UM Names Renowned Photographer as Next Pollner Professor

A picture of Daniella Zalcman
Daniella Zalcman

MISSOULA – University of Montana journalism students will be taught next spring by Daniella Zalcman, an elite photojournalist whose work regularly appears in National Geographic Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, TIME, The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, BuzzFeed and Mashable.

Zalcman was named the T. Anthony Pollner Distinguished Professor for spring 2022 in the UM School of Journalism.

“Daniella has impeccable credentials as a working photojournalist and will expose our students to an incredible wealth of experience and knowledge,” said Denise Dowling, director of UM’s journalism school. “She also is a strong leader who is founder and executive director of Women Photograph, a nonprofit that works to elevate the voices of women and nonbinary visual journalists worldwide, among other exciting initiatives.”

Zalcman’s UM course will focus on documentary photography and building a sustainable photojournalism business. Students will work on one documentary topic for the entire semester, working as if it were a commissioned piece for a magazine. Students will pitch, budget and plan coverage. They will discuss ethics, project management and safety in the field.

“I’m thrilled to be spending the spring semester in Missoula and sharing as much insight as I can about ethical visual storytelling practices, building a sustainable career as a photojournalist and how we can all collectively build a healthier and more equitable industry together,” Zalcman said. “I can’t wait to meet the next generation of documentary photographers and learn more about the stories and projects that excite and motivate them.”

Zalcman earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Columbia in 2009. Her ongoing project, “Signs of Your Identity,” has won the Arnold Newman Prize, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and others. She also is co-founder of “Indigenous Photograph,” an online site that elevates the work of Indigenous visual journalists, and co-founder of “We, Women,” a project to amplify women and gender nonconforming voices during an era of divisiveness and distrust in politics. She also is co-author of the Photo Bill of Rights, an effort to build a more inclusive and equitable visual media industry.

Zalcman is the 28th T. Anthony Pollner Distinguished Professor. The professorship was created in 2001 by the family and friends of T. Anthony Pollner, a 1999 School of Journalism alumnus who died in a motorcycle accident.


Contact: Denise Dowling, professor and director, UM School of Journalism, 406-243-5250,