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Bayeté Ross Smith, Logan Jaffe and Saleem Reshamwala will be embedded within the Race/Related team at The New York Times from August to December 2016

  • Bayeté Ross Smith (20-week embed) is a photographer, multimedia artist and filmmaker from Harlem, N. Y.
  • Logan Jaffe (10-week embed) is a multimedia news producer and documentary film producer based in Chicago.
  • Saleem Reshamwala (10-week embed) is a digital storyteller based in Durham, N.C.
  • Each of the selected participants has experience working within public media and news organizations.
  • The project is funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

New York, NY, Aug. 22, 2016 – American Documentary, Inc., producer of the award-winning PBS documentary series POV (Point of View) and an innovator in digital storytelling and engagement for public media, and The New York Times today announced the selection of three innovative digital producers for the “Embedded Mediamaker” project, supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The original call from June 2016 sought one mediamaker, but after reviewing hundreds of candidates, POV and The New York Times selected three: Bayeté Ross Smith, Logan Jaffe and Saleem Reshamwala.

Ross Smith, Jaffe and Reshamwala will work with POV and The Times to create new forms of documentary and interactive content with a team of Times writers, editors and visual storytellers involved in Race/Related, a newsletter and reporting project exploring race as it is lived today.

“When we started our search for a filmmaker, a hybrid producer-technologist or a YouTube video creator, we knew we would have to choose between them,” said POV Digital Executive Producer Adnaan Wasey. “Instead, we chose all three. We can’t wait to see what new ground they can break—on their own and together.”

“Bayeté, Logan and Saleem are experienced journalists and creative storytellers who have all used new storytelling techniques to explore issues of race in ways that resonate with audiences,” said Nancy Gauss, Executive Director of Video, The New York Times. “We are thrilled to have them on board to work with some of our best journalists.”

Each of the selected mediamakers has had experience working in public media and news organizations. One will be embedded with The New York Times for 20 weeks, and the other two for 10 weeks each. Ross Smith is an alumnus of POV Digital Lab, Jaffe is currently a producer with WBEZ’s Curious City, and Reshamwala is a creator of the PBS Digital Studios series “Beat Making Lab.”

About the mediamakers:

Bayeté Ross Smith (20-week embed, beginning Aug. 22, 2016) is a photographer, multimedia artist and filmmaker from Harlem, N.Y. He began his career as a photojournalist with Knight Ridder. Ross Smith has exhibited his work internationally with institutions such as the San Francisco Arts Commission, the Brooklyn Museum, the Oakland Museum of California, the Schomburg Center, the Unseen Photo Festival (Amsterdam), Goethe-Institut (Ghana) and Zacheta National Gallery of Art (Poland). His collaborative projects “Along The Way” and “Question Bridge: Black Males” were showcased at the Sundance Film Festival among other festivals. His accolades include an International Center of Photography Infinity Award for New Media. Ross Smith is a faculty member at the International Center of Photography and New York University and associate program director of the nonprofit Kings Against Violence Initiative. Follow Bayeté Ross Smith on Twitter and Instagram

Download Bayeté Ross Smith’s photo (Credit: Hank Willis Thomas)

Logan Jaffe (10-week embed, beginning Sept. 6, 2016) is the multimedia producer of WBEZ’s Curious City, a news-gathering experiment that answers listeners’ questions about the Chicago region. She is the producer of Battle Flag, an interactive documentary about the Confederate flag’s place in America, which was featured in The Atlantic, The Guardian and The Washington Post. On most days, you can find her thinking about how to open up the journalistic process, exploring the Internet’s most random archives, wondering what her cats are up to and planning where she’ll bike to next. Follow Logan Jaffe on Twitter.

Download Logan Jaffe’s photo (Credit: Greta Johnsen)

Saleem Reshamwala (10-week embed, beginning Sept. 6, 2016) is a video producer based in Durham, N.C., whose work has focused on culture, race and music. Reshamwala has created work for LinkedIn, Soccer.com and PBS Digital Studios, for which he filmed rappers and beatmakers in Senegal, Ethiopia, Fiji, Panama and the Democratic Republic of Congo (for the web series “Beat Making Lab”). He also had “an incredibly weird” two-year stint as an art assistant at Seventeen Magazine. Reshamwala has studied, worked or hung out in 50 countries and is fluent in English, Japanese and Final Cut. He has degrees in journalism and philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Follow Saleem Reshamwala on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat

Download Saleem Reshamwala’s photo (Credit: Jessica Arden Photography)

Previous digital collaborations between POV and The New York Times include the co-distribution of the documentaries The Men of Atalissa (pov.org/atalissa), Strangers at Sea (pov.org/strangersatsea) and The Nipple Artist (pov.org/nippleartist).

In 2013, American Documentary | POV was one of only 13 nonprofit organizations around the world to win a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. The award recognizes exceptional grantees that have demonstrated creativity and impact.

About the MacArthur Foundation:
The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and supports the production and distribution of news and documentary programs that help inform the American public about important issues. More information is at www.macfound.org.

About The New York Times Company:
The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) is a global media organization dedicated to enhancing society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news and information. The company includes The New York Times, International New York Times, NYTimes.com, INYT.com and related properties. It is known globally for excellence in its journalism, and innovation in its print and digital storytelling and its business model. Follow news about the company at @NYTimesComm.

About POV Digital:
Since 1994, POV Digital has driven new storytelling initiatives and interactive production for POV. The department created PBS’s first program website and its first web-based documentary (POV’s Borders) and has won major awards, including a Webby Award (and six nominations) and an Online News Association Award. POV Digital continues to explore the future of independent nonfiction media through its digital productions and the POV Digital Labs, where media makers and technologists collaborate to reinvent storytelling forms. @povdocs on Twitter.

About POV:
Produced by American Documentary, Inc., POV is public television’s premier showcase for nonfiction films. Since 1988, POV has been the home for the world’s boldest contemporary filmmakers, celebrating intriguing personal stories that spark conversation and inspire action. Always an innovator, POV discovers fresh new voices and creates interactive experiences that shine a light on social issues and elevate the art of storytelling. With our documentary broadcasts, original online programming and dynamic community engagement campaigns, we are committed to supporting films that capture the imagination and present diverse perspectives.

POV films have won 34 Emmy® Awards, 19 George Foster Peabody Awards, 12 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Academy Awards®, the first-ever George Polk Documentary Film Award and the Prix Italia. The POV series has been honored with a Special News & Documentary Emmy Award for Excellence in Television Documentary Filmmaking, three IDA Awards for Best Curated Series and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) Award for Corporate Commitment to Diversity. Learn more: www.pbs.org/pov.

Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Corporation for Public Broadcasting and National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding comes from Nancy Blachman and David desJardins, Bertha Foundation, Wyncote Foundation, The Fledgling Fund, Marguerite Casey Foundation, Ettinger Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee, and public television viewers. POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations including KQED San Francisco, WGBH Boston and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.

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