Heading into its 71st year, the Best of Photojournalism contest has a new committee to oversee all the categories and logistics of NPPA’s premiere photography competition. The formation of this committee is an integral part of the NPPA’s restructuring in its new home at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, announced in January.
The committee chair is William Snyder, professor and director of the photojournalism program at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The division coordinators are Bettina Hansen, The Seattle Times, Online Video, Presentation and Innovation Division; Kyndell Harkness, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Picture Editing Division; Kevin Martin, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Still Images Division; Merry Murray, KSNW, Wichita, Kansas, Video Division.
“I am so very pleased with the quality, experience, new ideas and dedication to hard work that this crew brings to BOP. Our first order of business is to review the categories and begin the process of improving the contest to reflect our rapidly changing industry,” Snyder said. The BOP competition annually attracts the most talented professionals in four divisions — still, video, online visual storytelling and picture editing — collectively representing nearly 100 categories.
“This is a top-notch team,” said NPPA President Michael P. King. “They have a clear vision for improving the Best of Photojournalism contests, and I know they have already ‘rolled up their sleeves.’ They know they are custodians of a legacy created and maintained by their predecessors, and they are committed to ensuring that BOP grows into the prominent celebration of visual journalism that it was always meant to be.”
Call for entries in the 2019 BOP contest will be announced in November.
MEET THE COMMITTEE
Professor William Snyder, BOP committee chair
Snyder is a four-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and editor and director of the photojournalism program at his alma mater, the Rochester Institute of Technology. Snyder worked at The Miami News and The Dallas Morning News, where he won numerous awards in local, state, national and international competitions. He has lectured at universities and journalism associations and has documented the rock band The Who for nearly 30 years.
Bettina Hansen, Online Video, Presentation and Innovation Division coordinator
Hansen is a staff photographer at The Seattle Times. Her work has been recognized by The Associated Press, NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism, Pictures of the Year International and the Society of Professional Journalists. Hansen helps organize local meet-ups for Seattle-area photojournalists with the group NW Photojournalism.
Kyndell Harkness, Picture Editing Division coordinator
Harkness is a picture editor for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Before becoming an editor, Kyndell spent over two decades as a photojournalist, working 15 years at the Star Tribune and the Daily Press in Newport News, Virginia. She is a former president of Minnesota News Photographers Association.
Kevin Martin, Still Images Division coordinator
Martin is a photo editor at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. He has been a photo editor for The State (Columbia, South Carolina); The Associated Press; Knoxville (Tennessee) News Sentinel; San Antonio Express-News; and The Advocate in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He twice served as a Pulitzer Prize juror, was the president of The Associated Press Photo Managers and an executive committee member of NPPA. Martin also served as the director for The Kalish visual editing workshop for three years.
Merry Murray, Video Division coordinator
Murray, an NPPA member since 1991, has worked at TV stations in Wichita, Kansas; Lexington, Kentucky; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Nashville, Tennessee; and her hometown of Great Bend, Kansas. She is a former NPPA board member, executive committee member and Region 7 chair and has been the Best of Photojournalism, Video contest chair for 14 years.