J. Ross Baughman, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist who has covered wars in 11 countries, yesterday was named director of photography for The Washington Times.
Mr. Baughman, 49, had served as deputy director of photography at The Times since June 2000. He joined the newspaper as photo editor in October 1999, helping to lead 15 staff photographers whose work in the past three years alone was recognized by dozens of first-place awards in national and regional competitions.
“Ross already has helped our photo staff to work smarter and faster, increasing the impact of their pictures in collaboration with us ‘word guys’ at the newspaper, the editors and reporters,” Editor in Chief Wesley Pruden said in announcing the appointment. “He pushes the kind of brainstorming, research and hustle that lead to distinctive stories for our readers in words and pictures that our bigger-staffed competition doesn’t even imagine.”
Mr. Baughman succeeds Alan Zlotky, an 11-year veteran of The Times who had been director of photography since November 1998. Mr. Zlotky, 47, resigned Feb. 26 to become senior picture editor at America Online.
“The Times has been a leader in news and feature photography on local, national and foreign stories throughout our 21-year history,” Mr. Pruden said. “Alan Zlotky dramatically advanced that tradition as photo director, and as deputy director before that. Under Ross Baughman’s leadership, I’m confident that our eager photo staff will become even more able to outsmart and outshoot the other guys.”
Mr. Baughman won the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography in 1978 for his coverage of the bloody guerrilla war in Zimbabwe, then known as Rhodesia. At age 23, he became the youngest professional ever to win journalism’s most prestigious prize.
Working for the Associated Press as the wire service’s first contract photographer, Mr. Baughman competed against himself that year with two other Pulitzer nominations: for infiltrating the American Nazi movement over nine months and exposing assassination and bombing plots, and for becoming the first journalist ever to accompany Palestinian commandos operating inside Israel.
His photography in the Middle East, Central America, Africa and elsewhere appeared over the years in major newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, Newsweek, Life, Vanity Fair, Stern, Cosmopolitan and Vogue.
Mr. Baughman, a native of Dearborn, Mich., received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Kent State University in 1975. Two years later, he won the first-place award for investigative reporting in the Ohio division of the Associated Press Managing Editors competition.
In June 1978, he founded Visions, a news agency specializing in investigative photo essays by international photographers whose work was published by Time, Newsweek and other leading newsmagazines. He operated the agency until 1996 as senior partner, then spent a year as director of photography for the Day, a daily newspaper and regional travel magazine in New London, Conn., before joining The Times.
Mr. Baughman has lectured widely on journalism ethics and methods, including programs at the Smithsonian Institution, the International Center of Photography, the Rhode Island School of Design and major American universities. From 1979 to 1997, he was on the faculty of the photo department at the New School for Social Research and Parson’s School of Design in New York.
In addition to his work at The Times, Mr. Baughman since January 2000 has been a contributing editor for the Web site of Digital Vision Network (digitalfilmmaker.net), where he oversees photojournalism content and writes critical essays and book reviews.
Mr. Baughman, who has a 12-year-old son, lives in Alexandria.