ST. PETERSBURG, FL – After a shopping spree at a neighborhood grocery store to stock up on caffeine and sugar, the judges for the National Press Photographers Association’s 2006 Best of Photojournalism Television contest started their second full day of judging Monday. But first they wrote up their comments for the Ernie Crisp Television News Photographer of the Year category. The winner, picked Sunday night, will be announced Friday on the NPPA Web site at www.nppa.org and during a live Webcast from The Poynter Institute.
On Monday the judges picked finalists and winners in Spot News, News Features, and Sports.
The category News Features was on the slate for the judges in the morning, where 84 entries made it the contest’s largest category.
After viewing all of these entries, the judges narrowed it down to eight finalists to watch one more time. That viewing narrowed it down to five favorites.
A question came up on two stories as to whether those photographers had shot 90% of their stories, as required by the rules. One story included photographs that may have been shot by the photographer or scanned into a computer. Another story included clips of commercials, television shows, and movies.
Judge Lou Davis asked, “Is he shooting for an award or is he trying to tell a good story?”
“It was very well done, but it was carried more by the subject we were watching, I would have liked to see more reaction from the kids, it was a very good story,” Greg Stotelmyer said.
“It was the creative writing and editing that added to the story,” Davis said. “I think the moments do a lot in carrying the tape,” Ernesto Torres added.
After quick calls to the entrants to answer a couple of questions, the judges picked their winners.
The next category for the judges to tackle was Spot News. There were 50 stories to watch. This category was a little tougher for the judges; they considered many of the entries to be more like General News than Spot News.
“I liked it, it meets the criteria for what the rules say, as the story moved through, the events were unfolding,” according to Davis.
Then they whittled the 50 down to 13 finalists. Davis said, “I gave more weight to the stories that seem to be uncontrolled.”
“The guy definitely operated well, kept it under control in a stressful situation,” Ray Meints added.
After a second vote, the judges narrowed them down to their five favorites. Then it took another hour to figure out in what order to award the winners.
Contest chair Merry Murray ran out to pick up pizza while the judges got ready to judge one more category this evening. The final category of the day was Sports, with 40 entries that the judges narrowed down to seven stories to discuss.
“They had great pictures, a lot of hard work, but they didn’t personalize it,” Meints said.
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 story here.