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Alumni Spotlight: Justin Merriman

by Madison Jarnot

Alum and former member of The Insider Justin Merriman graduated from Pitt-Greensburg in 2000 with a Bachelor’s in English Writing, and his work as a freelance photojournalist has made an impact worldwide.

After photographing United Flight 93’s crash in Shanksville, Pa. on Sept. 11, 2001, Merriman traveled the world to cover the US War on Terror. He has worked in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan as well as Haiti, the Vatican, Cuba, and the Crimean Peninsula. He received the Alumnus of Distinction Award from Pitt-Greensburg in 2009 for his photojournalism.

Most recently, Merriman photographed immigrants and Customs and Border Protection officers at the U.S.-Mexico border.

His photos have been featured in multiple national and international publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and TIME Magazine. He is a founding member of American Reportage, a collective of photojournalists that specialize in telling the story of the American experience.

He received the Photographer of the Year award from the News Photographer Association of Greater Pittsburgh four times and Distinguished Visual Award from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association during the 2016 the Keystone Press Awards. He’s also earned a variety of awards from other organizations, such as the National Press Photographers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Military Reporters and Editors Association, and the Western Pennsylvania Press Club.

Other works by Merriman are available on his website, his Twitter, and his Instagram.

He will be a panelist on “The First Casualty: Military Conflict, the Media and Public Opinion—WWII to Present Day” at Campana Chapel on Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. for Pitt-Greensburg Veterans’ Week. The event is free, but prior registration is required.

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