Online Registration Opens For NPPA's 50th Annual Flying Short Course

DURHAM, NC – Not since U.S. Air Force Major William Lookadoo took one of his shiny, silver C-47 transport planes and hauled the first set of NPPA “short course” speakers to Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle five decades ago has there been as much anticipation about an NPPA Flying Short Course as there is for this year’s event.

Online registration for this year's Flying Short Course is now available on the Flying Short Course Web site.

Join us this year in Washington, DC, Chicago, Illinois, and San Jose, California, on October 26-28, 2007, as the Flying Short Course tradition of excellence continues. Each stop will be a two-day program, with the traveling national faculty speaking on one of the days and a regional program of speakers and break-out sessions on the other.

Speakers confirmed for this year's traveling national faculty include photojournalist and Emmy Award-winning videographer David Gilkey of the Detroit Free Press; Pulitzer Prize and Robert Capa Gold Medal winner Carolyn Cole of the Los Angeles Times; Pulitzer Prize-winner Renée C. Byer of The Sacramento Bee; Pultizer Prize-winner and freelance photojournalist Rick Rickman; NPPA's Best Of Photojournalism Photojournalist of the Year (for smaller markets) and Pulitzer Prize-finalist Mary F. Calvert of The Washington Times; and Andrew DeVigal, multimedia editor for The New York Times.

(This week the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, presenting its 28th annual news and documentary awards, gave Gilkey and the Free Press a national Emmy Award for a broadband video, "Michigan Marines: Band of Brothers." Gilkey along with Free Press photographers and producers Stephen McGee, Kathleen Galligan, and Hugh Grannum produced the video for the newspaper's Web site,

The Flying Short Course kicks off this year in the Frank E. Gannett Auditorium on the USA Today campus in McLean, VA, on Friday October 26. The traveling national faculty speaks on Friday and the regional local program will be on Saturday October 27.

The next stop for the Flying Short Course will be in Chicago, Illinois, hosted by Loyola University. The traveling national faculty speaks on Saturday October 27 and the regional local program is on Sunday October 28.

This year's 50th anniversary journey wraps up at San Jose State University in San Jose, California, with the traveling national faculty speaking on Sunday October 28. In San Jose, the regional local program will be on Saturday October 27.

NPPA's Flying Short Course is sponsored again this year by Canon and Nikon.

Speakers for the regional local programs will be published shortly on the Flying Short Course Web site.

A brief history lesson about NPPA's Flying Short Course: A little more than 50 years ago, the president of the Los Angeles Press Photographers Association complained in a letter to NPPA founder Joseph Costa that, “as far as the NPPA was concerned, the West Coast didn’t exist.” Irvin “Buck” Forbes voiced the feeling of many West Coast photographers who felt NPPA’s programs and interests were too rooted in the East and Midwest.

The Southern Short Course in Chapel Hill, NC, in 1950 had been a huge success. Then in 1951, the president of Encyclopedia Britannica saw NPPA as a possible source of pictures for his books and offered a $3,000 fund for an NPPA “short course.” At about the same time, an NPPA committee was looking for a way to provide “at least one short course that’s available to every press photographer in the nation.” In 1953 the committee decided the best way to provide quality speakers at all of the seminars, and to make the most efficient use of their time, would be to fly them from one city to the next in a few short days. To top it off, in return for putting on a program at a military base each year, and for letting military personnel attend for free, the U.S. Air Force offered to provide the transportation. And that's how NPPA’s Flying Short Course was born.

For more information about this year's Flying Short Course, contact co-chairs Dave Einsel at [email protected] or Jeff Gritchen at [email protected].