Heist Is TV Photographer of the Year, Hanson Is Editor of the Year

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – Today the judges and contest coordinators for the 2006 National Press Photographers Association’s Best of Photojournalism Television Photography and Editing contest announced the competition’s top award winners during a Webcast broadcast from The Poynter Institute for Media Studies.

Stan Heist, WBFF-TV, Baltimore, MD, is the 2006 NPPA BOP TV News Photographer of the Year.Stan Heist from WBFF-TV in Baltimore, MD, is the Ernie Crisp Television News Photographer of the Year, and Jason Hanson from KSTP-TV in Minneapolis, MN, is the Video Editor of the Year.

In the Station of the Year honors, KARE-TV in Minneapolis, MN, won the Large Market SOY award; WGHP-TV in High Point, NC, won the Medium Market SOY award; and KTUU-TV in Anchorage, AK, won the Small Market SOY award.

Ken Mostek of KUSA-TV in Denver, CO, was the runner-up Ernie Crisp Television News Photographer of the Year, and Matthew Rafferty of WJW-TV in Cleveland, OH, was the runner-up Video Editor of the Year.

Judges selected Boyd Huppert from KARE-TV in Minneapolis, MN, as the winner of a new award launched this year, the NPPA Photojournalism Award for Reporting. Huppert has been in broadcasting since he was 16, starting as a radio announcer at WEVR in his hometown of River Falls, WI. He majored in journalism and political science at UW-River Falls and started his television career in 1984 at WSAW-TV in Wausau, WI. Before joining KARE-TV in 1996, he also worked at KETV in Omaha, NE, and WITI-TV in Milwaukee, WI. In 2004 he was awarded a national Edward R. Murrow Award, his fourth national Murrow honor.

Jason HansonReporter Jacqueline McLean of KMST-TV in Minneapolis, MN, was awarded Second place in the NPPA Photojournalism Award for Reporting category, and Whei Wong of KDVR-TV in Denver, CO, was Third place.

This year the judges presented some Special Awards in the television photography portion of the contest. Greg Kelly of CBC and Eric Foss were given the Judges' Choice Award for "Beyond Words: Photographers of War." And Tim Auman of WFAA-TV in Dallas, TX, was given First place in the Topical Category "Hurricanes" for "50 Soles at a Time." Honorable mentions in this category were awarded to Dan Weaver of KUSA-TV in Denver, CO, for "A&P," and to Travis Fox of washingtonpost.com in Washington, DC, for "U.S. Army Patrols New Orleans."

Stan Heist started his career as a news photographer and a live truck operator at WKEF-TV in Dayton, OH, after graduating from the University of Dayton in 1996. “It was there, while learning the ropes and making my mistakes, that someone first showed me a copy of News Photographer magazine,” Heist said. “I couldn't believe there was a professional organization dedicated to the standards and ethics of our craft. The next day, I sent in my membership form, and I've been a member ever since.”

At WTVR-TV in Richmond, VA, Heist says he was “surrounded by so many talented photographers. They were extremely dedicated to our craft, and I soaked up their lessons like a sponge.” Before two years passed he was promoted to chief photographer. “With the promotion came a career- changing opportunity: a one-week trip to the 2000 NPPA NewsVideo Workshop in Norman, OK. It was at that point I had realized that sharing the skills I was still learning, as well as my enthusiasm for the job, would be much more rewarding for me than just trying to tell stories alone.”

Heist remembers, “After nearly four years as chief, I found myself at a professional crossroads. I was happy in my role but wanted to see where I could take the storytelling skills that I still wanted to develop. So when the opportunity to work at WBFF-TV in Baltimore opened up, I leaped at it.”

“I've been at WBFF since March of 2003, and the environment has opened up so many doors. That year, I was honored with being named the NPPA Region 3 POY, and I used that opportunity to continue to teach others. This past March I spoke at the NPPA Northern Short Course, and have been asked to present there again this coming year.”

“When the opportunity to become chief photographer at WBFF-TV became available this past September, I welcomed the responsibility as a challenge. Every day, every story is still another opportunity to tell someone's story in a meaningful way. It's a philosophy I've had since the first day I was introduced to our craft as storytelling, and it's something I strive to share with other every chance I get. That's because so many others took the time to share with me.”

Jason Hanson graduated from Minneapolis Community College with an Associates Degree in filmmaking and then worked for a financial corporation processing home improvement loans. After two years he attended Augsburg College and graduated with a bachelors degree in communication one week before his first television job, with WDIO-TV in Duluth, MN. In addition to being a part-time photojournalist, he also worked as the weekend weather anchor.

“In 1997, I was offered a vacation relief position for the summer at KSTP-TV in St. Paul, MN. After nine months of working odd shifts, someone left and I was offered a full-time position,” Hanson said. “I’ve been a photojournalist/editor at KSTP-TV for nine years. In November 2003 KSTP announced the launch of a feature only magazine variety show called ‘On the Road with Jason Davis.’ I joined that show, along with another photographer and spent the next year and a half away from news.”

“In 2005, after doing odd assignments here and there for our desk, I returned to general assignment news,” Hanson said. “On July 8th, 2005, my wife gave birth to our first child, Sharla Hanson. She’s now a year and a half old. It's strange to have a baby seat in the back of my news van.”

The results for the final four categories were also announced today following the Webcast from Poynter.

The Judges’ Choice Award this year was given to Greg Kelly of CBC for the documentary, “Beyond Words: Photographers of War.” BOP judge Lou Davis said about the piece, “One of the most powerful examples of storytelling that I’ve ever seen. I would encourage everyone who desires to excel in this profession to watch this honest, compelling, and raw portrayal of photojournalism in the worst of circumstances.” Judge Ray Meints added, “‘War Photographers’ is a documentary that no photographer should miss. It deals with still photographers and their life covering war. It is a very intense documentary, and includes photos that are difficult to watch. The photographs and the interview will hit home with both still and television photographers. Every NPPA member should watch this documentary.”

In the General News/Simple Effects (Editors) category, First place went to Joshua Maranhas of KDVR-TV in Denver, CO, for “How Do You Say It?” Second place went to Michael Nunez of KCNC-TV in Denver, CO, for “Walking for Aids.” And Third place went to Kevin Strong of KCNC-TV in Denver, CO, for “Loud Pipes Save Lives.”

In the General News/Simple Effects (Photographers) category, First place went to Jonathan Malat of KARE-TV, Minneapolis, MN, for “The Mail Must Go Through.” Second place went to Pierre Kattar of washingtonpost.com in Washington DC, for “Antiwar Protest.” And Third place went to Ben de la Cruz of washingtonpost.com in Washington DC for “Missing Connections in New Orleans.”

In the Magazine category, First place went to Fritz Mott of CNBC for “The eBay Effect: Inside a Worldwide Obsession.” Second place went to Kevin Strong of KCNC-TV in Denver, CO for “Colorado’s Most Endangered Places.” And Third place went to Tressa Verna of Dateline NBC for “The Party’s Over.”

In the new Web Content category, First place went to Travis Fox of washingtonpost.com in Washington DC, for “Living in Deserted New Orleans.” Second place was John Paraskevas of Newsday.com for “Look, Up in the Sky.” Third place was Fox again for “Voice from the Line.” An Honorable mention was awarded to Steve Elfers of Marine Corps Times for “The Making of a Marine Officer.”

Judges for this year’s Best of Photojournalism Television Photography and Editing contest were Lou Davis, chief photographer for WTVD-TV in Raleigh, NC; Kevin Labrecque, a photojournalist for CBS47/Fox30 in Jacksonville, FL; Ray Meints, a videographer and editor for NET Television in Lincoln, NE; Greg Stotelmyer, a reporter for WTVQ-TV in Lexington, KY; and Ernesto Torres, of KHOU-TV in Houston, TX.

The television editing judges were Ron Kabele, an editor and producer for Texas Parks and Wildlife, and Sandy Spencer, an editing supervisor for KPHO-CBS5 in Phoenix, AZ.

The contest was coordinated by co-chairs Merry Murray, of KSNW-TV in Wichita, KS, and Michael Harrity, of KUSA-TV in Denver, CO.

The late Ernie Crisp, for whom the top Television News Photographer of the Year award is named, himself won the title in 1966 while he was chief photographer for WFBM-TV in Indianapolis. Crisp, 49, was killed in 1977 when the 1941 Waco biplane he was piloting crashed near Rochester, NY.

At the time, Crisp was a marketing education specialist for Eastman Kodak's Motion Picture and Audio-Visual Markets Division. He had been vice president and president of NPPA from 1968-70, and also served as a president of the Indiana News Photographers Association and coordinator of the NPPA/Oklahoma NewsVideo Workshop.

Crisp began his television news career in 1954 at KWTV in Oklahoma City, his hometown, and joined the Indianapolis station in 1959. In 1966 he was promoted to manager of WFBM's production center and joined Kodak in 1970 as a cinematography teacher.

NPPA's Best Of Photojournalism contest is sponsored by Canon, Avid, The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, Hesketh.com, Ibiblio.org, Western Kentucky University, Camera Bits, Ohio University, and Merlin One.

Read an earlier story about the judges and their biographies here.

Read Sunday's judging results story here.

Read Monday's judging results story here.

Read Tuesday's judging results story here.

Read Wednesday's judging results story here.

Read Thursday's judging results story here.