With its images of disfigured American military personnel, bleeding child survivors of the school massacre in Beslan, Russia, and this year's overall winning photograph -- an Indian woman mourning a tsunami victim -- the 2005 World Press Photo exhibition is difficult to view quickly. The subject matter is too intense; the photos are too thought-provoking.
They represent "the news event and the emotion that goes along with it," says Emily Kerckhoff, project manager for World Press Photo. The 50-year-old Netherlands-based nonprofit was established to encourage high standards in photojournalism and the exchange of information but is best known for its annual photography contest, seen as the Oscars of press photography.
Taken in 2004 and touring the globe, the 200-plus photographs now on display at USC's Annenberg School for Communication were selected from more than 70,000 submissions by a panel of 13 jurors. The stop at USC is its only West Coast venue and the only display of the photos in the U.S. other than at the United Nations. The L.A. showing, sponsored by Getty Images, Canon and The Times, features a series of talks at the communication school, including a guided tour tonight.
-- Susan Carpenter
World Press Photo '05