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A New Milestone @ MediaStorm

It’s an exciting day for the Storm family, and for MediaStorm!

We found out this morning that my wife Elodie has won the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University for the 2016-17 academic year.

The JSK Journalism Fellowships program champions innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership in journalism, by helping fellows pursue their ideas, formulated as “journalism challenges,” to improve the quality of news and information reaching the public.

Elodie’s fellowship will focus on developing solutions to one of the most pressing questions facing our profession: How can photojournalism thrive financially in the age of social media?

I’m so excited to see her focus on this critical issue with the support of the best minds in the world at Stanford.


The Storm Family by David Hume Kennerly on April 15, 2016.

As Elodie’s proud spouse, I also gain access to the program as a JSK Affiliate. I’m thrilled for the opportunity to challenge myself and grow new skills in the heart of Silicon Valley.

While I intend to take full advantage of these incredible opportunities, I will continue to lead the great team at MediaStorm. Serendipitously, our newest client is based in the Bay Area – stay tuned for more soon!

MediaStorm has been based in New York City for the past 11 years, but we have collaborated with contributors and clients from around the world. We have developed great processes for collaborating digitally and leveraging talent in diverse locations.

In fact, for the past year we have been working without a physical office and have honed our process in ways that make expanding our talent pool even easier in the future.

To our Pacific Coast friends, partners, and audience members–I’m looking forward to getting to know you better; to working with you to push the craft of storytelling even further; and to building new relationships that make our community stronger.

Brian Storm, Founder & Executive Producer, MediaStorm


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2016 Alexia Grant Winners Announced

The Alexia Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Alexia Grants.

The winner of the $20,000 Professional Grant is Aaron Vincent Elkaim of Toronto, Canada. The winner of the First Place Student Grant is Nathaniel Brunt of Toronto, Canada.

Aaron Vincent Elkaim was awarded the Professional Grant for Where the River Runs Through, which examines the consequences of Brazil’s major hydroelectric expansion on the ecosystems, communities, and industries within the Amazon Rainforest.

Alexia Pro Winner resized

February 21 2014.  A child from the Xikrin village of “Pot crô” stands for a photo on the banks of the Rio Bacaja, its name meaning “the water that runs in river is the same as the blood that flows through our veins.” The Xikrin are a warrior tribe that have strongly resisted the dam, but were recently divided into 8 smaller groups due to negotiations with Norte Enegria, the company building the dam. Many of the chiefs were paid off with boats, motors, and televisions, while others maintained resistance. The Bacaja, a tributary of the Xingu River which the people depend upon for fish and transportation, will severely dry up after the dam is completed. Photo by Aaron Vincent Elkaim

“I am especially pleased with Aaron Vincent Elkaim’s project, as I have long wanted to get involved in water and its effect on our environment,” said Aphrodite Tsairis, Alexia Foundation co-founder. “Brazil’s hydroelectric expansion and its relation to the Amazon rainforest puts Alexia in a key position to weigh in on this environmental issue.”

Alvaro Ybarra Zavala received a Judges Special Recognition award for Colombia, The Parallel State, which documents the reality of a civilian population who live in a hidden Colombia that only knows the reality of sixty years of war.

Finalists for the Professional Grant were Adriane Ohanesian for The Last Lives, Rebel Darfur; Brendan Hoffman for Brotherland: War in Ukraine; Krisanne Johnson for Post Apartheid Youth; and Asa Sjöström for Moldova Silent Land.

First Place Student Winner Nathaniel Brunt was awarded the Alexia Grant for #Shaheed, a study of the war in Kashmir, the men fighting in it, and the changing relationship between technology and the representation of conflict. Brunt is in his final year of a master’s degree at Ryerson University in Toronto. He will use the prize of a semester at Syracuse University to further his goal of earning a PhD and to produce his project into a book.

Nathaniel Brunt resized

Thousands of people gather in Kakapora, Kashmir for the funeral of 21-year-old Talib Ahmed Shah, a Kashmiri Lashkar-E-Taiba militant. (Summer 2015) Photo by Nathaniel Brunt

“Overall, the student proposals were of the highest caliber, in many instances far surpassing those of the pros,” said Aphrodite Tsairis, “This speaks to the fact that Alexia is teaching a whole new generation of photo storytellers how to write a good proposal.”

Student Award of Excellence Grants were awarded to José Márquez of Brooks Institute for Próspero, which tells the story of a man who believed in the American Dream and ran for his life across the border from Mexico to the United States to follow his dreams; to Gabriela Arp of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for Traces, a 360-video virtual reality experience that explores the memories—both real and imagined—of Willie E.White, an 88-year old woman living with dementia; to Sarah Blesener of The International Center of Photography for Chavi, which focuses on a surrogate family of fourteen-year old friends living in the projects in the southern Bronx, exploring issues of boyhood, adolescence, and belonging; and to Nick Wagner of Western Kentucky University whose  A Migrant’s Mission looks at how one Mexican migrant worker has coped with leaving behind his family for nine months each of the last 13 years.

Judging took place April 1 and 2 at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. The judges for the 2016 competition were Teru Kuwayama, Darcy Padilla and Ami Vitale. All three are highly accomplished visual journalists and past Alexia Professional Grant recipients. The judging was moderated by Alexia Chair Mike Davis, who noted that this year’s submissions were the strongest to date.

The Alexia Foundation exists to give photojournalists the financial ability to give voice to those who go unheard, foster understanding and expose social injustice. The Alexia Foundation was created in 1991 in remembrance and celebration of Alexia Tsairis who was one of 35 Syracuse University students murdered in the terrorist bombing of PanAm Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland when returning home from their study abroad program in London.

B&H Photo and Think Tank Photo also provided support for the 2016 Alexia Grants.


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Applications Now Open for The W. Eugene Smith Grant


The W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography is presented annually to a photographer whose past work and proposed project follow the tradition of W. Eugene Smith and the dedicated compassion he exhibited during his 45-year career as a photographic essayist. It is a $30,000 grant to complete a current or future documentary project. To learn more about the grant and to apply, please visit www.smithfund.org.

Deadline: May 31, 2016

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MediaStorm Recognized by the Webbys

We’ve got some exciting news. Connected to the Top has been nominated for a Webby for Best User Experience.


In 2012, a team of professional climbers sought out to summit the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest. The expedition commemorated the 50th anniversary of the first American ascent of the mountain.


Inside Tracks was also nominated as an honoree for Online Film and Video.


In 1977, Robyn Davidson walked 1,700 miles across the Australian outback. National Geographic sent Rick Smolan to photograph her perilous journey—a trek that tested and transformed them, forming an immutable bond that continues to this day.

You can vote now to help us make it to the top!

Congrats to Verse, the team that made it happen, and thank YOU, our audience, for all your support.


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Conservational International Now Hiring

Conservational International  is looking for a Visual Storytelling Director.

The Senior Director of Visual Storytelling leads the team at CI responsible for producing visual narratives that explain and promote CI’s mission and vision to the world. S/he reports to the Vice President of Communications as a part of CI’s Brand and Communications division. The Visual Storytelling (VST) team is made up of the Director of Production – who reports directly to the Senior Director – and the Production Coordinator.

They manage a video production studio and produce video, motion graphics, and photography to create visually compelling stories for professional stakeholder audiences and general publics across the world. The goals of projects vary.  In some cases the VST team works with CI field offices to achieve specific conservation results such as raising funds for local projects, changing legislation, or promoting local awareness.  In other cases the VST delivers more general work for global audiences. The Senior Director must be well versed in a variety of content genres and channels, and able to tailor content to a wide range of international and domestic audiences.

Key duties for this position include working with stakeholders across the organization to access and prioritize visual storytelling needs, and developing and managing a portfolio of productions best suited to achieving Brand and Communication objectives. The Senior Director manages the VST team, draws from a broad network of contractors and production companies, and runs the VST production studio to deliver on this portfolio.  The team also serves as a visual storytelling consulting and learning center for the whole of Conservation International, manages CI’s video library, and works closely with the rest of the Brand and Communications division to deliver on integrated marketing and communications.

To see the full posting and to apply, visit here

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