Rick Shaw Named POYi Director At Missouri

Jun 7, 2006

COLUMBIA, MO – Rick Shaw, an assistant professor of photojournalism at the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the director of photography at the Missourian, has been named director of the Pictures of the Year International competition, Reynolds Journalism Institute executive director Pam Johnson announced today.

Rick Shaw, Named POYi Director“Photojournalism is going though a tremendous challenge these days, and we need to put aside our differences in the industry and work together to address the future of the electronic age,” Shaw told News Photographer today.

Shaw has been an NPPA member since June 1978.

“POYi moves to the Reynolds Journalism Institute, thanks to funding from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation,” Johnson wrote in a message sent to the school’s online Journalism Discussion Forum. “It will be part of the Institute’s efforts to enhance the practice and understanding of journalism.”

“Rick’s ties to the Missourian and to the photojournalism faculty will provide strong School-Institute bonds that will serve POYi well,” Johnson wrote. “He will oversee the further development of the 63 years of winning photography POYi has amassed. Other activities include outreach to the public through traveling exhibits and through new ideas that keep POYi thriving and influencing the future of photojournalism. To achieve all this, Rick will work with our development team on building the POYi Endowment to support these worthy efforts.”

“With the selection of Rick we are hiring someone who has knowledge of POYi and who shares in the vision of making this incredible archive of significant work in photojournalism more useful and widely recognized,” David Rees said. Rees is head of the photojournalism sequence at Missouri and he's taught there since 1986. He has been POYi’s director since Bill Kuykendall retired from the university. “With the already-created electronic database in place, he will be able to continue and expand dramatically education and outreach programs to both the profession and the general public. Rick has a proven track record of excellence and is a tireless and enthusiastic proponent of quality journalism. I know will do his utmost to ensure POYi continues recognize the important and outstanding work that is done yearly throughout the world.”

“I came to Missouri primarily to teach and this opportunity came up and it was a tremendous opportunity that I couldn’t ignore,” Shaw said after the announcement. “It’s certainly humbling because as a photography student 28 years ago, I looked to POY winners for inspiration and creative direction, and it is an honor to be chosen to lead.”

Shaw teaches the Photo Desk Management class in the school’s photojournalism sequence. Before joining the University of Missouri School of Journalism, he was the director of design and graphics for The Hartford Courant. Beginning as a photojournalist, he switched to picture editing while at the Jacksonville Times-Union, where he worked before moving to the Sacramento Bee. At the Bee he was a photography editor and then the assistant director of photography. He also worked as the director of photography and graphics for The Arizona Republic in Phoenix, AZ.

Missouri's Pictures of the Year competition has been housed in the School of Journalism since 1944 when it sponsored its "First Annual Fifty-Print Exhibition of News and Feature Pictures" created by Clifton C. Edom, a professor at the School of Journalism. The first exhibit was judged by John Field, associate editor of Life magazine; George Yates, the photo chief at the Des Moines Register; and Julius Klyman, editor of "Pictures" for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

In 1945, Edom also founded the College Photographer of the Year contest, which today is cosponsored by the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Kappa Alpha Mu, and the National Press Photographers Foundation (NPPF), and administered by Missouri's Rita Reed.

The contests were guided for many years by former directors Angus McDougall, Kuykendall, and Rees. In 2001 the contest was renamed Pictures of the Year International. Also that year, in October, NPPA and the University of Missouri decided to no longer co-sponsor the annual event as partners and soon thereafter NPPA created and launched its own competition, the Best Of Photojournalism.

The University of Missouri announced a $31 million gift from The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation for the creation of the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute in February 2004. The award is the largest private donation ever to the university.

The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by Mr. Reynolds. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, it is one of the largest private foundations in the United States.

POYi will be housed in the Institute's new facilities scheduled to open in 2007. The complex will include a public reception and exhibition area, a 120-seat forum equipped as a broadcast-quality television studio, the Journalism Futures Laboratory, the Technology Demonstration Center, multimedia editing stations, seminar rooms and offices for visiting professionals and scholars.