Michel du Cille Named NABJ 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Posted by: Aprill Turner
WASHINGTON (April 29, 2015) − The National Association of Black Journalists has selected the late Michel du Cille as the recipient of the association’s 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award. A respected photojournalist who over the course of a lengthy career earned some of the industry’s highest honors, he was a longtime member of NABJ. Mr. du Cille, who had been a journalist at The Washington Post since 1988, died in December while on assignment in Liberia.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed upon a journalist with at least 15 years experience in the journalism industry and who is regarded for making an extraordinary contribution to the enrichment, understanding or advancement of black life and culture.
"Michel du Cille was a talented photojournalist whose images were compelling, thought-provoking and immensely powerful," said NABJ President Bob Butler. "While some see the visual image as enhancements to a story, he composed images which were limitless in their ability to themselves tell honest stories."
Mr. du Cille was a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner. The most recent award was given in 2008 to du Cille and two of his colleagues at The Post for their work, which revealed the shocking mistreatment of veterans at Walter Reed Hospital. Two earlier Pulitzers came for his work at The Miami Herald.
“Michel du Cille is one of the greatest photojournalists of his generation, and how fortunate for the National Association of Black Journalists that he is one of ours,” said Vanessa Williams, a former president of NABJ and a reporter and editor at The Washington Post. “du Cille used his talent to explore the human condition – both its beauty and its awfulness – with compassion and intelligence. And we are grateful that he was especially interested in telling the stories of the people of the African diaspora, insisting that the world see people who are often marginalized or ignored.”
At The Post he was the director of photography and an assistant managing editor before returning full-time to work in the field. An industry leader, his contributions to the profession are noteworthy as he was a founding member of NABJ’s Visual Task Force, created as a venue for visual journalists in all mediums, which also raised thousands of dollars for scholarships, and steered the mentoring of aspiring and rising photojournalists. He had served on the board of the National Press Photographers Association and the National Press Photographers Foundation.
Prior to The Washington Post, du Cille worked at The Miami Herald and The Louisville Courier-Journal. He earned an undergraduate degree from the Indiana University School of Journalism and a graduate degree from Ohio University.
Mr. du Cille’s honor will be presented to his family at the association's Salute to Excellence Gala on August 8th during NABJ's Annual Convention and Career Fair in Minneapolis.
An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide.