Adriana Teresa Letorney

Founder / Visura.co
| Cofounder / Scout Film Festival
 
Location: Stowe, Vermont
Nationality: Puerto Rican
Biography: Journalist and media entrepreneur—Adriana Teresa Letorney is the Founder, CEO & Creative Director of FotoVIsura Inc, the creative and tech company primarily responsible for powering Visura.co , a curated marketplace that connects image... read on
News Spotlight
Photojournalism in mourning
adriana teresa letorney
Dec 10, 2019

Today the photojournalism industry mourns the loss of trust. The reputation and belief in both leading organizations and individual professionals in this industry are at stake. Time Magazine featured an interview of Souvid Datta—accussed and now responsible for plagiarizing and altering images— written by Olivier Laurent. As one of the numerous awards Souvid has won, the article includes that he was the recipient of the 2016 Visura Grant for PhotojournalismPrior to this recognition, he also received the 2013 IdeasTap and Magnum Photos Photographic Award, Getty Images Editorial Grant, Alexia Foundation award, the Pulitzer Catalyst Award as well as a LensCulture/Magnum Photos award. This controversy all began because Souvid submitted a project to a LensCulture Contest in partnership with Magnum Foundation; he also won the Pulitzer Centre's Catalyst Award. To my dismay, he did not contact Visura prior to publishing his article—had he done so—we would have made a statement. (Since I posted and reached out to Time Magazine, I was contacted immediately by Olivier (a colleague I respect and consider a leader in the industry) offering the opportunity for Visura to submit an official statement, which has been sent. The article has been updated.)


The official quote in part featured in Time Magazine: 
Visura, which awarded a grant to Datta, has launched an investigation into the photographer's practices. "Although the altered images in question were not part of his Grant proposal, which has always been set to private to protect the integrity of the project and its subjects involved—Visura does not support lies, deceit, and unethical acts. Period," says Visura's founder Adriana Teresa Letorney. "The Visura team works to respect the integrity and ethics of the international community as well as its own mission." 

Reflection: 

Photojournalism is in mourning. The ethics of journalism are in question. It feels like all the Goliaths have gathered behind closed doors to set for the kill—and I wonder, who is the prey?

I repeat—today, the photojournalism industry mourns the loss of trust. The reputation and belief in both leading organizations and individual professionals in this industry are at stake. There are several issues at hand.

The allegations by Souvid Datta, an award-winning photographer in the photojournalism industry are serious. Since Souvid received the 2016 Visura Photojournalism Award for his longtime investigation into child sex trafficking across West Bengal—Visura commenced an internal investigation days ago to determine the best course of action for FotoVisura Inc to take.

Visura's team works to maintain the integrity and ethics of our mission: to easily connect individual creatives and buyers worldwide. The Grant Program is a perk to Visura premium members at no additional costs.

Unfortunately, the photojournalism industry mourns the loss of trust. As a result, Visura will postpone launching any future grants for the remainder of the year.

No matter what—this is a time to reflect and decide how each of us can be the change that we envision.

Heartbroken.

Adriana Teresa Letorney


Founder, Visura
(photo by ATL/Visura)


OFFICIAL STATEMENT: 

Souvid Datta—an award-winning photojournalist—accepted the allegations of plagiarizing and altering images between 2013-2015. Since Souvid received the 2016 Visura Photojournalism Award —several days ago Visura initiated an internal investigation to determine the best course of action for FotoVisura Inc to take. Management is in direct communication with Souvid at this time. Although the altered images in question were not part of his Grant proposal, which has always been set to private to protect the integrity of the project and its subjects involved—Visura does not support lies, deceit, and unethical acts. PERIOD.

The Visura team works to respect the integrity and ethics of the international community as well as its own mission. The Grant Program is a perk to Visura premium members at no additional costs.  

Unfortunately, due to the severity of this loss of trust—Visura is postponing offering future grants in photojournalism for the remainder of the year to honor a much needed period of reflection. This is a time to decide how each of us can be the change that we envision. 


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