04 October 2008

Photographer Awarded TED Prize for Work on War, Disease

The power of the news media to make a real difference in tackling a major disease is being actively explored in a unique private sector project

Wired magazine reports that photographer James Nachtwey received the 2007 Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) Prize for his work documenting images of war, disease and political unrest across the globe for over 25 years. As a result, he got a $100,000 prize to spend on a 'wish': a project that he otherwise wouldn't get a chance to pursue.

Nachtwey chose to "share an underreported worldwide story, prove the power of news photography in the digital age and raise awareness about a global health issue that has the potential to become a worldwide pandemic — Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (XDR TB)."

Wired.com: What does TED have the potential to do for this cause?

Nachtwey: When an issue is more widely known, a lot of things become facilitated — funding, new programs, treatment and scientific research. And it becomes something that has to be dealt with.

Wired.com: How will the internet help spread the message about this disease?

Nachtwey: Because there are so few pages in the traditional press for serious subjects, the internet has really taken the place of the traditional press to get those stories out there. One of the purposes of journalism is to create awareness. If we’re not aware of something, we can’t deal with it. Tuberculosis has a cure. If you take action on TB, you will get results.

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