Francis Kohn, chair of the 2016 World Press Photo jury, on judging the prize

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“We had a great number of stories, the majority of stories, were on the migrant refugees in Europe,” says Francis Kohn, photo director of Agence France-Presse and chair of the 2016 World Press Photo jury of the prize this year, after judging the general news, spot news and long term project categories. “There is a big gap between these stories and Nepal – a lot on the earthquake in Nepal – I think third would be….attacks in Paris, Charlie Hebdo in January and then in November. The rest [of the stories] are quite spread out.”
Making his comments in a video made by the WPP team, Kohn added he was looking for images that witness an important event, as “this is World Press Photo”, but beyond that “obviously a picture has to be strong, compelling, has to work on so many different levels – being there, witnessing, and then it has to tell me something.”
But, he cautioned, it doesn’t necessarily have to be in monochrome – as the eventual winner, by Warren Richardson, turned out to be. “There was an overwhelming number of black-and-white [images] in the single long term project [category],” he said. “I like black-and-white, it’s great, but I think colour is good too. I don’t think photographers should think it represents an added value because it’s in black-and-white.”

Diane Smyth

Diane Smyth is a freelance journalist who contributes to publications such as The Guardian, The Observer, The FT Weekend Magazine, Creative Review, The Calvert Journal, Aperture, FOAM, IMA, Aesthetica and Apollo Magazine. Prior to going freelance, she wrote and edited at BJP for 15 years. She has also curated exhibitions for institutions such as The Photographers Gallery and Lianzhou Foto Festival. You can follow her on instagram @dismy