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Award-winning photojournalist kicks off Morris Berman Lecture Series

Jan 31, 2013

Michael S. Williamson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, greets a student during his Morris Berman Lecture Series presentation on Jan. 29 at Ohio University. / Photos by Megan Westervelt

Award-winning photojournalist kicks off Morris Berman Lecture Series

By Kerry Tuttle

ATHENS, Ohio (Jan. 31, 2013)—On January 29, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Michael S. Williamson visited Ohio University to present his award-winning work in visual journalism. The event launched the inaugural Morris Berman Lecture Series, hosted by the School of Visual Communication and the National Press Photographers Foundation.

Williamson, who spoke in Siegfred Hall to a crowd of Ohio University students and faculty, is considered one of the leading visual journalists of our time and believes the best is yet to come for the journalism industry.

“I think the glory days are ahead of us,” he said in response to a question as to whether or not he felt journalism was dead. “We are consuming more news now than ever before.”

In addition to being a staff photographer for The Washington Post since 1993, he has won two Pulitzer Prizes and co-authored three books. Williamson was awarded the Press Photographers Association’s Crystal Eagle Award in 1994, named Newspaper Photographer of the Year in the 1995 Pictures of the Year Contest, and named Photographer of the Year in 2000 by the National Press Photographers Association. His work focuses mainly on American economic struggles and the plight of the homeless.

Along with presenting his work, Williamson walked the audience through the thought process of a photographer. He explained what he described as the “nuts and bolts” of photography such as, backdrop, lighting, dimensions and proximity. He also touched upon the elements of a story and how to capture that in a photograph.

To conclude the event, Williamson left the journalists and photojournalists in the room with this message: “You have the best job in the world, the greatest opportunity in the world to make magic, see magic and experience magic. So go make your magic.”

While in Athens, Williamson also sat down with WOUB Public Media General Manager and Director Tom Hodson on “Conversations with Studio B,” a WOUB-FM production. For more on that interview, visit