NPPA Honors, Awards, Presented At National Best Of Photojournalism Day

SAN ANTONIO, TX - The National Press Photographers Association's Honors and Recognitions Committee tonight presented awards to the top winners of the 2005 Best Of Photojournalism photography, television, Web, and editing contests, as well as recognizing those individuals who have supported NPPA and who have assisted photojournalism, and photojournalists, and who have contributed to the betterment of our profession during the past year.

Wally McNamee and Rob Galbraith were presented with the Joseph A. Sprague Memorial Award, the highest honor bestowed by NPPA. Established in 1949, it is awarded annually to not more than two persons of high achievement in the profession and it is given to those who advance, elevate, or attain unusual recognition for photojournalism by their conduct, initiative, leadership, skill, and devotion to duty.

McNamee, who started photography with a Speed Graphic in the U.S. Marine Corps, went to work for The WashingtonPost in 1956 covering news, sports, and then later the Vietnam war. In 1968 he joined the Washington bureau ofNewsweek magazine where he spent the next three decades covering the world’s top stories. His photographs wereNewsweek covers more than 100 times. McNamee was one of the few photographers who traveled with President Richard Nixon on his historic trip to China in 1972. He also covered numerous Olympics and, at great risk, sailed on a small boat from Barbados to Grenada to be one of the first to witness the liberation of that island by American soldiers in the early 1980s.

The Sprague Award was presented to McNamee this year because, as NPPA past-president and Honors and Recognition Committee chairperson Todd Stricker said, "Even in retirement, he's continued to serve as an inspiration to young photojournalists by serving as a speaker and faculty member at many photojournalism seminars and workshops, and he continues to stay active by counseling young students with his expertise."

Rob Galbraith is a digital photojournalist and imaging consultant who created in 1996 as "an exercise in self publishing" for his documentary photo stories. What evolved was a Web presence for photojournalists around the world to learn how to use digital cameras and to stay proficient in the daily developments in technology that wash over digital photography. Galbraith was a staff photographer at the Calgary Herald in Canada, but now his "day job" is teaching photographers and photo department managers the world over how to use today's equipment to their maximum benefit. He's the author of The Digital Photojournalist's Guide which was released in its fourth edition in 1999.

The Sprague Award was presented to Galbraith this year for "creating a place and atmosphere where photojournalists can keep up-to-date in the latest tools of their trade, exchange information in an easy-to-use forum, and in general get the information they need to make equipment decisions in a fast-changing market and workplace."

Author Sydney H. Schanberg and photography editor David Griffin were each presented with the Kenneth P. McLaughlin Award of Merit. The McLaughlin Award is given to those who render continuing outstanding service in the interest of news photography, whether or not they are members of the profession. (McLaughlin was the third president of NPPA and a photographer for the San Francisco Chronicle until his death in 1952.)

Schanberg is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author who covered Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos for The New York Times and whose first-person reporting of the fall of Cambodia won journalism’s top honor. His coverage of Dith Pran’s escape from Cambodia was the basis of the movie, “The Killing Fields.”

Griffin is a senior editor for National Geographic magazine and is the director of photography and illustrations. He's the former creative director for U.S. News & World Report magazine. Before that he was Geographic's director of layout and design after being design director of the book division. He's been a newspaper photographer and was the College Photographer of the Year in 1978, as well as being NPPA's Newspaper Magazine Picture Editor of the Year in 1987 and 1988.

Schanberg was presented with the McLaughlin Award in recognition of his ongoing support of documentary photojournalism and conflict photography, and for promoting truth and honesty in photojournalism and heralding the value of its presentation.

Griffin was presented with the McLaughlin Award in recognition of his continuing outstanding service in the interest of photojournalism, for redesigning News Photographer magazine in 2003 as a gift of his talents to the NPPA, and for his gracious availability as an ongoing design consultant to the NPPA's editor, for which the magazine’s staff and readers are exceedingly grateful.

John B. (Jack) Zibluk of Arkansas State University was presented with the Robin F. Garland Educator Award, an honor given for outstanding service as a photojournalism educator. Zibluk was recognized for his teaching, his dedication to photojournalism and its students, and his unyielding stance in defense of ethics, equality, diversity and educational opportunities. He’s the coordinator of the photojournalism sequence at Arkansas State as well as continuing to work as an author, columnist, and news photographer. Garland was a picture editor and war correspondent for the Saturday Evening Post until he joined Graflex Inc. as press technical representative after World War II. Later he became a press photography products specialist.

Photojournalist Kim Komenich of the San Francisco Chronicle was presented with the Clifton Edom Award for his tireless efforts as a teacher, speaker, and constant promoter of professionalism in photojournalism. The Edom Award recognizes an individual who, in the tradition of Cliff Edom, has inspired and motivated members of the photojournalism community to reach new heights. Edom taught at the University of Missouri for 29 years and has been credited with coining the term "photojournalism."

Komenich won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for his photographic coverage of the Philippine revolution. He's been at the Chronicle since 1982 and he's a co-founder of the San Francisco Exposure gallery, a non-profit exhibit space for issue-based social documentary photography. The Edom Award went to Komenich this year because, Stricker says, Komenich "encourages photojournalists to think, to communicate, and to see how the visuals connect the viewer to the story through a language all their own."

Professor John Freeman of the University of Florida was presented with the John Durniak Mentor Citation. This honor is given to an individual who has served as an outstanding mentor, either to a specific individual or to photojournalism in general, and nominations for this award come from working photojournalists. Freeman was given the Durniak Citation this year for "his continued support of photojournalism students, both during their time at school and after graduation." The professor has headed UF's photojournalism sequence since 1991, and he was named NPPA Educator of the Year in 2001. Formerly he was a staff photographer at The Wichita Eagle and earlier had internships at The Palm Beach Postand The Arizona Republic.

Durniak, the award's namesake, was executive editor of Popular Photography magazine, a picture editor at Timemagazine and The New York Times, and the managing editor of Look magazine. He was an enthusiastic mentor who nurtured some of the most prominent photojournalists of the 20th century. Durniak died in November 1997.

Photojournalist Todd Maisel of the New York Daily News, who is also NPPA's Region 2 associate director, was presented with the Samuel Mellor Award in recognition of his work to fight the 2004 proposed ban on photography in the New York subway and transit system, as well as for his continued work in other areas to defend and protect the rights of photojournalists. This citation honors the memory of NPPA's second national treasurer (1948-1950) who set an example of devotion to NPPA ideals. The award is given to the regional associate director (formerly regional secretary-treasurer) judged most outstanding in the performance of his or her duties. Presentation of the award was resumed in 1983 after a seven-year hiatus. Samuel Mellor was a photographer for the New York Post until his death in 1954.

J. Bruce Baumann, executive editor of The Courier & Press in Evansville, IN, was presented with the Jim Gordon Editor Of The Year Award. Baumann has been a long-time supporter of the NPPA and an ardent champion of documentary photojournalism and photojournalists. This year's Editor Of The Year Award is "in recognition of his hard work and dedication to move the industry standards of photojournalism forward, and for leading The Courier & Press to the position of the Indiana Newspaper of the Year," Stricker said.

Baumann, formerly the assistant managing editor of The Pittsburgh Press and a National Geographic photographer, is one of the few editors from the visual or photography side of newspapers to rise to the top editor's position in American newspapers. The Jim Gordon Editor Of The Year Award is given "to the editor of an outstanding newspaper, magazine, video, movie, Web site, book, or other publication or broadcast that supports and promotes strong photojournalism, and the best use of photography, and whose individual dedication and efforts have moved photojournalism's standards forward while also advancing the best interests of all photographers."

Baumann was the winner of NPPA's Joseph A. Sprague Memorial Award in 1992. Established in 1949, the Sprague Award is the organization's highest honor given to a working photojournalist or editor who advances, elevates, or attains unusual recognition for the profession of photojournalism by their conduct, initiative, leadership, skill, and devotion to duty. Four times Baumann has been named NPPA's Picture Editor of the Year, and he is director of NPPA's annual Stan Kalish Picture Editing Workshop held at Ball State University's College of Communication, Information, and Media in Muncie, IN.

The Joseph Costa Award, established in 1954, is given to an individual for "their outstanding initiative, leadership and service in advancing the goals of NPPA in the tradition of Joseph Costa, the founder of NPPA, its first president and chairman of the board." Costa also edited the official NPPA magazine, then called the National Press Photographer, from the charter issue in 1946 until 1966 when he turned the helm over to editor Cal Olson (now of Fargo, ND) after Costa published 257 consecutive issues of the magazine over 21 years. For nearly 44 years Costa was a photographer, chief photographer, or photo supervisor for the New York Morning News, the New York Daily News, and the New York Daily Mirror. Until 1985 he taught photojournalism at Ball State University in Muncie, IN, where he was awarded an honorary degree upon retirement. Costa died in 1988.

This year the Costa Award was presented to Donald R. Winslow, the current editor of News Photographer magazine, himself a Hoosier who was born in Indiana, not all that far from Ball State University, in the same year the award was created. Winslow was a photojournalist for The Wabash Plain Dealer in Wabash, IN, and The Republic, in Columbus, IN, before becoming a picture editor for The Milwaukee Sentinel, The Pittsburgh Press, The Palm Beach Post, and a senior photographer and editor for Reuters in Washington, DC. He was director of photography for CNET Networks in San Francisco, CA, and a freelance photojournalist in the Bay Area before becoming NPPA's publications editor in 2003 whenJim Gordon retired after 25 years as News Photographer magazine's longest-running editor. (Gordon published 304 consecutive issues plus some annual directories, surpassing Costa's publication count by 47.) Stricker said the Costa Award this year was given for "breathing new life into News Photographer magazine, and for exhibiting a commitment to the advancement of NPPA."

Mark Bell, president of, was presented with the J. Winton Lemen Award for "providing the photojournalism community with a sensible, constant voice on safety issues, and for his tireless efforts to bring safety awareness to the working photojournalist and their employers." The Lemen Award is given to those who render continuing outstanding service in the interest of press photography and for outstanding technical achievement in photography. For three decades Bell has worked in television engineering and broadcasting and was one of the early adopters of ENG technology and the conversion of vehicles into mobile ENG facilities. In 1997 he was the lead editor of one of the most comprehensive ENG safety reports to date, and in 1998 he produced the NPPA's publication "Look Up And Live" for television photojournalists who operate television ENG mast trucks. J. Winton Lemen, the award's namesake, was a charter member of the NPPA and after a distinguished photographic career, he established the photo press market division of the Eastman Kodak company.

Alex Burrows, director of photography for The Virginian-Pilot, was presented with the Morris Berman NPPA Citation in recognition of his outstanding service for ten years as the chairperson for the NPPA Picture Editing Quarterly Clip Contest (PEQCC). Berman was a past president of the NPPA. Before he died in 2002, Berman had attended every one of NPPA’s conventions. The Berman citation is given to an individual for special contributions advancing the interests of photojournalism.

NPPA's Regional Publication Award was presented Region 10's Web site, Region 10's director is Matt McColl of KVBC-TV in Las Vegas, and the associate director is Sarah Orr of the Napa Valley Register in Napa, CA. Jeff Gritchen, of the Press-Telegram in Long Beach, CA, is the online editor and Webmaster. The award was given, Stricker says, "for continually striving to maintain the best content and presentation for the members of Region 10, and for making the entire Region feel like a part of the publication by including streaming video as part of their online presence."

NPPA member Timothy W. Horstman was presented with the NPPA’s Humanitarian Award for putting his own life at risk in order to help a family who had been carjacked. "His unselfish and courageous behavior helped police catch the suspect, saving a mother and her three children from harm," Stricker said.

NPPA's Outstanding Student Chapter Award this year goes to the University of Florida for "continuing the tradition of excellence in photojournalism for its students."

NPPA President’s Medals were presented to Cheryl Grant, formerly a news director at WZZM-TV, and WZZM-TV's Tim Geraghty, as well as to Susan Gould, Ilene Gould, Isaac Gould, and Mindy L. Baker. The President's Award is awarded at the discretion of the president to recognize special services that have been provided to the NPPA.

Earlier this year, winners were judged in the 2005 Best Of Photojournalism contest for photography, television, Web, and picture editing. JimGehrz of the Minneapolis Star Tribune was named NPPA BOP Newspaper Photographer of the Year, and Corky Scholl of KUSA-TV in Denver, CO, was named the NPPA BOP Ernie Crisp Television News Photographer of the Year. Brian Weister of KMGH-TV in Denver is the Television Editor of the Year, and freelance photojournalist Jon Lowenstein of Chicago was honored with Clif Edom's "New America Award."

Mark Edelson of The Palm Beach Post was the Newspaper Picture Editor of the Year, and Time magazine's picture editing team of MicheleStephenson, MaryAnne Golon, and Mark Rykoff won the top picture editing honors for magazines. The Los Angeles Times won for Best Use of Pictures in the Editing category for large newspapers, and The Concord Monitor won the same honor for newspapers with circulation less than 75,000.

The history of NPPA's awards and honors as well as a full list of the past winners is online here.