An Open Letter to World Press Photo

A car bomb explodes next to armored vehicles belonging to Iraqi Special Operations Forces as they advance towards territory held by the Islamic State, in Mosul, Iraq. Felipe Dana, Third Prize Spot News 2017

For 68 years, the World Press Photo Foundation (WPP) has promoted the work and dedication of photojournalists. It has defined ethical standards that are crucial to uphold the integrity of our work. In times of viral disinformation, these standards are now more critical than ever. We need to defend them vigorously.

In recent days, WPP has announced that they will allow generative artificial intelligence (GAI) in the open format category. Additionally, WPP has promoted images created by GAI on their Instagram feed. These images, which are in essence digital mashups drawing from existing photography, are often hard to distinguish from actual photographs, but are devoid of any connection to the real world. This connection to the real world, the world as it is, is at the core not only of photojournalistic practice, but of journalism in general. Both moves undermine what we do fundamentally.

While we encourage discourse about the emergence and implications of AI creations, we are deeply troubled that WPP promotes images that would not be acceptable in any format by WPP’s own standards. We ask WPP to cease promoting these images and reconsider allowing AI in any form in the contest. We also encourage a discussion about the structure of the categories.

WPP should continue upholding and defining the ethical standards of our industry. Now more than ever.

Sincerely,

Matthew Abbott

Finalis Spot News 2021

Nominee Asia Pacific Story 2022

Winner Global Story of the Year 2022

David Airob, Photojournalist

Third Prize Multimedia 2014

Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi, Photojournalist

Maya Alleruzzo, Photojournalist

Second Prize Contemporary Issues Stories 2021

Eliana Aponte, Photojournalist

General News Jury 2016

Samuel Aranda

World Press Photo of the Year 2012

Bernat Armangué, Photojournalist

First Prize Spot News Stories 2013

María Magdalena Arréllaga, Photojournalist

Walter Astrada, Photojournalist

First Prize Contemporary Issues Singles 2007

First Prize Spot News Stories 2009

First Prize Spot News Stories 2010

Jury General News and Spot News 2015

Jury Joop Swart Masterclass 2010

Jury Joop Swart Masterclass 2011

Anush Babajanyan, Photojournalist

Long-Term Project Award 2023

Martina Bacigalupo, Documentary Photographer and Photo Editor

Joop Swap Masterclass 2008

Long-Term Sories Jury 2021

Daniel Berehulak, Photojournalist

Third Prize People in the News Singles 2008

First Prize People in the News Stories 2011

Third Prize General News Stories 2013

Third Prize General News Stories 2016

First Prize Daily Life Stories 2016

First Prize General News Stories 2017

Nina Berman Documentary Photographer

First Prize Portraits 2007

Second Prize Portrait Stories 2005

Jury 2011

Massimo Berruti, Photojournalist

Second Price Contemporary Issue 2007

Joop Swart Masterclass 2008

Second Price General News 2011

Gabriela Bhaskar, Photojournalist and Educator

Christian Bobst, Photojournalist

Second Prize Sports 2016

BOBY, Photojournalist

Thomas Borberg, Photo Editor

Documentary and News Jury 2016

Chairman of the Sports Jury 2018

Michele Borzoni, Photographer

First Prize People in the News 2010

Eric Bouvet, Photojournalist

Second Prize Nature 1987

First and Third Prize News 1990

Second Prize News 1991

Third Prize News 1996

Anna Boyiazis, Documentary Photographer

Second Prize People Stories 2018

Maximiliano Braun, Photojournalist

Patrick Brown, Photojournalist

Second Prize Nature Stories 2005

First Prize General News Singles 2018

Picture of the Year 2018

WPP FotoEvidence Book Award 2019

Fabio Bucciarelli, Photojournalist

Second Prize Spot News Stories 2013

Second Prize General News 2020

David Burnett, Photojournalist

World Press Photo of the Year 1980

Third Prize People in the News 1984

Sports First Prize Sports 1985

Third Prize News Feature 1985

Sports Third Prize 2003

Sports First Prize 2005

Sports Action 1 Prize

Jury Chair

Victor R. Caivano, Visual Journalist

Dylan Calves, Photo Editor

Alejandro Cegarra, Photojournalist

Third Prize Long-Term Projects 2019

Joop Swart Masterclass 2015

Michael Robinson Chávez, Photojournalist

Jordi Ruiz Cirera, Documentary Photographer

Martin Colombet, Photojournalist

Felipe Dana

Honorable Mention Contemporary Issues 2013

Joop Swart Latin Masterclass 2015

Third Place Spot News 2017

Global Jury, South America Jury Chair 2023

Wiliam Daniels, Photographer

Third Prize Contemporary Issues 2008

Second Prize General News 2014

Jerome Delay, Photojournalist

Teacher Joop Swart Masterclass 2001

Nadja Delmouly, Photo Editor

Bryan Denton, Photojournalist and Photo Editor

Joop Swart Masterclass 2014

Cesar Dezfuli

Open Format Europe 2023

Agnes Dherbeys, Photojournalist

Second Prize Spot News Stories 2007

André Duhme, Photographer

Aristide Economopoulos, Photojournalist

Second Prize Sports 1998

Sarah Elliott, Photojournalist

Third Prize Contemporary Issues Stories 2011

Ramon Espinosa, Photojournalist

Third Prize Spot News 2020

Daniel Etter, Photojournalist

Third Prize Contemporary Issues Singles 2017

Antonio Faccilongo, Documentary Photographer

World Press Photo Story of the Year 2021

First Prize Long-term project 2021

Timothy Fadek, Photojournalist

Adam Ferguson, Photographer

First Prize Portrait Stories 2020

Nominee Photo of the Year 2018

First Prize Portrait Stories 2018

First Prize Spot News 2010

Joop Swart Masterclass 201

Adriana L. Fernandez, Photojournalist

Eladio Fernandez, Conservation Photographer and Filmmaker

Nature Jury 2021

Malin Fezehai

Third Prize Daily Life 2015

Frank Fournier

World Press Photo of the Year 1986

First Prize Spot News 1966

First Prize General News 1991

Honorable Mention Science and Technology 1988

Second Prize News Feature 1988

Focus Agency Hamburg

Silke Frigge, laif Photo Agency

Emily Garthwaite, Photojournalist

Mojgan Ghanbari, Documentary Photographer

Joop Swart Masterclass 2017

Shannon Ghannam, Educator

Ashley Gilbertson, Photojournalist

Benjamin Girette, Photojournalist

Markus Glahn, Photojournalist

David Goldman, Photojournalist

First Prize Arts and Entertainment 2012

David Guttenfelder, Photojournalist

Second Prize Portrait 2002

First Prize Daily Life 2005

First Prize General News 2006

Second Prize Sports Feature 2006

First Prize Daily Life 2007

Second Prize Portraits 2010

Third Prize General News 2012

Third Prize Long-term Project 2016

Jury 2014

Tanya Habjouqa, Documentary Photographer

Second Prize Daily Life Stories 2014

Jury Joop Swart Masterclass 2014

Teacher Joop Swart Masterclass 2015

Jury Joop Swart Masterclass 2017

General Jury 2017

Kiana Hayeri, Photojournalist

Nanna Heitmann, Photojournalist

6x6 Europe Talent 2020

Joop Swart Masterclass 2020

Europe Stories 2022

Esther Horvath, Photographer

First Prize Environment Singles 2020

Tomas van Houtryve, Visual Artist

Second Prize Contemporary Issues 2015

Sara Hylton, Documentary Photographer and Educator

Diego Ibarra Sánchez, Photojournalist

Stuart Isett, Photographer

Jonas Kako

Winner Singles North and Central America 2023

Michael Vince Kim, Documentary Photographer

First Prize People Stories 2017

Joop Swart Masterclass 2017

Yunghi Kim

First Place General News Stories 1997

First Place General News Stories 1999

Honorable Mention Daily Life 1995

Instructor World Press Photo Workshops in Skopje, Macedonia and Jakarta, Indonesia

Alejandro Kirchuk, Photographer

David Klammer, Photojournalist

Third Prize Sports Feature 2007

Serhii Korovayny, Photojournalist

Matjaz Krivic

Second Prize Portrait Singles 2016

Maya Levin, Photojournalist

Asia Singles 2023

Lars Lindemann, Curator and Photo Editor

Environment and Nature Jury 2020

Nature Jury Chair 2021

Exhibition Partner 2016–2022

Christopher Lee, Photojournalist

Jean-François Leroy, Visa pour l’Image

Edna Leshowitz, Photojournalist

Melissa Lyttle, Photojournalist

Evgeniy Maloletka, Photojournalist

World Press Photo of the Year 2023

Maximilian Mann, Documentary Photographer

Second Prize Environment 2020

Enric Marti

First Prize Nature 2000

Jury 2008

Catalina Martin-Chico

Finalist Photo of the Year 2019

Second Prize Contemporary Issues Stories 2019

Andres Martinez Casares, Photojournalist

Alice Martins, Photojournalist

News and Documentary Jury 2018

General Jury 2019

Sasha Maslov, Photojournalist

Pietro Masturzo, Photojournalist

World Press Photo of the Year 2010

First Prize People in the News 2010

Tim Matsui, Photojournalist

First Prize Long Feature 2015

Don McCullin, Photojournalist

World Press Photo of the Year 1964

Third Prize General News 1964

First Prize Photo Stories 1973

First Prize News Picture 1977

Cathal McNaughton, Photojournalist

Dilip Mehta

Third Prize News Feature 1985

John Moore, Photojournalist

Third Prize General News Singles 2005

First Prize Spot News Stories 2008

First Prize Spot News Singles 2008

Second Prize People in the News Stories 2012

First Prize Spot News Singles, 2019

World Press Photo of the Year, 2019

Victor Moriyama, Photojournalist

Ilvy Njiokiktjien, Photojournalist

Joop Swart Masterclass 2012

First Prize Digital Storytelling Contest 2012

Second Prize Contemporary Issues Singles 2012

Nominee Multimedia Contest 2020

Paulo Nunes dos Santos, Photojournalist

Maciek Nabrdalik

Second Prize Contemporary Issues 2014

Musuk Nolte

South America Singles 2023

Ingmar Björn Nolting, Photojournalist

Daniel Ochoa de Olza, Photojournalist

Second Prize Observed Portraits 2013

Second Prize People 2016

Alessandro Penso, Photojournalist

First Prize General News 2014

Fausto Podavini, Photojournalist

First Prize Daily Life 2013

Second Prize Long-Term Project 2018

Karel Prinsloo, Photojournalist

Second Prize General News Stories, 2001

Finbarr O’Reilly, Photojournalist

World Press Photo of the Year 2006

First Prize Portraits 2019

Second Place, People in the News, 2006

Ayman Oghanna, Photojournalist

Cloé Kerhoas Özmen, Editor, Photography Consultant and Educator

Emin Özmen

Second Prize Spot News 2012

First Prize Long Form 2014

Multimedia Contest Jury 2016

Digital Storytelling Contest Jury 2018

Ed Ou, Photojournalist

Joop Swart Masterclass 2010

First Prize Contemporary Issues 2011

Second Prize Digital Storytelling Contest 2020

Nominee Online Video of the Year 2020

Katie Orlinsky, Photojournalist

Third Prize Environment Stories 2020

Warrick Page, Photojournalist

Santi Palacios, Photojournalist

Second Prize General News 2017

6x6 Talent in Europe 2018

Regional Jury 2023

Pietro Paolini, Photographer

Second Prize Daily Life 2012

Daniel Pilar, Photojournalist

Sergey Ponomarev, Photojournalist

Third Prize General News 2015

First Prize General News 2016

Second Prize General News 2017

Ivor Prickett, Photojournalist

Joop Swart Masterclass 2011

First Prize General News Stories 2018

Two-time Photo of Year Nominee 2018

Third Prize General News Stories 2020

Photo of the Year Nominee 2020

Tess Raimbeau, Photo Editor

Jonathan Rashad, Photojournalist and Film Director

WPP Reporting Change 2013

Alon Reininger

World Press Photo of the Year 1987

Individual Award 1987

Science & Technology 1989

Hannah Reyes Morales, Photojournalist

Southeast Asia Stories 2023

Joop Swart Masterclass 2018

6x6 program

Federico Rios, Photojournalist

Nicolò Filippo Rosso

Third Prize Contemporary Issues 2020

Emanuele Satolli, Photojournalist

Ronaldo Schemidt, Photojournalist

World Press Photo of the Year 2018

First Prize Spot News 2018

Bradley Secker, Photojournalist

Francisco Seco, Photojournalist

Chloe Sharrock, Photojournalist

Jeffrey D Smith, Executive Director Contact Press Images

Nichole Sobecki, Photojournalist

Ben C. Solomon, Videojournalist

Second Prize Digital Storytelling Short Feature 2015

First Prize Digital Storytelling Innovative Storytelling 2016

Third Prize Digital Storytelling Contest, Immersive Storytelling 2018

Tino Soriano, Photographer

First Prize Art 1999

Gaia Squarci, Photojournalist and Educator

John Stanmeyer, Photojournalist

First Place News Stories 1999

Third Place News Stories 1999

World Press Photo of the Year 2014

Daro Sulakauri, Photojournalist

Joop Swart Masterclass 2017

Hillary Swift, Photojournalist

Pierre Terdjman, Photojournalist and Educator

Nikita Teryoshin

Joop Swart Masterclass 2019

First Prize Contemporary Issues Singles 2020

Scout Tufankjian, Photojournalist

Nicole Tung, Photojournalist

Paolo Verzone, Documentary Photographer

Third Prize Portraits 2001

Third Prize Sports Feature 2009

Third Prize Portrait Stories 2015

Laetitia Vançon, Photojournalist

Esteban Vanegas

Environment Jury 2021

Rafael Vilela, Photographer

Véronique de Viguerie, Photojournalist

Third Prize Contemporary Issues 2009

Daniele Volpe, Documentary Photographer

Second Prize General News 2019

Third Prize Long-Term Projects 2020

James B Wellford, Photo Editor

Alex Wroblewski, Photojournalist

Daniella Zalcman, Documentary Photographer

Cyril Zannettacci, Photojournalist

Adriana Zehbrauskas, Photojournalist and Educator

Christian Ziegler, Photojournalist

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An Open Letter to World Press Photo

A group of photographers, editors, curators and educators advocating for the integrity of journalistic photography.