World Press Photo Withdraws Award For Giovanni Troilo’s Charleroi Story
After receiving new information regarding Giovanni Troilo’s first-prize Contemporary Issues story, World Press Photo reopened its investigation yesterday. The conclusion is that the story was not in compliance with the entry rules and therefore the award must be revoked.
Troilo submitted his story, titled ‘La Ville Noir - The Dark Heart of Europe,’ to the 2015 Photo Contest as a story about the Belgian city of Charleroi. However, World Press Photo learned that the photo of a painter creating a work with live models had instead been shot in Molenbeek, Brussels. Troilo confirmed over telephone and email that the image had not been taken in Charleroi, contrary to what he submitted to the contest. This falsified information is a violation of the 2015 Photo Contest entry rules.
In accordance with the judging procedures, which state that a single image or story/portfolio that has been awarded a prize will be disqualified if proven to be not in compliance with the entry rules, World Press Photo has made the decision to disqualify the story.
World Press Photo managing director Lars Boering adds:
“In the past week, there has been a lot of discussion about this story, and the prize has been labeled controversial by many. Questions were raised about Troilo’s work that led to an investigation of the circumstances and the photographer’s work methods regarding a number of pictures. Until this point, we had upheld this award because there was no clear evidence to prove a rule had been broken. We took these questions seriously and we understood what was at stake. We wanted to be certain without a doubt.”
“The World Press Photo Contest must be based on trust in the photographers who enter their work and in their professional ethics. We have checks and controls in place, of course, but the contest simply does not work without trust. We now have a clear case of misleading information and this changes the way the story is perceived. A rule has now been broken and a line has been crossed.”
“Based on the mixture of reactions we’ve received over the past week, it is clear to me that the debate taking place about the definitions of press photography, photojournalism and documentary photography is necessary, and it will have implications for the professional ethics of practitioners. We find ourselves right in the middle of this debate, and we aim to use this as a learning experience, to give focus to the discussion and bring it to the next level. In order to do this, we are organizing a discussion about image integrity that will take place during the Awards Days in Amsterdam and we also plan to hold a debate about ethics in the profession during the same event at the end of April.”
Due to the disqualification, the second prize story will now be awarded a first prize and the third prize story will be awarded a second prize. As a result, there will be no third prize awarded in the Contemporary Issues category.
World Press Photo receives support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and is sponsored worldwide by Canon.
About World Press Photo
The World Press Photo Foundation is a major force in developing and promoting visual journalism. Through one of the most prestigious awards in photojournalism and multimedia storytelling, an exhibition seen by more than four million people worldwide each year, and extensive research and training programs, we strive to inspire, engage, educate, and support both visual journalists and their global audience with fresh insights and new perspectives.
Founded in 1955, the World Press Photo Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The foundation receives support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and is sponsored worldwide by Canon. There are also a range of collaborations with the World Press Photo Associates, the Friends of World Press Photo, and other partners.