories happening right here in the region.

Breaking news

When a Norfolk Southern freight train derailed in East Palestine, OH on Feb. 3, Agence France-Presse (AFP) via Getty Images distributed iconic photos by Dustin Franz (VisCom ’10), a freelancer based in Cleveland.

His train derailment photos were published everywhere from NPR, Axios, Yahoo, Bloomberg Law, the BBC, TIME, Fortune, CNN, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Slate, Popular Mechanics, Catholic News Agency and even right here in Athens at WOUB Public Media.

After the indictment of former President Donald Trump in Georgia, The New York Times published a front-page picture of Trump by Columbus-based freelancer Maddie McGarvey (VisCom ’12).

“Seeing your photos in print never gets old,” McGarvey shared on social media, generating thousands of impressions.

McGarvey tweet


The all-eyes-on-Ohio election on Aug. 8 looking at the outcome of Issue 1 generated worldwide coverage. The New York Times published photos of Ohio voters by Madeleine Hordinski (VisCom ’20). A pre-election story in The Washington Post featured photos from Cleveland by Franz and Marion County by McGarvey.

Vanity Fair’s coverage of Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence on Nov. 8, 2022, led with a Trump-Pence photo by Ty Wright (VisCom ’11) for Getty Images. Based in central Ohio, Wright earned a Photojournalism Masters degree from the School of Visual Communication.

Some political events, such as Trump’s rally in Youngstown on Sept. 17, 2022, were covered by more than one Ohio University alum. Franz photographed that event for Bloomberg, while a photo for The Washington Post by Columbus-based alum Andrew Spear (VisCom ’10) of three Roman Catholic nuns — hands to hearts at that rally — generated debate about religion and politics.

Franz and McGarvey also photographed Trump’s rally in Erie, PA on July 29, 2023.

After the March national jobs report was released, The Washington Post story on April 7, 2023 was accompanied by job-site photos by Hordinski in the Cincinnati area.


The New York Times’ story on baseball umpires’ expanded role explaining tricky rule interpretations was datelined from Cincinnati with photographs by McGarvey (Oct. 12, 2022).

A decade ago, James Madison University reached the NCAA men’s basketball tournament as a 16 seed. On March 15, 2023, The Washington Post published McGarvey’s where-are-they-now photos of players on that special team.

Out-of-the-way venues / cats and dogs

Winter on Put-in-Bay, a small island in Lake Erie, typically revolves around ice. But ice was scarce last winter. As the winter season ended, a lengthy New York Times story explained what this change meant to year-round residents, with photos by Hordinski (March 5, 2023).

Hordinski’s first assignment for National Geographic was about birth control for cats; her published photos were taken at the Cincinnati Zoo. Spear’s photo of a dog in a 2022 voting booth was included in a “dogs of November” national roundup.

Experts on swine flu worry that humans could be vulnerable at county fairs where people and their pigs are in close contact. McGarvey’s photos for the July 25, 2023, New York Times are from Perry County Fairgrounds in New Lexington, OH.

Pike County was also the dateline on The Washington Post’s report on a murder case published July 30, 2022, with photos by Wright.

Local school boards have become a common battleground. The Washington Post’s March 18, 2023, school board report from Mentor, OH was photographed by Franz.

Ohio as backdrop for trends, big stories

Middletown is a favorite dateline for visiting national press because of its self-descriptive power. But all corners of Ohio exemplify trends and attract national media:

Dayton: The Washington Post four-page spread in the print edition on the band The Breeders, with photos by Hordinski, (Sept. 17, 2023).

Toledo: The New York Times article on manufacturing electric vehicles, with photos by McGarvey (April 5, 2023).

Parma and Columbus: The Washington Post national report on the “homicide crisis,” with photos by Franz and McGarvey (Nov. 27, 2022).

Cincinnati: The New York Times on symphony conductor Louis Langree, with photos by Hordinski (July 14, 2023).

Lordstown Motors bankruptcy, with a photo by Franz for Bloomberg via Getty Images (June 27, 2023).

Columbus: Workers return to office space, with photos by Wright for The New York Times (Aug. 1, 2022).

Shaker Heights: The Washington Post published a lengthy look at racial equity in Shaker Heights, with photos by Franz and McGarvey (Aug. 16, 2023).

September 19, 2023
Ken Klein