More from Jessi Hempel as the TED conference winds down:
Yesterday the TED prize winners announced their wishes. (Three winners are each given $100,000 – and more important, the support of the TED community – toward a wish of their choosing.) This year’s winners were President Bill Clinton, the naturalist E.O. Wilson, and war photographer James Nachtwey. I’ve seen Clinton speak a number of times both in office and afterward, and I’ve always been blown away by his charisma. But this time his talk did not compare to the eloquent and moving speeches given by both Wilson and Nachtwey. Nachtwey in particular blew me away. He showed slides from the many conflicts he covered. A few things he said really moved me: “The press is a service industry and the service it provides is awareness. Every story does not have to sell something. It’s also a time to give.”
“The front lines of contemporary wars are not on isolated battlefields, but right where people lived.”
“One of the things I had to learn as a journalist was what to do with my anger. I had to channel it, turn it into something that would focus my vision rather than clouding it.”
“On 9/11, history chrystalized and I realized I’d been covering a single story for 20 years and the attack on New York was its latest manifestation.”
” My ted wish: There’s a vital story that needs to be told. I wish for TED to help me gain access to it and to help me come up with innovative and exciting ways to use news photography in a digital era.”
He won’t say what the story is, but he is looking for some diplomatic help to get access from folks at TED. I can’t wait to see his work come to fruition.
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