COVID-19: The Bigger Picture Press Release

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The Thomson Reuters Foundation has partnered with Omidyar Network to highlight the far-reaching and devastating repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis on the lives and livelihoods of millions of people.

COVID-19: The Bigger Picture will use the power of photography and journalism to bring to the world’s attention stories of how those most vulnerable to the pandemic are being impacted – stories that are often untold or overlooked.

In documenting individual experiences, the project aims to shed light on the broader consequences of the crisis on societal inequalities, and in doing so, empower those working to address some of the most urgent and critical issues arising from the pandemic, and to rebuild a more sustainable economy post-COVID.

The Bigger Picture is in two parts: The first, a Photojournalism Award open to anyone with a passion for turning the lens on the real lives behind the headlines, and an ability to capture the most powerful images of the pandemic’s impact on everyday people.

The second is a series of five Photo Essays, to be published over three months from August 17, which will see a team of world-class reporters and photographers record how the US in particular has been decimated by the crisis. Each Photo Essay will focus on a different state and a different group of people – from care workers for the elderly in Florida to childcare workers in North Carolina.

Thomson Reuters Foundation CEO Antonio Zappulla said: “This pandemic is a global crisis like no other, affecting every person on the planet. The world is grappling daily to understand its scale and severity against an onslaught of information and misinformation. It has never been more critical to lean on the power of journalism excellence to cut through the noise with accurate and impartial storytelling. With the Foundation’s legacy and global reach, we are proud to be part of such a critical and innovative project.”

Omidyar Network CEO Mike Kubzansky said: “This virus has devastated lives and livelihoods across the globe. By combining the storytelling capabilities of the Thomson Reuters Foundation with photos from people whose lives have been upended by the pandemic, we will not only see the impacts on everyday life but also the systemic inequalities that brought us to this dire moment. Omidyar Network is deeply committed to rebuilding these broken systems by empowering individuals and working collectively to achieve structural change.”

Submissions for the Photojournalism Award open August 12. Winners of the Award will receive a series of photojournalism masterclasses led by Thomson Reuters Foundation trainers, in which participants will build on their story-telling skills through tailored workshops and mentoring. They will also each be offered the opportunity to work alongside the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s news team on a story that will be shared via the Foundation’s global distribution network.