Mark Edelson To Chair Quarterly Picture Editing Contest; Alex Burrows Served In Role For Ten Years

After ten years of volunteering as the chairperson of the NPPA Picture Editing Quarterly Clip Contest (PEQCC), Alex Burrows, director of photography for The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, VA, is stepping down. NPPA president Bob Gould has appointed Mark Edelson, presentation editor for The Palm Beach Post in West Palm Beach, FL, to fill the position.

“Our goals are simple,” Edelson said. “We want to increase participation in the contest, to announce and disseminate results quickly and, most importantly, get the winning entries published on the NPPA Web site so that the work can be seen and shared.”

“One of the obstacles to doing this in the past has been a physical limitation, getting the winning pages shot and converted to digital data and then published on the Web. With the advent of the NPPA Web site, publishing the winning pages in News Photographer magazine is no longer the best option for sharing the work quickly with as large an audience as possible.”

“By going to the Web with the winning pages, we hope to create an ongoing, quickly-growing resource of quality pages that illustrate the effective use of photography in newspapers,” Edelson said. “On the Web, it will be available for reference by anyone, anywhere, at any time. And that's really the important thing about the contest (any contest, really). Winning's nice, but offering the opportunity to learn from others by seeing work judged to be creative and effective is one of the most important things the NPPA can do.”

In order to do this, publications will be urged (though not required) to provide .PDF files of winning entries. “Using .PDF files will provide better copies and speed up the process of getting the pages online,” Edelson says.

The new contest chair wants to make some other minor, but philosophically significant, changes to the contest: “The most obvious will be a name change. It will now be the Best Use of Photography Quarterly Clip Contest, which better reflects what is being judged. Good picture editing, and good picture usage, involves far more than simply picking the best pictures: It's the successful packaging of pictures and graphics and words – design, headlines, captions, stories – that make for the best usage, and judges' comments on why they reward particular pages always reflect this. At many, if not most newspapers, it's not only the picture editor or those concerned only with photos who are responsible for this, so the name change simply and subtly reflects the realization that effective usage is a team effort. Names of all those involved should still be included with the submissions.

“A second change involves the points awarded for winning entries. To reward consistently good usage somewhat more than the single "big hit," more weight will be assigned to honorable mentions. The point structure will change to 40 (first place), 30 (second place), 20 (third place), and 10 (honorable mention).

“I urge you to enter. This is a national contest and winning is good for you and it's good for your newspaper. It will help you and your department gain respect in your newsroom, and it will bring your newspaper to the attention of other journalists and journalism students, and perhaps interest them in working with or for you. And if you can attract more good people it will better your paper and reward your readership.”

For information on how to enter, or how you can help improve the contest, contact Edelson at +1.561.820.4490 or eMail[email protected]. The contest rules Web page on the NPPA site is online here. In the meantime, here (below) are the rule revisions:


The Best Use of Photography Quarterly Clip Contest is an attempt to recognize the individuals and publications that identify and encourage excellence in photojournalism and reward that work with effective usage on the pages of their publications.

The use of photography is a complex process involving many steps along the way to excellence.  Picture selection, photographer coaching and page design are but a few of the steps in the process.  In some cases this is done by one individual and in others the work involves many individuals.  Entrants are encouraged to include the names and positions or responsibilities of all who significantly participate in producing the pages.

Entries for each quarter should be received by the national contest chairperson by the 15th of the month they are due.

Month of publication and deadline for receipt of entries by the chairperson:

• January, February, March: April 15 entry deadline.

• April, May, June: July 15 entry deadline.

• July, August, September: Oct. 15 entry deadline.

• October, November, December: Jan. 15 entry deadline.

The contest is open to all NPPA and Kappa Alpha Mu members in good standing. Only one person on a team entry needs to be an NPPA member.



• News Page
• Sports Page
• Feature Page
• Picture Page
• Multi-Page

The first three categories have self-evident titles; they include single pages containing subject matter relating to news, sports or features.

The Picture Page category is a single, one-subject page that tells a story or gives a photographic impression of an event or subject. (True double-trucks may be entered as a single page, provided they are designed that way.) Sometimes an additional column or unrelated story has been found on a picture page. Generally these entries remain in the picture page category. The contest chairperson will use judgment in this case, but will favor the wishes of the entering publication.

The Multi-Page category has no subdivisions along subject matter: Any entry more than one page belongs in this category.

A single page from a Multi-Page category also may be entered in the single categories. However, single-page entries cannot be entered twice. For example, a layout on weight-lifting cannot be entered in both the sports and the feature categories. No more than 10 entries per publication are permitted in any one category.

Entry Preparation

Only unmounted tear sheets can be entered. Multi-page, non-contiguous tear sheets should be taped together in the order they were published. Special editions or sections can be entered intact.

Each entry should have a clearly marked tag on the back, including the following information:

• The category in which the page/s is being entered
• Entrant's name and NPPA number
• Date of publication if it doesn't appear on the page
• Name and address of newspaper
• Phone number and email address of those to contact if the page wins
• Listing of all primary individuals involved in the page (for instance: photographer, picture editor, page designer, etc)

Entries should be separated by category.
For instance, all news pages should be in one folder (or envelope) with the category name clearly marked; all multi-page entries in another; etc.
All category envelopes/folders should be sent together in one larger envelope.

Send entries to the national chairperson:

Mark Edelson
Presentation Editor
The Palm Beach Post
2751 South Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach FL 33405

Phone: +1.561.820.4490
eMail: [email protected]


Points will be awarded during each quarter as follows:

  • First Place = 40 points
  • Second Place = 30 points
  • Third Place = 20 points
  • Honorable Mention = 10 points

Winning entries and standings will be posted on the NPPA Web site each quarter. The publication that has accumulated the most points at the end of a calendar year will be declared the winner of that year's contest.

WINNERS WILL BE ASKED TO PROVIDE .PDF FILES OF WINNING ENTRIES WITHIN A WEEK OF NOTIFICATION OF WINNING. It is strongly urged that winning publications provide the .PDF files. The success of this contest - both as a professional and educational tool - is dependent on the timely display of winning entries on the NPPA Web site. Use of .PDF files of newspaper pages will both speed up that process and provide higher quality displays than are possible by photographing the newsprint pages themselves. (If a publication cannot provide a .PDF file, the original newsprint entry will be reproduced.)

Contest Agreements

It is understood that any copyright of an entry remains the property of the publication and/or the original copyright holder. However, all participants agree that by entering the contest, entrants give permission to NPPA for its regional and national publications to reproduce winning entries, either through hard copy or electronically, including and not limited to, regional publications, News Photographer magazine, commercial online services and NPPA presences on the Internet. Reasonable precautions will be taken to ensure the security of electronic reproduction.