William Snyder Named Director Of Photography For The Dallas Morning News

Mar 22, 2005

DALLAS, TX - Three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist William Snyder has been named director of photography for The Dallas Morning News effective immediately, senior deputy managing editor Walt Stallings announced to the newspaper staff March 21.

Snyder, an NPPA member since 1979, has been serving as interim director for several months after former director of photography Ken Geiger moved to be the new senior editor of technology for National Geographicmagazine in Washington, DC.

“William’s passion and skill make him the ideal person to build upon our tradition of excellence in photography,” Stallings wrote in the announcement. “Please join me in congratulating him in his new role.”

“We have some of the best photojournalists in the country at The Dallas Morning News and I’m honored and excited to be working with all of them in this new position. It’s a tough act following Ken Geiger and John Davidson, but my goal is to help everyone reach the highest level they want to achieve – to reach their goals – whether they’re an editor, photographer, lab technician or librarian,” Snyder told News Photographer today.

“This business is going through a tough time right now as we search for answers to our declining readership. As the newspaper searches for new ways to attract and retain readers, we will continue to do our part by providing the very best visual storytelling possible.”

Snyder won a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism in 1989 along with reporter David Hanners and artist Karen Blessen for their special report on a 1985 airplane crash, the follow-up investigation, and the implications for air safety. In 1991, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for his pictures of ill and orphaned children living in desperate conditions in Romania. In 1993, Snyder and Ken Geiger won the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News photography for their photographic coverage of the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.

He joined The Dallas Morning News in 1983 and for 17 years was a staff photographer, winning many top photography awards. In 1998 he changed roles and moved into editing and has been the night photography editor, assignments editor, a metro/suburban photography editor, and most recently the assistant director of photography in the newspaper’s aggressive Collin County bureau.

“As a member of this staff for over 21 years I've seen us become one of the best photojournalism departments in the country and I'm excited by the prospect of reaching even higher achievements in the coming months and years,” Snyder said today.

“And, to be sure, we are storytellers first and foremost – not just photographers. We are devoted to telling our subjects’ stories in the best and most appropriate way we can. It’s not about us. It’s about the people we meet and their stories, which they have chosen to share with the world through us.

“We also want to broaden our storytelling capabilities through the use of audio and video and expand our audience through the aggressive use of our Web site. Since David Leeson is on the cutting edge of video storytelling techniques, he will lead the department in this area in the coming months. We will also have an editor whose primary job is to work with the staff to produce unique content for the Web and some special projects for the paper.

Snyder is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology, and worked as a staff photographer at The Miami News before moving to Dallas. At 14, in Henderson, KY, he would ride his bike to photography assignments for The Gleaner when his mother couldn’t drive him.