Kenny Irby is Poynter’s senior faculty of visual journalism and diversity. He is an integral figure in visual journalism education, having founded Poynter’s photojournalism program in 1995. He teaches and consults in the areas of digital photographic reporting, leadership, ethical decision making and diversity integration. Currently, he directs The Write Field initiative, a dynamic academic enrichment and mentoring program for middle school minority male youth.
During his 19-year tenure at Poynter, Irby has traveled to Nigeria, the Netherlands, Denmark, Canada, Jamaica, Singapore, South Africa and Russia, preaching excellence in photojournalism and truth-telling. He chaired the 2007 Pulitzer Prize photography categories, lectured at the World Press Photos buddy training program and the International Center of Photography, is a member of the Eddie Adams Workshop board, and is a founding member of National Press Photographers Association, and The Best of Photojournalism (BOP) Committee.
He is the recipient of numerous awards: 2007 Sprague Award (the NPPA’s highest honor), 2006 Society for News Design President’s 2002 NPPA President’s Award, 1999 Joseph Costa Award and others. Irby is a frequent lecturer, teacher and author on photographic reporting issues, most recently with NPR. While at Newsday, he contributed as a picture editor to two Pulitzer prize winning projects.