Covering the Pandemic

Covering the Pandemic


May 9, 2020 | 6pm


How are journalists reporting in a world of social distancing? While New York City has grown to become the epicenter of this global pandemic, journalists around the city have been adapting the way they work and the precautions they take for their own safety.

Join photojournalists Gabriela Bhaskar, Victor J. Blue, Ryan Christopher Jones, and Desiree Rios for a virtual talk about covering the pandemic with moderator, BDC Founder and Executive Director, Mike Kamber. They will discuss their experiences documenting COVID-19 at the epicenter of the virus in New York City. 


GABRIELA BHASKAR is a freelance photojournalist based in New York City. She is a graduate of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism where she focused on multimedia storytelling incorporating audio, video and writing to accompany her photography. She is part of inaugural class of Women Photograph Mentees and was a 2017 Overseas Press Club Foundation Scholar. She is available for assignments worldwide.

VICTOR J. BLUE is a New York-based photojournalist whose work is most often concerned with the legacy of armed conflict, human rights and the protection of civilian populations, and unequal outcomes resulting from policy and politics. He has worked in Central America since 2002, concentrating on social conflict in Guatemala, and since 2009 has photographed the Counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan. He has completed assignments in Syria, Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Iraq, and India, and has documented news stories and social issues across the United States. He worked as a staff photographer at The Record in Stockton CA, and holds a Masters Degree in Visual Communication from Ohio University. He practices a deeply reported, character-driven documentary photography that tries to both inform viewers intellectually and move them emotionally, and communicate something universal from the particular circumstances of individual lives and struggles. 

RYAN CHRISTOPHER JONES is a Mexican-American photojournalist and a regular contributor to The New York Times, ProPublica and others. Originally from California’s Central Valley, Ryan’s work most often covers the intersection of migration and labor, and the complicated sociopolitical relationship between Mexico and the United States. He is a fierce advocate of ethical photojournalism, and in 2018 he wrote two op-eds for The New York Times. An essay entitled “How Photography Exploits the Vulnerable” asked fellow photojournalists to reflect on the exploitative history of photographing drug use and addiction. He presented solutions for covering vulnerable communities with sensitivity and nuance. Ryan is currently an enrolled student of history at Harvard University’s extension school.

DESIREE RIOS is a Mexican-American photojournalist and documentary photographer from Fort Worth, Texas. She received a Bachelor of Science in Photojournalism at St. John’s University in New York and a Master of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute. Rios is currently based in New York City and Dallas-Fort Worth. 

 © Ryan Christopher Jones / The New York Times
INTERIOR PHOTO (L-R): A Costco in Manhattan on Friday. The shelves of grocery stores were picked clean as the effects of the pandemic spread further on Friday, drastically slowing critical sectors of the American economy and daily life. © Gabriela Bhaskar / The New York Times; © Desiree Rios