David Gilkey

David Gilkey is a staff photographer and video editor for NPR, covering both national and international news. He has produced award-winning photo essays, videos and multimedia presentations for NPR.org, as well as radio reports for NPR.

As one of the first unilateral journalists to move into Afghanistan and the first to cross the border into Iraq while embedded with the U.S. Army, Gilkey has covered the war on terrorism since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. In that time, he has made numerous trips back to both countries most recently covering U.S. operations in southern Afghanistan.

In 2009, Gilkey covered the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. The next year he made numerous trips to Haiti to cover the devastating earthquake that hit the island nation in January. His work in Haiti earned Gilkey two 2011 Investigative Reporters & Editors awards. Gilkey documented the fall of apartheid in South Africa, famine and conflict in Somalia, tribal warfare in Rwanda and the war in the Balkans.

Throughout his career, Gilkey has received numerous awards from both national and international photo competitions. In 2011, Gilkey was named Still Photographer of the Year by the White House Photographers Association (WHPA). In addition he's earned 36 distinctions from the WHPA since 2009, including nine first place awards.

Gilkey's contribution to the NPR Investigation "Brain Wars: How the Military is Failing the Wounded" was recognized by a 2010 George Polk Award. That series was also honored with Society for News Design's 2011 Award of Excellence and a 2011 Dart Award for Excellence in Coverage.

He received a 2007 national Emmy award for a video series "Band of Brothers" about Michigan Marines in Iraq. In 2004, he was named Michigan "Photographer of the Year" by the Michigan Press Photographers Association.

Gilkey studied journalism at Oregon State University. His first job was at the Boulder (CO) Daily Camera, where he handled local assignments for the paper and overseas assignments for Knight Ridder. He later joined the Detroit Free Press where he worked until 2007.

The Protojournalist
11:20 am
Thu June 19, 2014

1,000 Words: Afghans Engage In A Dangerous Game

David P Gilkey NPR

The "Horsemen of Afghanistan" playing Buzkashi โ€” a dangerous contest in which riders vie for a goat carcass โ€” in the northern city of Sheberghan near the Tajikistan border.


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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Fri December 13, 2013

1,000 Words: A Pet Reindeer In Nome, Alaska

David Gilkey NPR News

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 2:44 pm

A pet reindeer in a pickup truck. The reindeer's name: Velvet Eyes.

Typhoon Haiyan Devastates The Philippines
8:03 am
Thu November 21, 2013

What I Saw: A Photographer's Last Dispatch From The Philippines

David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 7:12 pm

NPR photographer David Gilkey has photographed in extreme situations โ€” from the surge in Afghanistan, to bombings in Gaza, to the tsunami in Japan, but he was shocked at what he saw in the village of Barangay 68 in Tacloban City, Philippines.

Nothing could have prepared me for what I was going to find when I arrived.

"Barangay," loosely translated, means a neighborhood or village and Barangay 68 is just one of the tiny hamlets that make up greater Tacloban City in the central Philippines. The village was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.

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The Picture Show
11:04 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Looking Back To Move Forward: 13 Years Of Photographing Afghanistan

Dust rises behind a convoy traveling down a dusty road near Kandahar. Soldiers refer to their backside as "their six" รขย€ย” as in 6 o'clock: or, when facing ahead at 12, the area that's behind.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 1:16 pm

Editor's note: On his most recent trip to Afghanistan, NPR staff photographer David Gilkey shot this personal iPhone photo essay in his downtime.

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The Picture Show
11:02 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Dashing Through The Snow ... With A Reindeer In A Pickup Truck?

"Velvet Eyes" โ€” a pet reindeer belonging to Carl Emmons โ€” stands in the back of a pickup truck outside a market and gas station in Nome, Alaska.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 9:45 am

As a photographer working for NPR, I travel the globe covering assignments with our reporters and correspondents. The logistics of getting into a place can be brutal, and rarely do photographs "just happen" without a tremendous amount of time and effort.

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This Is NPR
4:38 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Photojournalist ProFile: 'You Have To Be In The Middle Of It.'

NPR photographer David Gilkey in Afghanistan's Kunar River Valley as he navigated closed roads on his way back to Kabul (2010).
Courtesy of CNN's Ivan Watson

My name... David Gilkey
NPR employee since... 2007
Public radio listener since... I was a kid and my dad drove me to school.

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