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POV and The New York Times Select Three Multimedia Storytellers to Create New Interactive Conversations About Race
8/22/2016 12:32:37 PM

From left: Bayeté Ross Smith, Logan Jaffe and Saleem Reshamwala

American Documentary, Inc., producer of the award-winning PBS documentary series POV (Point of View) and an innovator in digital storytelling and engagement for public media, and The New York Times today announced the selection of three innovative digital producers for the "Embedded Mediamaker" project, supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The original call from June 2016 sought one mediamaker, but after reviewing hundreds of candidates, POV and The New York Times selected three: Bayeté Ross Smith, Logan Jaffe and Saleem Reshamwala.

Ross Smith, Jaffe and Reshamwala will work with POV and The Times to create new forms of documentary and interactive content with a team of Times writers, editors and visual storytellers involved in Race/Related, a newsletter and reporting project exploring race as it is lived today.

"When we started our search for a filmmaker, a hybrid producer-technologist or a YouTube video creator, we thought we would have to choose between them," said POV Digital Executive Producer Adnaan Wasey. "Instead, we chose all three.  We can't wait to see what new ground they can break—on their own and together."

"Bayeté, Logan and Saleem are experienced journalists and creative storytellers who have all used new storytelling techniques to explore issues of race in ways that resonate with audiences," said Nancy Gauss, Executive Director of Video, The New York Times. "We are thrilled to have them on board to work with some of our best journalists."

Each of the selected mediamakers has had experience working in public media and news organizations. One will be embedded with The New York Times for 20 weeks, and the other two for 10 weeks each. Ross Smith is an alumnus of POV Digital Lab, Jaffe is currently a producer with WBEZ's Curious City, and Reshamwala is the creator of the PBS Digital Studios series "Beat Making Lab." 


About the mediamakers:

Bayeté Ross Smith (20-week embed, beginning Aug. 22, 2016) is a photographer, multimedia artist and filmmaker from Harlem, N.Y. He began his career as a photojournalist with Knight Ridder. Ross Smith has exhibited his work internationally with institutions such as the San Francisco Arts Commission, the Brooklyn Museum, the Oakland Museum of California, the Schomburg Center, the Unseen Photo Festival (Amsterdam), Goethe-Institut (Ghana) and Zacheta National Gallery of Art (Poland). His collaborative projects "Along The Way" and "Question Bridge: Black Males" were showcased at the Sundance Film Festival among other festivals. His accolades include an International Center of Photography Infinity Award for New Media. Ross Smith is a faculty member at the International Center of Photography and New York University and associate program director of the nonprofit Kings Against Violence Initiative. Follow Bayeté Ross Smith on Twitter and Instagram @BayeteKenan.

Download Bayeté Ross Smith's photo (Credit: Hank Willis Thomas):


Logan Jaffe (10-week embed, beginning Sept. 6, 2016) is the multimedia producer of WBEZ's Curious City, a news-gathering experiment that answers listeners' questions about the Chicago region. She is the producer of Battle Flag, an interactive documentary about the Confederate flag's place in America, which was featured in The Atlantic, The Guardian and The Washington Post. On most days, you can find her thinking about how to open up the journalistic process, exploring the Internet's most random archives, wondering what her cats are up to and planning where she'll bike to next. Follow Logan Jaffe on Twitter @loganjaffe. 

Download Logan Jaffe's photo (Credit: Greta Johnsen):


Saleem Reshamwala (10-week embed, beginning Sept. 6, 2016) is a video producer based in Durham, N.C., whose work has focused on culture, race and music.  Reshamwala has created work for LinkedIn, and PBS Digital Studios, for which he filmed rappers and beatmakers in Senegal, Ethiopia, Fiji, Panama and the Democratic Republic of Congo (as creator of the web series "Beat Making Lab"). He also had "an incredibly weird" two-year stint as an art assistant at Seventeen magazine. Reshamwala has studied, worked or hung out in 50 countries and is fluent in English, Japanese and Final Cut. He has degrees in journalism and philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Follow Saleem Reshamwala on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat @kidethnic. 

Download Saleem Reshamwala's photo (Credit: Jessica Arden Photography):


Previous digital collaborations between POV and The New York Times include the co-distribution of the documentaries The Men of Atalissa (, Strangers at Sea ( and The Nipple Artist ( 

In 2013, American Documentary | POV was one of only 13 nonprofit organizations around the world to win a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. The award recognizes exceptional grantees that have demonstrated creativity and impact.


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