Best Of Photojournalism 2007 Student TV Contest Winners Named

ST. PETERSBURGH, FL – The first set of winners in the National Press Photographers Association’s Best Of Photojournalism 2007 competition have been picked, and they are the student contestants in the Television division contest.

Elias Johnson, a student at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in Tempe, won first place for students in the In-Depth category, and Ian Schwartz of the same school won first and second place for students in the Weekly Assignments category.

The Best Of Photojournalism 2007 competition is sponsored again this year by Canon and Avid.

The winning videos can be viewed here on the Poynter Institute's Web site.

Television contest co-chair Merry Murray of KSNW-TV in Wichita, KS, said the contest’s committee added the two new student categories to this year’s Best Of Photojournalism contest to encourage college participation.

The other winner in the students' television Weekly Assignments category was Todd Metcalf of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO, who took third place.

“Thanks to all who entered this first year for a national student videojournalism category and congratulations to those who earned recognition,” student contest chairperson Eric Blumer said. “Keep up the good work.”

“Every professional got their start somewhere, many at a college TV station. The NPPA has helped many of us learn and improve our craft and stay inspired. We invite all college students to take advantage of the benefits of NPPA membership. Please spread the word to other college journalism programs about the NPPA's BOP contest. We hope to see an increase next year in entries as the awareness of the contest spreads. This year, there were 31 weekly assignment entries and 6 in-depth stories entered. So, please spread the word, and get your stories ready for next year!” Blumer said.

The students’ Weekly Assignments category was judged by KCNC-TV’s chief photographer Bob Burke along with fellow staff members Steve Youngerman, Mark Nietro, Gary Crowshaw, Glenn McReynolds, and Doug Whitehead in Denver, CO. The In-Depth Assignments category was judged by KDVR-TV’s Tom McDonald, Noah Skinner, and Kolin Lawler, also in Denver.

About the winners in the Weekly Assignments category, the judges said about “Papago Park,” the first place story, “This photojournalist figured out that the way to make this story interesting was to show how people enjoy the park. We've seen professionals go out and shoot this assignment and come back with a bunch of real estate shots, and shots of signs ... but no people. Seeing people use the park makes this story work. There was some very creative composition; this photographer was definitely looking for interesting ways to frame and compose shots. And none of it looked forced or contrived. The story had nice visual development, and an interesting variety of shots from many different locations.”

NPPA’s Best Of Photojournalism competition is sponsored again this year by Canon and Avid.

Judging of various Professional categories in the TV division begins Sunday at The Poynter Center for Media Studies in St. Petersburg. Winners from daily judging will be posted nightly here on the NPPA Web site.