2023 James Foley Award for Conflict Reporting winner

Finbarr O’Reilly

About Finbarr

Finbarr O’Reilly

Finbarr O’Reilly has spent the last 20 years as an award-winning visual journalist and author working in conflict zones and complex humanitarian emergencies. He is a regular contributor to The New York Times and was the Laureate of the 2020 Carmignac Photojournalism award, which resulted in a two-year project, two books and multiple exhibitions about the Democratic Republic of Congo. Finbarr has also produced exhibitions for the Nobel Peace Prize and the International Criminal Court. His focus in recent years has been on leading collaborative multi-platform projects that develop and promote a more representative range of voices and perspectives in the photojournalism industry while translating strategic and editorial objectives into engaging and compelling narratives that influence global audiences.

Finbarr has a track record of delivering industry-leading coverage as well as building and managing diverse, effective and innovative teams able to thrive in an ever-evolving media landscape. He is committed to educational, mentoring and personal development initiatives aimed at a meaningful diversification of the media landscape and the promotion of social justice. Finbarr has held fellowships at Yale, Harvard and Columbia universities and has won numerous awards, including from World Press Photo and Pictures of the Year International. He is the co-author of the 2017 memoir Shooting Ghosts: A U.S. Marine, a Combat Photographer, and Their Journey Back from War (Penguin-Random House). He is a Canon Ambassador.

What the Selection Committee said

The selection committee recognizes Finbarr’s exceptional skill as a photojournalist and digital storyteller, his leadership in acknowledging the emotional and mental difficulties of covering conflict, and his continued efforts to give back to the photojournalism community through mentorship, advocacy and training.

Finbarr is a very fine photographer whose reach extends beyond photography. He continues Jim Foley’s legacy of excellence in storytelling, moral courage and concern for fellow freelance photographers. The sharing of personal issues with injury resulting from his brilliant work, and his serving on the ACOS (A Culture of Safety Alliance) board, promotes journalist safety, self awareness and generosity to the community of journalists.