DURHAM, NC – Retired photography director, photojournalist, and author Bob Lynn, along with Kevin Scofield, the news operations manager and photography director for KDVR-TV (Fox) and KWGN-TV (CW) in Denver, are the two 2009 recipients of the Joseph A. Sprague Memorial Award from the National Press Photographers Association.
Established in 1949, the Sprague Award is NPPA's highest honor and it recognizes individuals who advance and elevate photojournalism by their conduct, initiative, leadership, and skill, or for unusual service or achievement beneficial to photojournalism and technological advances. It honors Joseph A. Sprague, a press technical representative for the Graflex Corporation, who is credited with designing the Big Bertha, Magic Eye, and Combat Camera for the company as well as dozens of improvements and refinements to the original Graflex Speed Graphic 4x5 camera, once the press industry standard.
Lynn is receiving the Sprague Award for his "decades of selfless devotion to documentary photojournalism and the photographers who practice the craft at the highest levels." He was nominated for the award by a peers who wrote that Lynn is "a trusted friend, a respected colleague … an influential teacher, a supportive manager … honorable, passionate … unselfish, a father figure … dedicated … an inspiration to hundreds of young photographers ... a Hall of Famer.”
Scofield is receiving the Sprague Award for his efforts, which have – according to his nominating peers – "created an environment of excellence for his colleagues ... his non-wavering support for NPPA membership and the Code of Ethics .. his infectious enthusiasm, and promotion of quality visual storytelling in a career that has spanned still, video, audio. and multimedia." Scofield was praised in his nomination for his mix of "great talent, leadership, humor, and friendship." "Kevin cares like no other boss on the planet," one wrote.
Upon hearing news of the Sprague Award, Scofield said, "I am excited and honored just being nominated for this incredible award. Considering the past winners' legacies - and to be included into such a prestigious group of creative and innovative individuals - I am truly thrilled."
Lynn responded to the news by saying, "When I look back on my career I feel so fortunate to have lucked into this wonderful profession of ours. The great people I've worked with ... the great friends I've made ... What a life. What rewards. What fun!"
Both longtime NPPA members, Lynn joined in 1968 and Scofield joined in 1973.
Lynn was the assistant managing editor for photography and graphics at the award-winning Virginian-Pilot until he retired in 1997, and before that he was the graphics editor of the Charleston (WV) Gazette. Lynn started his career in 1959 as a sports reporter for the Wilmington (NC) Morning Star before moving on to photography at the Los Angeles Times and the Cincinnati Enquirer. After retiring he was an adjunct professor of photojournalism for Syracuse University for three years, including teaching at the school's London campus, and since 1990 he's been a member of the National Press Photographers Foundation's Stan Kalish PIcture Editing workshop. Lynn received NPPA’s Joseph Costa Award in 1997 and 2004, and the John Durniak Mentor Citation in 2003. Lynn graduated from Marshall University with a degree in journalism in 1959, and in 1979 he got a masters degree in journalism from Ohio University.
Scofield was a still photographer who after a decade of print journalism turned to television. Before working in Denver, he was the news operations manager and photography director for WCNC-TV in Charlotte, NC, an NBC affiliate. Until 1997 he was a special projects photographer and editor for KSTQ-TV (UPN) in Seattle, WA, and before that he was a photographer and editor for CBS This Morning and CBS Newspath in Seattle. His career also included stops in Dallas, TX, where he was chief photographer and department manager for KDFW-TV (CBS); WFLA-TV in Tampa, FL, where he was a photographer and editor who also did underwater special projects; WINK-TV in Fort Myers, FL, where he was a photographer and editor; KNAZ-TV (NBC) in Flagstaff, AZ, where he was a photographer and editor; and The Arizona Republic, where he was a staff photographer for more than a decade. He studied fine arts photography at Stevens College in Hubbardston, MA, and at Long Island University in Brookville, NY, with post-graduate studies in fine arts at Arizona State University in Tempe. In 2008 he won an Emmy Award for his role as executive producer for "SIgnature Stories #2."
Lynn has just finished writing a book, and says he intends to tell those attending the Sprague Awards dinner next Saturday in Las Vegas at the conclusion of NPPA's Convergence '09 week a little bit about what he's discovered in the writing.
"I loved going to work every day," Lynn says about his many years as a photographer, reporter, editor, and leader, and the majority of his career which was spent in West Virginia at the Gazette and in Virginia at The Virginian-Pilot. Loving his work is only one reason Lynn believes the photography staffs were so successful. The title of his book gives clues to some of the other causes: "Vision, Courage, and Heart." The subtitle rounds out the idea: "How the author used common sense to lead two newspapers to photojournalism excellence."
In addition to the Sprague Awards, NPPA will be presenting the organization's other annual top honors during Saturday night's dinner, including the Joseph Costa Award, the Robert F. Garland Educator Award, the Cliff Edom Award, and the Jim Gordon Editor of the Year Award. The dinner concludes NPPA's Convergence '09 week, which began with the five-day intensive Multimedia Immersion workshop, followed by the 20th annual Women In Photojournalism Conference, and then NPPA's Visual Journalism Workshops.
NPPA's Convergence '09 week is sponsored by Canon and Nikon.