Jahi Chikwendiu, Jerry Wolford Win NPPA's Photojournalists Of The Year

From the winning portfolio of Washington Post photojournalist Jahi Chikwendiu, a photograph of Michael Brown could be seen in the lobby of the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church before the youth's funeral in August 2014 in St. Louis, MO.
From the winning portfolio of Washington Post photojournalist Jahi Chikwendiu, a photograph of Michael Brown could be seen in the lobby of the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church before the youth's funeral in August 2014 in St. Louis, MO.

NOTE: Winners in the Editing and the Multimedia contests will be announced Wednesday.

ATHENS, OH (March 31, 2015) – Jahi Chikwendiu of The Washington Post was today named the National Press Photographers Association's Best Of Photojournalism 2015 Photojournalist of the Year (Large Markets) and Jerry Wolford of the News & Record in Greensboro, NC, was selected as the Photojournalist of the Year (Small Markets)

This year's Cliff Edom's "New America Award" was won by Mary F. Calvert, shooting for ZUMA Press. Her long-term documentary project "The Battle Within: Sexual Assault in America's Military" tells the story of women who join the U.S. Armed Forces and who are being raped and sexually assaulted by their colleagues in record numbers.

And Cameron Spencer, shooting for Getty Images and based in Sydney, Australia, is the Sports Photojournalist of the Year

When Wolford learned of the award today he told News Photographer magazine, "I heard from someone who watched the judging [online] that they thought I'd won. But I looked online and thought, 'They must have been wrong ...'. There are a lot of people besides me who get credit for that [portfolio], mostly my boss, [photography director] Rob Brown. He's the real reason it happens."

Chikwendiu, who returned a call today to News Photographer from Trinidad to learn of his win, just laughed and laughed when he heard the news and said, "Don't play with me, man!" When he realized that he had really won, he said, "I have to thank MaryAnne Golon for helping me piece the puzzle [of his portfolio] together, which as you know is just as important, just as big a part of it, as the work itself."

In the Photojournalist of the Year (Large Markets) category the runner-up is Daniel Berehulak, who was shooting for The New York Times. Third place is Mads Nissen shooting for Politiken/Panos Pictures.

In the Photojournalist of the Year (Small Markets) category the runner-up is independent photographer Daniel Rodrigues. Third place is Scott McIntyre of the Naples (FL) Daily News, and honorable mentions were awarded to Jake May of The Flint (MI) Journal and to Spanish independent photojournalist Javier Arcenillas. Wolford, the top winner in this category, was also recently named the North Carolina Press Association's Hugh Morton Photographer of the Year.

The runner-up Sports Photojournalist of the Year is Ryan Pierse of Getty Images, and third place is Patrick Smith of Getty Images. Honorable mentions were awarded to Tom Pennington of Getty Images, Adrian Dennis of Agence France-Presse, and Melissa Lyttle, who was shooting for the St. Petersburg Times. Smith, third place this year, was the winner of this category the past two years in a row.

The runner-up for the Cliff Edom "New America Award" is Lisa Krantz of the San Antonio Express-News for "A Life Apart," the story of Hector Garcia Jr. and his life-threatening battle with morbid obesity. And third place is Craig Walker of The Denver Post for his documentary story of the crisis being faced by Colorado's mental healthcare system. Honorable mentions were awarded to Michael Robinson Chavez of the Los Angeles Times, Chikwendui of The Washington Post, and Stephen Reiss, whose entry had been published in The New York Times Lens blog.

Edom's "New America Award" recognizes excellence in photographic storytelling about rural or ethnically diverse people. Clifton C. Edom (1907-1991), a University of Missouri School of Journalism professor, co-founded the Missouri Photographic Workshop with his wife, Vilia, in 1949. A fundamental belief behind NPPA's Edom Award is that in urban communities and rural towns the spirit of diversity is celebrated and witnessed in everyday life, and the award intends to recognize award-winning photographic storytelling about communities, groups, and issues in America that are often under-covered by the mainstream press.

As to whether any Best Of Photojournalism contest entries were disqualified or removed for ethical reasons, BOP Contest Committee chair Terry Eiler said, "There were several images and packages that were held out for review by the primary round judges. However, there were no images brought forward in the final round or selected by the final judges and celebrated for their excellence that were then later disqualified."

Eiler said each of the judges in every phase of the contest were "hyperaware" of the requirement to celebrate the best practices NPPA recognizes in photojournalism through its NPPA Code of Ethics.

"We have lonhg held that this contest meets the NPPA Code of Ethics, and that it stands for the celebration of the best examples of photojournalism of the past year. Many, many images in every category were reviewed, and only the ones that the judges feld were excellent examples of visual reportage were pushed forward to the next round."

The Best Of Photojournalism final round judges for the Still Photography contest were Syracuse University assistant professor Seth Gitner, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Martha Rial, photojournalist Scott Strazzante of the San Francisco Chronicle, photojournalist and editor Cathaleen Curtiss, and ASMP executive director Thomas P. Kennedy.

Final judging in this year's Best Of Photojournalism contest was done at Ohio University's School of Visual Communication in Athens, OH, and it was coordinated by NPPA BOP Contest Committee chair Eiler and OU VisCom associate professor of visual communication Stan Alost.

 

Best Of Photojournalism judges today also released winners in the remaining Still Photojournalism categories:

In Domestic News, first place is Whitney Curtis of The New York Times. Second place is Al Diaz of the Miami Herald, and third place is Shmuel Thaler of the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Honorable mentions were awarded to Robert Cohen of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Mark Wilson of Getty Images, James Keivom of the New York Daily News, and David Carson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

In the Domestic News Picture Story category, first place is Philip Montgomery shooting for Bloomberg Businessweek. Second place is Michael Robinson Chavez of the Los Angeles Times, and third place is David Carson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Honorable mentions were awarded to Justin Sullivan of Getty Images, and Mark Peterson, shooting for MSNBC.

In General News, first place is Jahi Chikwendui of The Washington Post. Second place is David L. Ryan of the Boston Globe, and third place is Jerry Wolford of the News & Record. Honorable mentions were awarded to Sergei Grits of the Associated Press, independent photographer John Taggart, Adam Guz of Getty Images Poland, and Thomas A. Ferrara of Newsday.

In Feature, first place is Joe Amon of The Denver Post. Second place is Tim Smith of the Brandon Sun, and third place is Jordan Stead of SeattlePI.com. Honorable mentions were awarded to Bulent Kilic of Agence France-Presse, Jim Gehrz of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Matt Gade of The Jersey Journal, and Brian Cassella of the Chicago Tribune.

In International News, first place is Kieran Kesner shooting for The Wall Street Journal. Second place is Mads Nissen of Politiken/Panos Pictures, and third place is Finbarr O'Reilly of Reuters. Honorable mentions were awarded to Jerome Delay of the Associated Press, Hussein Malla of AP, Mauricio Lima shooting for The New York Times, and Brendan Hoffman of Getty Images.

In the International News Picture Story category, first place is Mads Nissen of Politiken/Panos Pictures. Second place is Heidi Levine of Sipa Press shooting for The National, and third place is Christoffer Hjalmarsson of Expressen. An honorable mention was awarded to Majdi Fathi of NurPhoto/ZUMA Press, Paul Hansen of Dagens Nyheter, Chip Somodevilla of Getty Images, and independent photojournalist Ismail Ferdous.

In the Best Published Picture Story (Large Markets) category, first place is Martin Lehmann of Politken. Second place is Daniel Berehulak shooting for The New York Times, and third place is Lisa Krantz of the San Antonio Express-News. Honorable mentions were awarded to Thomas Lekfeldt of Scanpix/Agence VU, Michelle Siu of The Washington Post, and Win McNamee of Getty Images.

In the Best Published Picture Story (Small Markets) category, first place is Daniel Rodrigues shooting for Expresso. Second place is Kuba Kaminski of the Polish Press Agency, and third place is Tim Smith of the Brandon Sun. Honorable mentions were awarded to Carolyn Van Houten of The Dubois County Herald, and Dania Maxwell of the Naples (Fl) Daily News.

In the Non-Traditional Photojournalism Publishing category, first place is Daniel Rodrigues. Second place is Javier Arcenillas, and third place is Aristide Economopoulos shooting for Instagram. Honorable mentions were awarded to Viviana Peretti, Subrata Biswas, and Sara Weiser.

In Portrait & Personality, first place is independent photojournalist Michelle Siu. Second place Mads Nissen of Politiken/Pano Pictures, and third place is Jabin Botsford of the College Heights Herald. Honorable mentions were awarded to Lisa Krantz of the San Antonio Express-News, Niclas Hammarstrom, Michael Smith of the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, and Probal Rashid of ZUMA Press.

In the Portrait Series category, first place is Daniel Berehulak shooting for The New York Times. Second place is Tatiana Vinogradova, and third place is Muhammed Muheisen of the Associated Press. Honorable mentions were awarded to Kieran Dodds of Panos Pictures, Jean-Marc Caimi and Valentina Piccinni, and Rich-Joseph Facun of The Virginian-Pilot. 

In Contemporary Issues, first place is John Moore of Getty Images. Second place is Sergey Ponomarev shooting for The New York Times, and third place is also Ponomarev. Honorable mentions were awarded to Paula Bronstein shooting for Getty Images, Daniele Volpe, Fabio Bucciarelli shooting for Agence France-Press and The New York Times, John Moore, and Alexey Furman 

In the Contemporary Issues Story category, first place is John Bävman of the Moment Agency. Second place is Italian independent photojournalist Paolo Marchetti, and third place is Corinna Kern. Honorable mentions were awarded to Ramil Sitdikov, Mads Nissen of Politiken/Panos Pictures, Nancy Borowick, and Michel du Cille of The Washington Post.

In Environment, first place is Daniel Rodrigues shooting for the BBC. Second place is Ami Vitale shooting for National Geographic Creative, and third place is Owen Humphreys shooting for PA Wire/ZUMA Press. Honorable mentions were awarded to Tomasz Gudzowaty of the Yours Foundation, independent photojournalist Mark Kelley, Scott Sommerdorf of The Salt Lake Tribune, and Bob Hallinen of the Alaska Dispatch News.

In the Environment Picture Story category, first place is Renée C. Byer of The Sacramento Bee. Second place is Ami Vitale of National Geographic Creative, and third place is Joshua Trujillo of SeattlePI.com. Honorable mentions were awarded to Rodrigo Abd of the Associated Press, Adam Dean of Panos Pictures, and Michael Robinson Chavez of the Los Angeles Times.

In Pictorial, first place is Oded Balilty of the Associated Press. Second place is Kieran Dodds of Panos Pictures, and third place is Logan Mock-Bunting. Honorable mentions were awarded to Probal Rashid of ZUMA Press, Luis Sinco of the Los Angeles Times, independent photojournalist Vincenzo Floramo, independent photojournalist Kemal Jufri, and Sinco.

In Sports Action, first place is Julian Herbert of Action Images/ZUMA Press. Second place is Al Bello of Getty Images, and third place is independent photographer Rob Hart. Honorable mentions were awarded to Kevin Dietsch of United Press International, Harrison Hill, and Patrick Smith of Getty Images.

In Sports Feature, first place is Troy Wayrynen of The Outlook. Second place is Ricky Carioti of The Washington Post, and third place is Nick Laham shooting for ESPN The Magazine. Honorable mentions were awarded to Jacob Ehrbahn of Poltiken, Vaughn Ridley of Getty Images, Heather Rousseau of The Herald, and Daniel Ochoa de Olza of the Associated Press. 

In the Sports Picture Story category, first place is Jacob Ehrbahn of Politiken. Second place is Ricky Carioti of The Washington Post, and third place is Brian Cassella of the Chicago Tribune. Honorable mentions were awarded to Fei Maohua of the Xinhua News Agency and Daniel Rodrigues shooting for Expresso.

This year's NPPA Best Of Photojournalism was sponsored by the Ohio University School of Visual Communication (VisCom) and the Michigan State University School of Journalism.

 
 
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