A strong internship at The Herald in Jasper, Indiana and a commitment to the journalism in photojournalism has helped Jacob Wiegand win the National Press Photographers Association’s 2017 Student Quarterly Clip Contest Photographer of the Year title. Weigand also finished second in the 2016 contest and is now about to start his first full-time job with the Jonesboro Sun in Arkansas.
Wiegand did his studies at Southern Illinois University where he said the students are taught the importance of storytelling and writing strong captions, in addition to photography.
“We’re not just photographers, we’re very much journalists as well,” Wiegand said.
“The writing is an essential part of it.”
Another Southern Illinois University student, Ryan Michalesko, place second in the clip contest. Nic Antaya of Michigan State University placed third.
Mark Dolan, an associate professor at Southern Illinois University, said Wiegand, Michalesko, and another student, Morgan Timms, were a small group who were singularly focused on photojournalism.
“They showed a level of commitment to their journalism,” Dolan said. “They understand the journalism part of photojournalism, and they embrace it.”
Dolan said students work together, pushing each other, is one of the best ways for them to learn. The students work for the student newspaper, The Daily Egyptian, and pursue internships before they graduate. Wiegand had three other internships in addition to the one at The Herald.
“Students can and should learn more from each other than they can from me,” Dolan said.
The quarterly student clip contest is one of several NPPA competitions. There are also quarterly competitions for the TV clip contest, multimedia, and photo editing. There is a monthly competition for still photos.