DU Alumni / Magazine Feature

Alumna trains female photojournalists around the world

Alumna Paige Stoyer, right, trains female photojournalists around the world. Photo courtesy of Paige Stoyer

The Global Press Institute (GPI) found its missing link in University of Denver alumna and professional photographer Paige Stoyer.

The GPI, which trains local women to report on news in their own countries, already had a network of female journalists in developing countries around the world, but when GPI founder Cristi Hegranes and Stoyer met up in Rwanda, they began discussing adding photography to the mix.

“I was just blown away by what GPI does,” says Stoyer (BA ’93), who graduated from New York’s International Center of Photography in 2008. “Her organization brought together everything that I’m so passionate about — journalism and working with women — but photography was kind of their weak link at the time. Their stuff was starting to get picked up by the BBC and NPR, and they really needed original photography content. So I said, ‘What if I came up with a program where we could bring new cameras and photography training to reporters?’”

Since then, Stoyer has trained reporters in Nepal, Cameroon and Sri Lanka and has enlisted fellow photographers to go to Kashmir and Argentina to do the same. There are more women left to teach, however, which is why Stoyer and Hegranes have launched a Kickstarter fund to raise money for the project. Funds raised go to training and cameras, but per the microfinancing site’s dictum that money go to a discrete project, there also are plans for a photo exhibit featuring portraits of all the reporters, as well as a book containing the portraits and some of the work the women create in their native countries.

“Cristi recruits local women and does in-depth journalism training. She was a foreign correspondent when she started GPI,” Stoyer says. “It’s founded on the belief that people in these communities can do a better job of telling their stories than always sending in a foreign correspondent.”

Stoyer already was something of a traveler before her work with GPI, but now that she is training new photographers and serving as the organization’s photo editor, she’s seeing even more of the world.

“It’s been great,” she says. “I go there to teach, but honestly, I’m learning more than I’m teaching in meeting these women. They’re just phenomenal.”




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