Athens, GA. -- We are pleased to announce a slate of new coordinators for the Best of Photojournalism contest. They already are at work to get the 2022 competition underway! And this year, we are adding a new division to the BOP contest: Documentary.
Ray Arzate, who served as a final-round judge twice with BOP and owns the production company Storyville Rd, will coordinate the new Documentary division. "Not only am I thrilled that NPPA is introducing the all-new Documentary division," Arzate said, "but I’m honored to serve as its coordinator. Recognizing and applauding the work of journalists who dive deeper into each subject matter is more important than ever."
Stepping into the coordinator role for Online Video, Presentation and Innovation is Marcelle Hopkins, visual editor for special projects at The New York Times. (Previous OVPI coordinator A.J. Chavar is now chair of BOP.) Well-versed in traditional video production, as well as 360-video, MR, VR, and AR, Hopkins is the ideal coordinator with an eye on the cutting edge of our industry. “This is a period of tremendous growth in visual journalism, with new storytelling technologies and techniques evolving every year,” Hopkins said. “I’m excited to see what innovative journalists are doing and celebrate their work through BOP.”
Emily Jan, deputy director of visuals at the San Francisco Chronicle, is taking on the job of coordinating the Photo Editing division from the previous coordinator, Danese Kenon. “I’ve been following BOP and NPPA since I was a college student," Jan said. "So I am looking forward to continuing the work that goes into the contest and NPPA as a community and resource -- both in celebrating excellent visual journalism and pushing our industry to be a better place.”
Last but most definitely not least, Bob Gould, former NPPA president and MSU professor teaching broadcast journalism, is joining BOP to coordinate the Video Photojournalism division of the competition. He is replacing the previous coordinator, Brett Akagi. Gould's extensive experience as an educator and with the NPPA is invaluable beyond his division. "I’m extremely excited to be named coordinator of the BOP Video Photojournalism contest. My experience with the contest and the NPPA, along with my long standing friendship with BOP Video Editing coordinator Shawn Montano, makes this a perfect fit, “ Gould said. “Thanks to Brett Akagi and Merry Murray for setting the stage for me. Shawn and I will continue to build on what is already a premier video and editing contest."
As we welcome our new contest coordinators, we want to thank the previous coordinators for their volunteerism to make BOP a true celebration of the best visual journalism. We also appreciate the veteran coordinators we have as well as the veteran coordinators we have staying with us: Linda Epstein will coordinate the Still Photojournalism for a second year. Shawn Montano will coordinate the Video Editing division for his eighth year.
The NPPA BoP committee would also like to thank Sony Electronics and the University of Georgia for their integral roles supporting the Best of Photojournalism contest. Without their investment, it would not be possible.
Bios of the coordinators are below. Stay tuned for information on our new Documentary division when the 2022 BOP rules go live on September 26, 2021
Marcelle Hopkins is a visual editor for special projects at The New York Times, focusing on innovative journalism that leverages emerging technologies. Marcelle was previously the co-director of immersive journalism and deputy editor of video at the Times, overseeing 360 video, VR, AR and MR work, as well as international video journalism. She serves as an ambassador for Journalism 360, an initiative of thought leaders, practitioners and journalists dedicated to accelerating immersive storytelling in news.
Marcelle has received a News and Documentary Emmy Award, a JSK journalism fellowship at Stanford University, a reporting fellowship from the International Women's Media Foundation, a Magic Grant from the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, a Ford Foundation JustFilms fellowship and a United Nations Correspondents Association award. Before joining The Times, Marcelle produced and directed VR documentaries for FRONTLINE and Emblematic Group. She spent seven years at Al Jazeera's UN bureau, where she produced TV news packages, interviews, features and documentaries on international human rights and humanitarian crises.
Bob Gould is beginning his 15th year teaching broadcast journalism at Michigan State University. His students have won hundreds of local, regional and national awards and they are working in television jobs all across the country. Prior to his teaching career, Bob worked in television news for 17 years, most of which were at WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as the station’s Chief Photojournalist. Bob is a former NPPA President, Vice President and board member and is very familiar with the NPPA BOP Contest; he has been a BOP-TV judge and hosted the video contest judging at MSU for five years.
He has more than 40 awards for his work, including NPPA, Emmy, Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB), and Associated Press. In 2017 Bob received the Robin F. Garland Educator award from the NPPA, and in 2016, he was inducted in the Emmy Silver Circle for 25 years in the industry. In his spare time, Bob enjoys cooking and playing the trumpet (but not at the same time!). Bob and his wife of 28 years, Susan, have 2 children together; Ilene and Isaac.
Emily Jan is Deputy Director of Visuals at The San Francisco Chronicle, where she works with a team of multimedia journalists with the goal of making creative, critical, and moving visuals. Previously, she was a photo editor and art director at The Atlantic. Emily was a 2019 Women Photograph mentor and recipient of the inaugural John H. White Keep in Flight scholarship.
A storyteller at heart, Ray Arzate is the managing partner/owner of Storyville RD, a company that shares the skills he has acquired through the years with people, businesses and organizations whose story needs to be told. Ray is a veteran photojournalist and editor who won an “oscar” in high school. He carried his video camera everywhere. His church youth leader awarded him an “oscar award” for best documentarian. He still displays that small, plastic award on his desk. It now sits next to his dozens of real Emmy, AP Broadcasters, Edward R. Murrow, Promax, and NPPA Best of Photojournalism Contest awards. Ray served as chief photographer at the NBC & FOX affiliate stations in Las Vegas as well as creative services promotions manager of the latter. He has also worked in Atlanta, Nashville and El Paso, TX. Ray serves on the Executive Board of Governors for the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences- Pacific Southwest Chapter.
Linda Epstein is the Still Photojournalism division coordinator for a second year. She’s a senior photo editor at Share America, a division of Global Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. Previously, Linda was a contract photo editor with The Washington Post, which included photo researcher for the Post database that won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. Linda spent 15 years as senior photo editor for McClatchy-Tribune (formerly Knight Ridder/Tribune), handling all the photos for the McClatchy Washington Bureau's regional, national and foreign correspondents. Before KRT, she worked as a picture editor and assignments editor during her three years at The Washington Times. Linda started her journalism career as a photographer for several newspapers in Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and Ohio. A graduate of Syracuse University, Linda is a member of the White House News Photographers Association and National Press Photographers Association. She served on NPPA’s Board of Directors as a regional director or associate director for over 10 years.
Shawn Montano will oversee the Video Editing division for his eighth year. Shawn has a passion for video editing, storytelling and teaching. In 2018 he joined the University of Northern Colorado’s Journalism and Media Studies program. He teaches Video Production, Digital Storytelling, Media Writing & Media Management. In his 20-year career before teaching, he worked for KPHO in Arizona and all five major stations in Denver: KUSA, KMGH, KCNC, KWGN, and KDVR. He's won five Heartland regional Emmys, an Edward R. Murrow Award and 3 Colorado Broadcasters Association awards. He is a four-time winner of the National Press Photographers Association Video Editor of the Year award. Shawn is much more than a professor. He’s a manager, counselor, work-force trainer, comedian, motivational speaker and friend. He tells his students they are on a journey; he’s just the guide.
A.J. Chavar chairs the BoP contest. He’s a cinematographer, photographer, director, and producer. His visual journalism has been recognized with an Edward R. Murrow Award and multiple honors from NPPA, WHNPA, POYI and the Capitol Emmys. He was previously a staff video journalist at The Washington Post and The New York Times, a producer with Apple News and a senior producer at Vox. A.J. has been behind his camera in every state (and many territories) in the U.S., and works out of Brooklyn for the New York Times Research and Development desk. He studied at the Newhouse School of Public Communications.
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