Judging for the NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism is beginning March 21 at Ohio University as these judges review the best work from 2017. This is the 17th year Ohio University has hosted a Best of Photojournalism competition.
1. Brent Lewis: Brent Lewis is the Senior Photo Editor of ESPN’s The Undefeated, where he drives the visual language of the website that is based on the intersection of sports, race and culture. Brett is also the co-founder of Diversify. Photo, a website featuring the work of over 200 photographers of color from across the U.S. with the hope of removing the line “but we didn’t know where to find anyone” from the equation when editors have to address their lack of diversity in hiring for assignments. Before becoming an editor, he was a staff photojournalist at The Denver Post, covering the vast land of Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Region. Through the years his photos have been used by the Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, Associated Press, Forbes and Yahoo! News as well as in the RedEye, MetroMix and the Chicago Reporter.
2. Kimberly Mitchell: While attending the University of Missouri-Columbia, Kimberly interned at the Detroit Free Press and the San Jose Mercury News, where she developed a strong commitment to creating socio-economic change through dynamic, storytelling photography. Dedicated to covering local issues in metro Detroit, she has documented the passing of civil rights activist Rosa Parks, Michigan prison neglect and the abandonment of inmates, Super Bowl XL nightlife, rare diseases like Progeria, and homelessness affecting children. She has been the recipient of several NPPA and MPPA awards, including the Barry Edmonds Michigan Understanding Award in 2011, runner-up photographer of the year for Michigan in 2006 and a Michigan Emmy nomination. She hopes to honestly reflect the people, events and moments that have defined the community through her photography
3. Kenny Irby: In 2016, Rev. Kenny Irby was appointed as the first Community Intervention Director for the St. Petersburg Police Department chairing the city’s My Brother’s & Sister’s Keeper program to the White House (under President Barack H. Obama’s administration) by Mayor Rick Kriseman. He is also the president and program director of Men & Women In the Making an innovative role modeling and academic enrichment program for Black and Latino youth. Indeed, Irby has many roles in life, he’s also an independent visual consultant and affiliate at Poynter where he created the internationally recognized Photojournalism program in 1995 and the nationally recognized Write Field, in partnership with the Tampa Bay Rays, The Tampa Bay Times, Pinellas County Schools, The St. Petersburg Police Department and a group of local partners in 2011. He presently pastors the 123 year-old congregation at Historic Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in St. Petersburg, Fla. In his journalism role as an educator and consultant, he brings 30+ years of experience focused on building integrity and excellence in the authentic storytelling. His work and contributions have been recognized with distinction: The Sprague Award for lifetime achievement awarded by the NPPA, served as the chair of the jurors’ panel for the coveted Pulitzer Prize in the photojournalism categories, is the first recipient of the John Long Ethics Award, Griot Drum Legacy Award by the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists and currently serves as a juror for the Hearst Collegiate Journalism Awards in multimedia. He is married to Karen Juanita, and they have four adult daughters: Dr. Kimberly, (adopted niece), Rev. Kennetra, Kara, and Kachira.
1. Alysia Burton Steele: Alysia Burton Steele is the author of the book “Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom.” The book, endorsed by Gloria Steinem and Roy Blount, Jr., is a collection of formal portraits and oral histories from church mothers, including civil rights activist Mrs. Myrlie Evers. Steele’s work has been featured in The New York Times, National Public Radio, Southern Living, NBC.com, USA Today, Chicago Sun-Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Garden & Gun, Southern Living, Theroot.com (owned by Washington Post), and The Clarion-Ledger. In 2016, she won the Mississippi Preserver of the Year Award from the Mississippi Humanities Council and partnered with the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area, which won an award from National Park Service via the Secretary of Interior. Steele was awarded the 2015 Ofield Dukes Educator of the Year Award. Steele worked as a photojournalist for 12 years at newspapers, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution where she worked as a picture editor and deputy director of photography. She won the esteemed James Gordon Understanding Award for Photographic Excellence for her documentary work in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya in 2004. In 2006, she was part of the photo team as a photo editor for The Dallas Morning News that won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News for their Hurricane Katrina coverage. She is currently an assistant professor of journalism at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media at The University of Mississippi where she teaches writing, podcasting, photojournalism, audio/video production and the undergraduate capstone class. Steele just completed her first documentary about a Korean War veteran who tried to integrate The University of Southern Mississippi, where the film will be used for freshman orientation. She is currently working on her second book about the role of cotton in the Mississippi Delta – a project that will explore cotton’s impact on all who grew it, picked it, profited from it and suffered for it.
2. Evan Eile: With a passion for visual storytelling, Evan Eile started his career in a high school art class, learning to shoot, process and print black and white film. In college, he was a staffer for the Daily Tar Heel which expanded his interest in photography into journalism. After acquiring a Master’s Degree at Ohio University, Evan moved to D.C. to work for Scripps Howard News Service and further honed his expertise in photojournalism. Being a wire photographer in Washington is a unique experience and a few of the things he got to cover including the Clinton impeachment, the Bush inauguration as well as a memorable overseas assignment to document the Kosovo refugee crisis. Evan left Washington to become the photo editor at the Cincinnati Post. One of the highlights of that time was the amazing work his team produced during the riots in the aftermath of the shooting of Timothy Thomas, an 18-year-old, unarmed black man. For the last 15 years, Evan has been an assignment editor for USA TODAY. Until recently, his primary emphasis has been collaborating with staff and freelancers to shoot stories all over the United States – and occasionally overseas, too. He has worked with every section of the organization. Currently, his work is more focused on the digital side of the operation, creating video assignments, photo galleries and promoting content for Gannett’s social channels. He lives in Alexandria, Va. with his wife and twin girls.
3. Bert Fox: Bert Fox’s 40-year career in journalism began as a reporter in northern Utah, and took him through Oregon as a photojournalist, to Philadelphia as a picture editor and art director, onto National Geographic Magazine as a picture editor and most recently he was the Charlotte Observer’s director of photography. His honors include being named “Picture Editor of the Year” five times by the University of Missouri in its annual Pictures of the Year competition. His Charlotte Observer photography staff has won “Staff of the Year” honors two years running from the North Carolina Press Photographers Association. In the decade prior to arriving in Charlotte he was a picture editor at National Geographic Magazine where he directed the visual content of nearly 100 stories for the magazine, and edited the work of photographers Alex Webb, Joel Sartore, David Doubilet, Paul Nicklen, Frans Lanting, Sarah Leen, Lynn Johnson, Randy Olson, Reza, George Steinmetz, Jim Richardson, Robb Kendrick, Stephen Alvarez and many more. His stories ranged from following Dr. Robert Ballard’s return to the site of the Titanic shipwreck to hiking the trails of Nepal for a 70-page cover story celebrating 50 years of mountaineering on Mt. Everest. Before joining National Geographic, he was a picture editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer and an art director for the Philadelphia Inquirer Sunday Magazine. He was a faculty member of the Eddie Adams (Photojournalism) Workshop for 12 years. He also taught photojournalism seminars at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, the Maine Media Workshops, the Fall Workshop at Syracuse University and Firstlight Workshops with National Geographic photographer Jay Dickman. He was on the board of directors of National Geographic Society’s Expeditions Council from 1998 to 2007. He taught at the Photo Camp program for at-risk teens produced by National Geographic’s Education Division. And he taught college photojournalism courses at Temple University in Philadelphia.
1. Nikki Kahn: Nikki Kahn is an independent photographer based in Washington, D.C. She joined the staff at The Washington Post in January 2005 after her previous job as a photographer and editor at Knight-Ridder Tribune Photo Service in Washington, D.C. She has also worked as a staff photographer at the Indianapolis Star and as an intern at the Washington Times, the News Journal in Wilmington, Del., and the Anchorage Daily News in Alaska. Born in Georgetown, Guyana. Kahn moved to Washington, D.C. and studied at American University where she completed her Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in visual media and art history in May 1996. She later attended Syracuse University and completed a masters of science degree in photography in May 2004, with a project on AIDS in Guyana. In 2011, Kahn and her colleagues at The Washington Post were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography “for their up-close portrait of grief and desperation after a catastrophic earthquake struck Haiti.” Kahn’s work has been featured in group exhibitions by the White House News Photographers Association at the Newseum in Washington.
2. Sue Morrow: Sue Morrow has been an advocate for visual journalism as a picture editor, designer, art director and newsroom manager. She believes everyone has a story to tell, and that multimedia is the powerful medium to report those stories. She has worked as a photo editor and manager at some of the best newspapers in the country: San Jose Mercury News, Tampa Bay Times, The Sacramento Bee, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Boston Globe. During her tenure at Assistant Managing Editor for photography at the Times, the photo staff was recognized with numerous awards for photography and editing in Pictures of the Year International, Best of Photojournalism, and Society of News Design, winning Picture Editing Team Portfolio in POYi. She has taught at Ohio University, lectured at The Poynter Institute, Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar and many National Press Photographer related seminars and contests. Since 1994, she has been faculty and board member with The Kalish, kalishworkshop.org, the established visual storytelling workshop and served as its director 2011-2013. She has been a judge for POYi, BOP, SND, the White House News Photographers Association, and the Hearst Journalism Awards Program. As assistant director of multimedia at The Sacramento Bee, she edits for multiple platforms, produces motion storytelling, manages photo assignments and visual planning. She edited and designed The Bee’s 2007 Pulitzer Prize feature photography winning entry and edited The Bee’s 2013 Pulitzer Prize finalist in feature photography Sue designed and edited The Bee’s multi-platform special project “No Safe Place” in 2016 about Afghan’s living in shoddy conditions in Sacramento. The video for the project, in which she was an executive producer, was nominated for an Emmy in the Northern California Area Awards. The project also won a 2016 EPPY from Editor & Publisher for best photojournalism of a website. The Society of Professional Journalists Northern California awarded Sue the Unsung Hero Award in 2017, for her behind the scenes work of many of The Bee’s award-winning projects. As the Knight Fellow at Ohio University 2010-11, she earned a master’s degree from the School of Visual Communication in Athens. During that time she produced the short documentary “Born to Die” borntodie.org about horse rescue at the Last Chance Corral, which made its debut at the Athens International Film & Video Festival in April 2013 and the Equus Film Festival NYC, Nov. 2014 and 2015. Collaboration to complete the feature-film has begun with Kevin German of LUCEO Images. Currently on sabbatical from The Bee, Sue has been the visiting professional for E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. She returns to The Bee in July.
3. Guy Reynolds: Guy Reynolds, now past 60, is a photo editor at The Dallas Morning News where he’s worked since 1996. He began as assignments editor back in the time when there were loads of them. Big loads. He also did the Features photo editor job before moving to the night editor position in 1999. Prior to moving home to Dallas to work at the paper he started delivering door-to-door on his bike at age 13, he worked at The Indianapolis Star for five years as a shooter and occasional editor, six years in Baton Rouge as a shooter and began his career in Winston-Salem, NC after graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas in Austin in 1983.
4. Brad Smith: Brad Smith is an award-winning photo editor, with 35 years experience in visual storytelling. He’s the former DOP at Time Inc., Sports Group, which included Sports Illustrated and Golf Magazine. He was also with the New York Times as the Senior Sports Photo Editor and Assistant Director of Photography for the White House during the Clinton administration. He’s on the Board of Directors for the NPPA and the Eddie Adams Workshop, as well as the Creative Board for NYC Salt. He’s on the faculty for the Summit Photo Workshops. He’s the founder and director of Brad Smith Creative, a visual consulting group. Currently, he’s the Vice President for Photography, for the WWE.
5. Michael P. King: Michael P. King is the current president of the NPPA and a visual communications specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. For 10 years he was a photojournalist at Wisconsin newspapers, including the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison, the Green Bay Press-Gazette, and The Post~Crescent in Appleton. In Madison, he specialized in sports, covering UW’s football and basketball teams including numerous bowl games and NCAA tournaments. In 2011, he was dedicated to a breaking news team that provided months-long, round-the-clock coverage of unprecedented political discord, legislative maneuvers, and protests at Wisconsin’s State Capitol. The team was later named a Pulitzer Prize finalist for breaking news reporting. He is an alumnus of Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication, The Kalish Workshop (2009), the Eddie Adams Workshop, and AP’s Diverse Visions/Diverse Voices diversity workshop (2006).