VIDEO PHOTOGRAPHY JUDGES
Lynn French is the Assistant Chief Photographer, the producer of JOBS 911 and a multimedia journalist at KPNX-TV in Phoenix, AZ. She is a native New Mexican and has worked in TV news for 19 years throughout her homeland, plus Texas and North Carolina.
Lynn's passion is backpack journalism and she is working on doing concurrent coverage of her stories for the Arizona Republic and azcentral.com as her station moves into the newspaper’s building in January 2011. She is a graduate of Eastern New Mexico University and is trained as a Wildland Firefighter Type II. Lynn has a secret life as a roller derby skater as she starts her seventh season with Arizona Roller Derby.
Brian Kaufman is a videographer at the Detroit Free Press. As a one-man-band or working in small teams, Kaufman’s work spans a broad range, from quick-turn daily assignments to long term projects on social and environmental issues. The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has awarded Kaufman three Emmy awards and in 2011 nominated him in the craft category of Nature and Wildlife Cinematography. The Society of Professional Journalists in Detroit named Kaufman the 2009 Young Journalist of the Year and his work as a photographer and editor has been recognized by a number of other local and national organizations.
Kaufman’s career began with a Visual Journalism degree at Brooks Institute of Photography in California and a job at the Naples Daily News in Florida, where he helped launch the first newspaper-based television newscast in the country. In 2007 Kaufman joined the Detroit Free Press, where he has been instrumental in facilitating the education of video journalism to other newspaper photographers and reporters. Kaufman teaches multimedia storytelling at the Maine Media Workshops and is a coach at NPPA's annual Multimedia Immersion workshop. His free time is best spent… outdoors.
Reporter and photojournalist Seth Voorhees grew up on his family's dairy farm in Central New York. His folks say he started reading the newspaper when he was six. It didn't take long for them to realize Seth's future was not in milking cows.
Prior to coming to Rochester, Seth's career in news began in radio at WSGO in Oswego. From there, he moved to WMBO/WPCX in Auburn, where he anchored and reported the news, and served as News Director. Seth was also the play-by-play of Auburn's minor league baseball team, then known as the Astros. Prior to arriving at YNN in 1995, Seth worked as an anchor/reporter at WHAM radio in Rochester. His professional achievements as Senior Reporter at YNN include three New York Emmy awards for General Assignment Reporting. RTNDA has recognized Seth with seven of its prestigious Edward R. Murrow awards. Seth has also been recognized for his work several times by the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association. In 2006, Seth was a finalist for NPPA's Photojournalism Award for Reporting.
Outside of work, Seth enjoys golf, softball, photography, playing guitar, home improvement projects, and, most of all, spending time with his wife and their daughters. They make their home in Rochester.
VIDEO EDITING JUDGES
Amanda Dennis is an award-winning video editor from Connecticut. While in high school, she was an intern at her hometown’s television station and months after graduating; she began working at News 12 Connecticut. Three years after working as the evening editor, she returned to college.
In 2012, Amanda was recognized as the NPPA Editor of the Year. She is proud to have accomplished many goals at a young age and is inspired by her late father who worked in television his entire life.
Matt Rafferty has been a video editor since 1986 at CNN, and television stations in Atlanta, Georgia and Cleveland, Ohio. In 2006, 2007 and 2008 Matt was named the NPPA runner up Video Editor of the Year and he has been honored with numerous other NPPA editing awards including the 2004 and 2008 Cutting Edge Editor of the Year. In addition he has won an Alfred I. duPont award, 12 Emmys, a national Edward R. Murrow award and two National Headliner Awards.
Matt has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Cleveland Chapter of NATAS, a judge for the 2003 NPPA's yearly editing contest and has been a member of the NPPA Cutting Edge faculty since 2005. In 2008 Matt was honored to be a judge for the White House News Photographers Association's television contest. Recently Matt edited an hour long documentary in conjunction with the University of Akron, entitled Rebels on Lake Erie, which is scheduled to air on PBS stations across the country.
VIDEO PHOTOGRAPHY CHAIRS
Merry Murray is starting her 9th year as chair of the Best of Video Photojournalism Contest. She has been an NPPA volunteer for 20 years. Merry is the director of region 7 and the Regional Chairs Representative serving on the national board or directors. She has also served as a Regional Quarterly Contest Chair in three regions for over 11 years and was the Quarterly Contest Co-Chair and National Judging Coordinator for 4 years. Merry has been a news photojournalist/editor for over 20 years, starting in her home state of Kansas, working in Wichita at both KAKE-TV and KSNW-TV. She has also worked at WTVQ-TV in Lexington, Kentucky, WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, WKRN-TV in Nashville, Tennessee, and KSNC-TV. After marrying in 1994, Merry transferred to KSNW-TV in Wichita, where she currently works as a photojournalist and editor.
During her career, Merry has won numerous awards in Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, and Tennessee, including Regional Emmy nominations. Merry and her husband Wayne live in Wichita with their two “sons”, Buster, a Westie and Dakota, a Black Lab.
Shawn Montano is the only editor to ever win the NPPA Video Editor of the Year four times. Shawn is a passionate editor. He loves talking about editing (don't get him started). Shawn loves when someone would talk editing with him. He loves passing on his knowledge. He loved talking about editing so much he decided he wanted to talk about it more than do it.
Shawn recently made the jump from the newsroom to the classroom. Shawn now teaches in the Multimedia Graphic Design Department at Front Range Community College in Longmont Colorado. Shawn also teaches Photoshop, Sound Design, and Videography. He is now passing on his knowledge to as many students as possible one semester at a time.