Fred Ritchin is Dean of the School at ICP (International Center of Photography) which serves more than 5,000 students each year in graduate, certificate, continuing education, and youth photography programs. Ritchin was also the founding director of the Documentary Photography and Photojournalism Program at the School of ICP and was appointed Dean in 2014. Prior to joining ICP, Fred Ritchin was professor of Photography and Imaging at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, and co-director of the NYU/Magnum Foundation Photography and Human Rights educational program. Previously the picture editor of the New York Times Magazine (1978–82), executive editor of Camera Arts magazine (1982–83), and founding director of the Photojournalism and Documentary Photography Program at the International Center of Photography (1983–86), Ritchin has written and lectured internationally about the challenges and possibilities implicit in the digital revolution.
He served as picture editor of the New York Times Magazine and of Horizon magazine, and executive editor of Camera Arts. In 1994–95, he conducted a research project for the New York Times on how to transform the print newspaper into a multimedia publication. Ritchin co-founded PixelPress in 1999, serving as director of an organization that has created multimedia documentary and photojournalism projects online, and collaborated with humanitarian organizations such as UNICEF, WHO, UNFPA, Crimes of War, and the Rwanda Project.
Ritchin is a prolific author and curator, focusing on digital media and the rapid changes occurring in photography. He wrote the first book on the impact of digital imaging on photography, In Our Own Image: The Coming Revolution in Photography (Aperture, 1990, 1999, 2010), which was followed by two more books on the future of imaging in the digital era, After Photography (W. W. Norton, 2008), and Bending the Frame: Photojournalism, Documentary, and the Citizen (Aperture, 2013). Ritchin has contributed articles and essays to numerous books and publications such as Aperture, Camera Arts, Mother Jones, The New York Times, TIME LightBox, and the Village Voice. His curatorial projects include Contemporary Latin American Photographers at the Burden Gallery, What Matters Now: Proposals for a New Front Page at Aperture Gallery, An Uncertain Grace: The Photographs of Sebastião Salgado at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Bodies in Question at the New York Photo Festival.
Ritchin is also the founding director of PixelPress, an organization that has published multimedia projects experimenting with virtual and non-linear photojournalistic and documentary work. PixelPress has collaborated with many humanitarian organizations on issues such as a global attempt to end polio, progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, the promulgation and explanation of the crimes of war, and the photographic vision of children in a Rwandan orphanage. PixelPress also featured an online publication combining documentary and new media strategies, including a collaboration with photographer Gilles Peress for the New York Times first multimedia piece, entitled “Bosnia: Uncertain Paths to Peace”, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in public service in 1997.
- Bending The Frame: Photojournalism, Documentary, and the Citizen (Aperture, 2013).
- After Photography: W.W. Norton & Co. (December 17, 2008)
- In Our Own Image: The Coming Revolution in Photography (Aperture, 1990 [reissued 1999]). *Co-author of An Uncertain Grace: The Photographs of Sebastiao Salgado (Aperture, 1990)
- In Our Time: The World As Seen by Magnum Photographers (W. W. Norton, 1989)
- An Uncertain Grace: The Photographs of Sebastião Salgado (Aperture, 1990).
- Mexico Through Foreign Eyes, 1850-1990 (W. W. Norton, 1993).
Essays by Ritchin appear in the following publications:
- Photo Video: Photography in the Age of the Computer (1991)
- A New History of Photography (1994)
- National Geographic Photos: Milestones (1999)
- Sahel: Man in Distress (2004)
- Under Fire: Great Photographers and Writers on the Vietnam War (2005)
- The Critical Image (1990).
- Felice Beato: Photographer of the Eastern Road (2010)
- The Uncanny Familiar: Images of Terror (C/O Berlin, 2011)
- Contemporary Latin American Photographers (1987)
- An Uncertain Grace: The Photographs of Sebastiao Salgado (1990)
- The Legacy of W. Eugene Smith: Twelve Photographers in the Humanistic Tradition (1991)
- Mexico Through Foreign Eyes: Photographs, 1850-1990 (1992)
- Chasing the Dream (United Nations, 2005)
- Bodies in Question (New York Photo Festival; NYU Tisch School of the Arts, 2010)
- What Matters Now? Proposals for a New Front Page (Aperture Foundation, 2011)
- Revolution: Photographs from Libya (NYU Gulf and Western Gallery, 2011)
- Markle Foundation grant (1993–1994)
- Presidential Fellowship for Junior Faculty (1994)
- David Payne-Carter Award for Teaching Excellence (1995)
- Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Public Service by the New York Times for the Web site, "Bosnia: Uncertain Paths to Peace"(1997).
- Hasselblad Foundation Grant (1999) for future web project "Witnessing and the Web: An Experiment in Documentary Photography”
- "Faculty Directory". NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
- Sander, Ernest (June 1997). "Pulitzer Prizes for Online Journalism?". American Journalism Review.
- time.com Pickert, Kate "The future of photography." Time, December 18, 2008. Retrieved January 29, 2010
- boston.com"Vanishing images," Boston.com, The Boston Globe, February 17, 2005. Retrieved January 29, 2010
- news.google.com"Photo exhibit is Anchorage museum's largest to date." Anchorage Daily News, November 1, 1992. Retrieved January 29, 2010
- sfgate.com Winn, Steven, "What can photos teach us about war? Have a look." San Francisco Chronicle, SFGate, April 19, 2005. Retrieved January 29, 2010
- Works by or about Fred Ritchin in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- After Photography blog
- Where is the Front Page in Cyberspace? New York Times Lens blog, 2011.