Pinar Istek earned her bachelor’s degree in communication and design from Bilkent University in Turkey and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. She also spent a year studying media at the University of California, San Diego.
Before becoming a doctoral student at UT, Istek worked as staff photographer and photo editor at newspapers in Missouri, Costa Rica and Guatemala. She also worked as a freelance photographer in Turkey covering the 2013 protests. While earning her M.A., she worked as a graduate coordinator for the Missouri Photo Workshop and Pictures of the Year International.
Her research interests are in visual journalism, self-censorship in photography, and photojournalism ethics.