San Jose Mercury News Wins "Best Use Of The Web" BOP Honors

Mar 23, 2007

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – Judges in the NPPA’s Best Of Photojournalism 2007 Web division contest today released the winners in online and multimedia categories including Best Use Of The Web, Best Multimedia Package, Photo Galleries, Audio Slideshows, Natural Disaster Multimedia Package, Amateur Photo Blogs, and more.

Entries and winners in the Web division are classified as Over (for sites with more than 2 million page views per month); Under (for less than 2 million page views per month); Indy (for unaffiliated, and Web-only, journalism sites); and Blog (for amateur photo blogs).

The Best Use of the Web honor goes to The San Jose Mercury News in San Jose, CA. (Listen to the judges discuss the winners).

"MercuryNewsPhoto.com is only a year old and already they’ve been able to truly push and help evolve the medium. Each of their entries demonstrated a mastery of telling a multimedia story over a variety of subjects," judge Andrew DeVigal said. "These included interactive video games of the San Jose Grand Prix, visual exploration of the Seasons, and the compelling and thorough multimedia reporting about Frank Sandoval. In short, the photo department has successfully put the power of multimedia and video reporting into the hands of the rest of the Mercury newsroom and had a great impact on how they do their journalism."

Judges picked for the Best Photo Gallery “Land of Opportunity, Dashed Dreams” by The Roanoke Times (roanoke.com).

"The judges split hairs between 'The Naked King' and 'Dashed Dreams,'" judge Richard Koci Hernandez said. "Dashed Dreams came out on top because of it's compelling story line and the photographer's ability to use his access to capture real moments and emotions."

The Best Audio Slideshow is “A Prayer for Father Tim” by Jim Gehrz and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

"'A Prayer For Father Tim' was a clear stand out for Best Audio Slideshow and awarded unanimously by the judges," Heather Powazek Champ said. "The story's voice remained with us throughout subsequent judging sections. It's a beautifully crafted piece that shares both the smaller personal story of recuperation within the larger ongoing discussion about the human toll of the Iraq war. The interweaving of his own voice with those of his community accompany a tightly edited gallery of stellar photography."

And judges said the Best Multimedia package is “Being a Black Man” by The Washington Post (washingtonpost.com).

"Being a Black Man was a unanimous choice for this category," judge Josh Meltzer said. "Some of the other multimedia winners featured great storytelling, others featured awesome interactivity, but this project was chosen for its breadth of journalistic excellence, storytelling, thorough coverage and wonderful interactivity and user participation. It is the perfect story to tell through the web and was done in a most complete way."


"Being a Black Man tackled a topic that so many organizations would be afraid to attempt or to do in full scope. The videos featured men and women from many walks of life that discussing both stereotypes and realities honestly and fully. The database of information was another selling point for this piece while the survey and corresponding statistical results allowed the reader to participate in the discussion in a private way, and discover how their own individual perceptions match with the average reader responses. The project also allowed the user to learn about the issue in manageable chunks and in a variety of mediums."

NPPA's Best Of Photojournalism 2007 was sponsored again this year by Canon and Avid.

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Web division judging was conducted this week at The Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, FL. It was coordinated by chair Keith W. Jenkins, photography editor for The Washington Post. This years Web division judges were Andrew DeVigal, a multimedia editor for The New York Times; Regina McCombs of the Minneapolis Star Tribune in Minneapolis, MN; Josh Meltzer, a photojournalist for The Roanoke Times who was the 2005 Best Of Photojournalism Photojournalist of the Year for Smaller Markets; Richard Koci Hernandez, a photojournalist for the San Jose Mercury News; and Heather Powazek Champ from Flickr.

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Best Multimedia Package

In the Best Multimedia Package (Over) category, judges picked “Being A Black Man” by washingtonpost.com for first place. Second place is “The Lifeline” by latimes.com, and thierd place is “A Sister’s Gift” by rockymountainnews.com. Honorable mention was awarded to “The Vanishing Class” by latimes.com and “Altered Oceans” by latimes.com.

Meltzer said, “Being a Black Man is the perfect story to tell through the Web and was done in a most complete way. It took a topic that so many organizations would be afraid to attempt or to do in full scope. The videos featured men and women from many walks of life that discussed both stereotypes and realities honestly and fully. Though some of the judges disagreed on whether the length of the videos was too long, each story flushed out any questions we had about that particular subtopic. The database of information was another selling point for this piece for the judges and the survey and corresponding statistical results allowed the reader to participate in the discussion in a private way, and discover how their own individual perceptions match with the average reader responses. The project also allowed the user to learn about the issue in manageable chunks and in a variety of mediums.

“Lifeline has a fantastic and perfect balance of amazing photojournalism, natural gathered sound, and well-thought and well-edited interviews to form a narrative that brought us from the battle field to the home through a medical facility. The access of the journalists was phenomenal and the choice to get close to certain subjects and follow their progress for a series of months paid off.

“Sister’s Gift is a video piece that showed how simple narrative storytelling can compete against larger multifaceted projects. It was one of the few entries in this category that was a personal story that greatly moved the judges. We sat through each chapter intently and were anxious to proceed to the next segment. The effort and persistence by the photojournalist was worth the investment and the judges felt that they got to know the subjects of the transplant story really well by the end.

“In great contrast to the Sister’s Gift, the Los Angeles’ Times piece, Altered Oceans is a huge scope project that literally went to the corners of the earth to tie together a complex, important and often ignored problem. The photography, storytelling and video were first rate, and the giant reach of this project was impressive. The judges wished that the main navigation page had a single navigable map or entry point for all the stories that didn’t need to be reloaded each time. Had the piece had some sort of common character or compelling feature to really make the viewer want to see each chapter one after another, this entry would have risen to the very top of this category.

“The Vanishing Class is a story that the judges felt did a great job of taking a local story of numbers and turning it into a personal story with a common narrative line. The video, stills and audio are top rate, and the story itself is both moving and informative. Interviews were done with careful thought to appropriate length, and the project was wonderfully edited.

“A note about Yolanda’s Crossing: The judges were very moved by this piece and considered it for an honorable mention, but felt that it included too much theatrical video that wasn’t documentary in nature. That said, the photographer did a phenomenal job telling a story about something that happened in the past, but the judges were concerned about the real subject matter of much of the video.”

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In the Best Multimedia Package (Under) category, judges picked “Frank Sandoval, a survival story” from the San Jose Mercury News for first place. Second place is “Jordan's War” by roanoke.com, and third place is “AIDs Orphans” by the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Honorable mention was awarded to “Real to Reel” by The Post Crescent.

McCombs said, “Some things we saw a lot of in this category and weren’t crazy about: unnecessary or too heavy of a reliance on music, and design that spawns multiple windows, making it tough to know where we were in the project.”

“Frank Sandoval won because judges felt like it did the best job of telling a complete story with a very touching story line and good photography. A big weakness of the project for some judges (okay, that would be me), is the quality of the video work was very weak, especially in comparison to the strong still images.”

“In Jordan’s War, we liked that the personal story was combined with interesting interactive elements. It was a complete (if a little disjointed) package.

“The Aids Orphans package had good design, some lovely photography and really interesting entry points into some of the individual stories. Using only the reporter’s voice and lack of any natural sound hurt the project.

“Real to Rreel had enjoyable, well-done stories on every month we checked. There was a creative approach to the stories that was refreshing.”

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In the Best Multimedia Package (Indy) category, judges picked “Kingsley's Crossing” by Oliver Jobard for MediaStorm for first place. Second place is “Atacama Stories” by the University of North Carolina, and third place is “Bloodline” by Kristen Ashburn for MediaStorm.

Meltzer said, “The judges spoke at length about telling stories for the Web, and what separates good use of the Web from just great storytelling. The first and third place entries had the best storytelling in this category, hands down. The Kingsley’s Crossing piece was so compelling, that all of the judges wanted to see the piece in its entirety on its first view. That said, several of the judges expressed concern that the piece didn’t use the Web’s ability for interactivity and viewer control, and that this piece and the Bloodlines piece were essentially similar in nature to a TV piece or even an audio slideshow. The judges felt that allowing the user to navigate the story themselves though the use of an interactive map, chapters, or a timeline would have made this piece more appropriate for the Web.”

“Because all of the judges agree that good storytelling comes first over a flashy interactive interface, Kingsley’s Crossing rose the top. Its use of a map, though non-interactive, was a nice touch. Atacama, the second place entry, featured fantastic interactivity and information. The judges felt it is the end all, be all for the Atacama Encyclopedia, but was not enough of a compelling story to rise to the very top. The photography, audio, interactive maps, and design were top rate, but the storytelling was not compelling. The third place entry had beautiful audio, wonderful photography, and a great story. Some of the judges disagreed on whether the use of video was appropriate and necessary.”

 

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PHOTO GALLERIES

In the Photo Galleries/News (Over) category, judges picked “Camden” by The New York Times for first place. Second place is “West Bank” by Time, and third place is “Girl Gang” by Z Reportage. Honorable mentions were awarded to “Chavez” by The New York Times and to “Kashmir” by Time.

Meltzer said, “This category was very difficult to judge since some of the entries were great picture stories shot by a single photographer on one story, some were great edits of many photographers on one story, and still other entries were edits of photographs from many stories. Because the rules indicate that storytelling should be the key decision maker, we awarded the galleries which had the best storytelling.


“The first place story about Camden, took a story of numbers and statistics and did a fantastic job of turning them into wonderful personal moments. The photographer made the judges feel as if they were on the streets, and we able to meet real people that were representatives of the statistics. This was a difficult story to tell in photographs.

“The second place story had some of the strongest images of the category. The leading photo of the lone woman standing against an army was incredible. Though this story was shot by many photographers, it was very well edited, and nearly every photo showed us something new and pertinent to the story.

“The third place story was perhaps the best edited story of the bunch, with wonderful photos that depicted life in girl gangs without stereotyping. In addition to some rough street scenes, the photographer also included some lighter moments that provided a wonderful balance to the story.”

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In the Photo Galleries/News (Under) category, judges picked “Land Of Opportunity” by Josh Meltzer and The Roanoke Times for first place. Second place is “Tiger Territory” by Time Asia, and third place is “Lake County Journals: Pictures of the Year” by the Northwest News Group.

Devigal said, "Josh’s images were able to capture the intimacy of the community and their daily lives of their small Mexican town. It was the clear winner of this category. Time’s ‘Tiger Territory’ displayed several beautiful images but failed to capture the familiarity of the people as ‘Land of Opportunity.’”

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In the Photo Galleries/News (Indy) category, judges picked “The Naked King” by Blueeyes Magazine for first place. No other awards were given.

Hernandez said, “A very strong entry that would have placed in the top three despite this category's sparse entries. We had to move a few miss-entered galleries to their proper category, leaving very few strong contenders. This is not to diminish from the fine work of ‘The Naked King.’ This piece was tightly edited with very strong visual content. The presentation was very 'clean'; meaning it was easy to find and navigate through the content. There were ample user controls and captions.”

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In the Photo Galleries/Feature (Over) category, judges picked three pieces by Time for the top awards. “The Immigrant Plight” is first place; “When War Is Over” by is second place; “Columbia Drugs” is third place. Honorable mention was awarded to “China’s Great Divider of the Sexes: Poverty” by The Washington Post.

Hernandez said, “Judges continue to struggle with the idea how to judge a well edited gallery from an organization with the resources of all the wires versus a package from one photographer trying to tell a story. On this issue we fell on the side of the rules, ‘story-telling ability of the photograph is key.’ Overall there was a lack of traditional feature entries. In this category we saw lots of features with a heavy news bent. ‘Plight’ went straight to the top. It was a great story that was well edited. We've seen this story many times, but this photographer captured something new. There was no redundancy, only nine great images. ‘After the War’ is a very moving look at the length of time that war victims suffer from wars past. We liked the visual variety of this piece. This project was a great idea, done in a different way and well thought out. ‘Suffering goes on over an entire life’ . . . epic scope. The unconventional caption was appropriate. ‘Narco’ showed amazing access. It was edited tightly with nothing extraneous. We did think that the image ‘demonstrating’ the swallowing of drugs was unnecessary, because the photographer had already done a good job showing the viewer the story, without the need to have the subject ‘demonstrate.’ ‘China’ was very intimate.”


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In the Photo Galleries/Feature (Under) category, judges picked “Between Curtain and Cresent” by Time Asia for first place. Second place is “Strait Sailing” by Time Asia, and third place is “Beneath The Surface” by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Honorable mention was awarded to “Week In Photos” by The Roanoke Times.

McCombs said, “Time Asia did beautiful work on the first two stories – both stunning looks at changes going on in Asia. Beautiful images, good editing. ‘Beneath the Surface’ is a charming look at playing under the water. The photography for all three galleries was wonderful. And it was a heck of a week in Roanoke that week! We would have liked to see the galleries go further in telling us a story, as the larger market did.”

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In the Photo Galleries/Feature (Indy) category, judges picked “Philipp Englehorn: Insect Eaters” by Philipp Engelhorn Photography for first place. Second place is “Nick Cobbing” by Nick Cobbing Photography, and third place is “Brent Clark” by Brent Clark Photography. Honorable mention was awarded to “At School, Aston Style” by Gareth Jelley of Flickr.

Meltzer said, “1. Phillipp Englehorn: Good selection of pictures from many different stories. Nice variety of pictures, although each story could have been edited more tightly, as well as all of the winners in this category.

“2. Nick Cobbing: Beautiful photographs of the landscape of Greenland with wonderful texture, composition, and form.

“3. Brent Clark Photography: Good selection of stories, better edited than the previous entries, but still needed some narrowing down. Nice use of color and light through all the pieces. Great travel photography.

“Honorable Mention, ‘At School Aston Style,’ a sweet story from inside an English language school in China. Some nice moments and interactions but really needed some better editing. Too many repetitive images, but again, some nice moments captured.”

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In the Photo Galleries/Sports (Over) category, judges picked “Crazy or Sane?” by The Washington Post (washingtpost.com) for first place, and “Did You See That?” by America Online Sports for second place.

Meltzer said, “Not a lot of storytelling in the few entries in this category. There were some galleries with good photo editing, but because the rules specify that storytelling should be considered as a first criteria, we chose a nice story about ultimate fighting for first in which the photographer followed the fighter through many parts of his life, in the ring, in practice, home and even the bathroom. Kudos to the photographer for persistence in following the story completely. Second place went to a well-edited selection of sports photos of the year, in which we couldn't find a weak image. Well thought out and well edited.”

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In the Photo Galleries/Sports (Under) category, judges picked “Bike Culture” by The San Jose Mercury News for first place, and “VT: 17, Uva: 0, The Game” by The Roanoke Times for second place. And “Behind The Scenes At An Avalanche Game” by The Roanoke Times is third place.

McCombs said, “While there were only two eligible entries in this field, both were good work. The biking piece had some interesting images and gave a nice sense of place. The action photos from football were solid and gave a nice range of game coverage. The minor league story was similar to first in that it had interesting images, good sense of place, but we felt sports action deserved more consideration in this category. The main complaint of judges was that they would have liked to see stronger sense of a storyline in gallery.”

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In the Photo Galleries/Sports (Indy) category, judges gave no awards. “The judges felt that the quality of work wasn't at the same level of what we had experienced in the previous independent categories. There were only two entries in this category,” the panel said.

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NATURAL DISASTER

In the Natural Disaster (Over) category, judges picked “A Year Of Disaster” by Time for first place, and “The Scars Of Katrina” by Time for second place.

Heather Powazek Champ said, “’A Year of Disaster’ caught attention of the judges as it moved beyond the typical view of life in New Orleans post-Katrina to capture the life and emotion of the people who had returned and were reestablishing their lives. ‘The Scars of Katrina’ has a lovely style, going beyond the typical aftermath photographs. The Herald Tribune's ‘Your Photos of the Tornado’ could have been much stronger with a firm hand in editing to showcase the strongest photos.”

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In the Natural Disaster (Under) category, Time Asia swept all three top spots. Judges picked “Kashmir: Cold Mountains” for first place, “After The Earthquake” for second place, and “Indonesia’s Aftershock” for third place.

Hernandez said, “All of these galleries had the strongest representation of photojournalism, and light, in devastating and tragic situations. The images in each package worked well as a series and each could stand on its own. It was difficult fore the judges to give them an order. ‘Cold Mountains’ rose to the top for its tightly edited images and visual variety. Outstanding reporting in all pieces. The Time design is simple and does not compete with the content. Very clean design that helps the pictures speak.”

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In the Natural Disaster (Indy) category, judges did not give any awards. Heather Powazek Champ said, “The judges felt that the quality of work wasn't at the same level of what we had experienced in the previous independent categories. There was only one entry in this category.”

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AUDIO SLIDESHOWS

In the Audio Slideshows/News (Over) category, judges picked “On The Border, There’s Always A Hole” by The Washington Post (washingtonpost.com) for first place. Second place is “Deportation Flights” by The Washington Post (washingtonpost.com), and third place is “The Reach Of War” by The New York Times.

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In the Audio Slideshows/News (Under) category, judges picked “Land of Opportunity” by The Roanoke Times (roanoke.com) for first place. Second place is “Free At Last” by the Democrat & Chronicle, and third place is “English School” by The Roanoke Times (roanoke.com). Honorable mention was awarded to “My War” by The Palm Beach Post.

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No prizes were awarded in the Audio Slideshows/News (Indy) category.

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In the Audio Slideshows/Feature (Over) category, judges picked “A Prayer for Father Tim” by Jim Gehrz and the Minneapolis Star Tribune for first place. Second place is “Life at a Ramadi Outpost” by The Washington Post (washingtonpost.com), and third place is “The Card Stacker” by The Dallas Morning News. Honorable mention was awarded to “Disability Prom” by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and to “Orphaned by AIDS” by the Los Angeles Times (latimes.com).

Hernandez said, “The judges raised concerns again over the difficult choices to be made in this category because the entries are so broad, ranging from news feature to happy feature. It was a category with some creative and immersive stories like the AIDS and India piece from the LA Times. On the flip-side we saw visual stunning features that were way too long in length or had very poor audio technique. Another judge also commented, ‘Too long, weak editing.’ Some pieces would've placed with just a better edit. “Father Tim’ was moving! As close to ‘perfect’ as it gets'. I can't find anything wrong with it. Unanimous first place. Vukani means ‘Wake up!,’ a mix of all audio narratives. Outstanding reporting and visuals. ‘Life at a Ramadi Outpost’ was dramatic but not gratuitous, extremely well edited and stunning visuals. ‘Card Stacker,’ the judges said, ‘A laugh out loud feature, fun, done well.’ Simple, straight-forward use that took advantage of the power of the medium. It was the perfect choice of technology, several days, with remotes at night and hand held shots, sweet!”


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In the Audio Slideshows/Feature (Under) category, judges picked “Interminable Rain” by The Daily Republic for first place. Second place is “Katie’s Story” by the Democrat & Chronicle, and third place is “Down The Street” by The Roanoke Times (roanoke.com). Honorable mention was awarded to “Golden Years and Golden Arches” by The News Tribune.

McCombs said, “We had a lot of interesting discussion around this category – questions of how to weigh reach against achievement, technical problems against story value, and the value of reporting and narrative against creativity and expertise. We didn’t find any answers, but ended with a fairly strong division among the judges.”

“What we agreed on about this category overall: many of the stories felt rushed and not as well thought-out as they should have been. A single interview and photos made up the majority of the pieces, and this worked for some and not as well for others. Photographers need to learn to think about the storytelling as they go and be more thoughtful about focus from the start. That means finding a beginning, middle and end, paying attention to the audio that’s happening as photos are taken, and capturing moments in audio as well as we do in the photography.

“First place was a contentious choice. Everyone agreed that it was beautiful, watchable, the right length and well-constructed, but lack of a narrative story was a huge minus for some judges and they felt it should never be given a first place. Others felt like it took a risk and won big artistically, and was a non-traditional way of telling a story.

“Katie’s story was the strongest all-around narrative, but the technical issues in the audio and weakness of some of the photos drove it down for some judges. Overall, judges felt that achieved an intimacy none of the other stories did, and had wonderful audio moments that came outside of the interview as a natural part of the coverage.

“The jazz festival had a big reach – seven days of slide shows, some good photography and audio, but most of the pieces never quite came together.

“Still, as an effort to turn a week of stories in as many days, it was a lot of work and there were some very nice photographs and moments spread throughout. But stories felt like a mish-mash – a cross between event coverage and thematic stories that never quite hit the mark. Some judges felt there was a lack of sense of place. With a more organized approach both in topic and photography, this could have been a knock-out.

“The golden arches (my personal favorite) was a terrific small story that missed on a few notes. The natural sound was well done and probably the best example of complementary sound and photography, with a charming central character. It could have benefited from a tighter edit and a visually cleaner ending. Some judges felt like it was a missed opportunity to do a wider story – many said they were left with lots of unanswered questions. One judge said he would have liked to see fewer photos left up for a longer time.

“Down the street was visually strong, and had a good story, with a good story structure, but was missing natural sound that would have added so much more texture to the story.”

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In the Audio Slideshows/Feature (Indy) category, judges picked “Remembering Donny” by Amy Peterson for first place, and “Hunk Mania” by Shiho Fukada for second place.

Hernandez said there were “Neat little experimentations in this category. ‘Remembering Donny’ was the clear winner. Nobody wanted to stop it, which is the greatest sign of all. This project is a great example of the power of personal narrative. It made me cry; it was overwhelming. Judges really liked the clean interface especially the follow up section. After a great documentary you want a follow up and we got one, ‘Hunk Mania,’ this is a funny and entertaining story line. The time of the show, over six minutes, kept the judges repeating ‘Too long!’ But the show's merits included great access and some stunning images. Final comment about this: ‘This was so done by a guy!’ Other entries in this category were also too long (one clocked in at 26 minutes, eliciting a comment from a judge that, ‘we can't award something we can't sit through’).”

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In the Audio Slideshows/Sports (Over) category, judges picked “A Game of Rehabilitation” by The Washington Post (washingtonpost.com) for first place. Second place is “Baltimore Boxer Packs an Inspired Punch,” also by The Washington Post, and third place is “The Sankey Rodeo School” by the San Antonio Express-News.

Meltzer said, “Very few of the entries had real storytelling that showed in both the pictures and the audio. The first place story, ‘Game of Rehab’ had some really nice pictures and a compelling story which we liked a lot, although we agreed that it should have been a little shorter. The story of the boxer was a great profile with wonderful character voice. The photographer did well by following her into both her singing and boxing realms. The third place story on the bull riding school started slowly, but got better as it went and had some nice photos and some fun audio which captured the sense of humor of the sport.”

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In the Audio Slideshows/Sports (Under) category, judges picked “Empire Games, Sports Tales” by the Democrat & Chronicle for first place. Second place is “Taste of the Big Time” by The Palm Beach Post, and third place is “Hoops” by the Democrat & Chronicle. Honorable mention was awarded to “Hokies at Home” by The Roanoke Times and to “Racer Chick” by the Belleville News Democrat.

Devigal said, “The stories from the 3-day package were shot beautifully and included audio in the way you would want from these three tight profiles. The one item that several of the judges wished they had seen in this package was a sequential view of the weight lifter doing a complete lift.”

“The second place position went to The Palm Beach Post’s ‘Taste of the Big Time.’ The judges found the reporting for this package complete and it’s final presentation compelling. However, several issues came up in our discussion. The main comment was the decision to use copyrighted musical material throughout the piece. We questioned that decision, as well as its appropriateness.

“The third place for this division also went to D&C with ‘Hoops.’ The committee admired the unique approach to telling the story about basketball and found it refreshing.”

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In the Natural Disaster category, no prizes were awarded in the Over, Under, or Indy categories.

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Natural Disaster Multimedia Package

In the Natural Disaster Multimedia (Over) category, judges picked “Rising From Ruin” by MSNBC.com for first place, and “Hurricane Katrina: A Year after the Heartbreak” by The Dallas Morning News for second place.

Hernandez said, “Only a first and second in this category. The first place piece was a clear winner with a fantastic use of cutting edge technology to tell and deliver the story in various ways in multiple formats. The judges felt that the quality of the rest of the work wasn't at the same level of what we had experienced in the previous categories to award a third place or honorable mention. There were only five entries.

“Second place was a pinnacle in narrative storytelling, with clean design, and there was some discussion about putting it in first place. The judges felt, however, that the first place entry from MSNBC did more to advance the story of Katrina than piece by The Dallas Morning News. Nothing here actually accomplished what it set out to do. Really great photos, but the audio in these pieces did not help. These entries would make great photo gallery entries.”

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In the Natural Disaster Multimedia (Under) and (Indy) categories, no awards were given. Hernandez said, “The judges felt that the quality of work wasn't at the same level of what we had experienced in the previous categories. There were only two entries. The Flash piece in this category had so many glitches that it made the watching of the presentation unwatchable, not to mention the split screen technique takes away from the storytelling.”

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Amateur Photo Blogs

In the Amateur Photo Blogs/Portraits category, judges picked “Portraits” by Vinay for first place. Hernandez said, “This photographer captures several important aspects of portrait photography. This photographer has a fantastic sense of composition, tone, and color, and is very proficient at studying people whom he or she doesn't know in order to capture their essence.”

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In the Amateur Photo Blogs/Festivals & Events category, judges picked “Fair At Puskar” by Vinay for first place. McCombs said, “Some very good composition and use of light at Pushkar made for a lovely gallery. It set the bar high, and none of the other entries quite matched it. The intimate portraits were the strongest images, and it would have been nice to see stronger event photos, but we liked what we saw.”

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In the Amateur Photo Blogs/Photojournalism category, judges picked “Paris Silhouette” by Hugo for first place. Second place is “Pixel Alibi” by Luca Prasso, and third place is “Kosovo, Bosnia, Tunisia” by Dexter.

Meltzer said, “The silhouette pictures were well thought out, tightly composed and offered a nice variety on a specific style and genre. Despite them all being silhouettes, the photographer worked under a different set of lighting conditions to produce beautiful pictures. The second and third place entries both had beautiful pictures with careful attention paid to tone, composition and light. Furthermore, there were some fantastic moments and energy in many of the images.”

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In the Amateur Photo Blogs/News category, judges picked “Demonstrations In Paris” by Hugo.

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In addition to Canon and Avid, NPPA’s Best Of Photojournalism 2007 competition is also sponsored by The Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, FL; Hesketh.com; Ibiblio.org; Camera Bits; Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication; Think Tank Photo; and MerlinOne.

For more information or to ask questions please eMail Best Of Photojournalism 2007 contest coordinator Thomas Kenniff at contests@nppa.org.