The Maryland Art Source web page dedicated to Meiselas tells how she was given grants in order to begin film and photography programs in the school houses of the rural south. Later she was able to combine her teaching ideas with oral history and photography and she continued to work with teachers in New York city at the Center for Understanding Media.
In 1976 she joined the Magnum Photos co-operative. The members portray and interpret world events , issues and people.Since that time Meiselas worked as a freelance photographer. She is best known for her pictures of human cruelty and coverage of human rights issues in Latin America, travelling in 1977 to Nicaragua to photograph the civil war then being conducted, with huge loss of life, between the forces of the dictator General Anastasio Somoza Garcías and his Sandinista opposition. In 1981, she photographed a village in San Salvador which had been destroyed by the armed forces and also took photographs of the El Mozote massacre which took place in the same year when Salvadorean soldiers , who had been trained by the military of the United States, killed some 1000 civilians in the name of an anti-guerilla campaign.
Her work is known world wide Meiselas has had many one-woman exhibitions in Paris, Madrid, Amsterdam, London, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. Her photographs are included in more permanent exhibitions both in America and elsewhere. She has been honored with many awards in recognition of both her work and her courage including the Robert Capa Gold Medal for outstanding courage and reporting in 1979 given by the Overseas Press Club for her work in Nicaragua. This was followed by the Leica Award for Excellence in 1982, the Engelhard Award from the Institute of Contemporary Art in 1985. In 1992 she was named as a MacArthur Fellow. The Maria Moors Cabot Prize was given by Columbia University for her coverage of Latin America and she also