KING-TV, WAVY-TV, KCCI-TV Win NPPA's Stations Of The Year Titles

EAST LANSING, MI (March 29, 2013) – NPPA's Best Of Photojournalism contest Video Photojournalism judges have picked KING-TV in Seattle as the Large Market Station of the Year, and KARE-TV in Minneapolis is the runner-up.

WAVY-TV10 in Portsmouth, VA, won the Medium Market Station of the Year title (for the fourth year in a row) and KTUL-TV of Tulsa, OK, was the runner-up.

KCCI-TV in Des Moines is the Small Market Station of the Year. This is the second year in a row that KCCI-TV, which is in television market number 72 and has a photography staff of 13, has taken the title. The runner-up is WHO-TV, also in Des Moines.

James Evans of CNN has been picked as the Video Editor of the Year, judges also announced today, and Greg T. Johnson of WFAA-TV in Dallas was the runner-up. Evans has more than 20 years experience in the industry and has worked for CNN, CNNI, Headline news, Black In America, CNN's The Situation Room, and others. 

And earlier this week judges picked Boyd Huppert from KARE-TV in Minneapolis as the winner of the NPPA Photojournalism Award for Reporting.  It’s the sixth time Huppert has been presented with this honor. The runner-up is John Sharify from KING-TV.

In the Large Market SOY category there were six finalists: KUSA-TV in Denver; WBFF-TV in Baltimore; WITI-TV in Milwaukee; WTVF-TV in Nashville; and KING-TV and KARE-TV.

After watching all six finalists, “It came down to rain vs. snow,” judge Brian Kaufman said.

Lynn French said, "The shooting was consistent across all stories, it could have been the same photographers shooting all the stories, it was that consistent. They found such good characters. It encompasses a year within a station and they just had a great year.”

Seth Voorhees said, "Everything was solid, spectacular, the stories had the most complexity. It was unbelievable, to pull it off and make it that good was amazing. There were a lot of different reporters and the quality didn’t drop off.”

KING-TV, in television market 12, also won the title in 2011. In their NPPA entry about KING-TV's philosophy they wrote, "KING-TV strives to be at the emotional center of our community. Our 28 photojournalists strive to create content worthy of searing itself into someone’s memory. When individuals in our community watch our product, we want them to feel they’re experiencing a portrait of real life."

For the Medium Market SOY winner, judge Brian Kaufman said, "WAVY-TV's entry had some of the best sequences I've seen yet." Judge Lynn French said, "Every story was just shot so rock-solid, there was good audio all around. They had boring topic stories that they made into really great stories."

"The staff of photojournalists is comprised of a well-rounded group of 14 individuals, each with varying degrees of experience in the television news business," WAVY-TV chief photographer Jeff Myers said on his station's contest entry. "Our main goal is to serve the viewers of Hampton Roads with the best possible news product in the market. We do that through consistency, teamwork and excellence in photojournalism. Each photographer at WAVY believes in the philosophy of the story being paramount. Every story is unique and must be told fairly and accurately through our pictures, writing and use of sound. Most importantly, we must treat every story with respect for our subjects and our viewers."

Judge Seth Voorhees said, "You could tell they worked really hard on a lot of the stories, the extra effort was really there."

Myers said that the photography staff has focused on their commitment to photojournalism during the last year by participating in NPPA's TV Quarterly Clip Contest, and by judging contests and participating in NPPA workshops. "With the support of our general manager, news director and news operations manager, we will continue the tradition of solid consistent photojournalism," Myers said.

"As the modern face of the newsroom evolves, more is being asked of our staff," he said. "Our photojournalists rise to the challenge by writing stories and solo-reporting. It is the ability to adapt and handle many tasks that make us unique in this market. Many of our reporters and producers are being asked to shoot and edit. The same core principles of the NPPA standards are being taught to them as well."

For the Small Market SOY, "It came down to do the 'aircheck' to decide between this year's winner and the runner-up," judges said. Their overall impression was that KCCI-TV's stories were solid, despite seeing "a few jump cuts" in a couple of the stories, and that the runner-up's stories were "well shot," but that some of the story endings fell flat.

"Overall, KCCI’s news philosophy emphasizes three things: breaking news, emergency weather coverage, and strong storytelling," photography director Cortney Kintzer wrote in the station's entry. "We are fortunate to have a core of experienced reporters and photojournalists who take pride in crafting outstanding stories for our viewers. No matter how often our staff may have done a certain type of story before, they always challenge themselves to find a new and creative way to present the story. 

'Our crews work hard to communicate on the way to an assignment about what the focus of the story will be, and what visual elements they want to get while in the field. That communication is a two-way street, where the photojournalist and the reporter share their vision for the story. They challenge each other how to make the story stand out, how to edit in a creative way, and how it should all come together in a seamless package."

NPPA's Best Of Photojournalism is sponsored this year by Michigan State University and Ohio University's School of Visual Communication.

(The judges sat down and made video comments about picking the SOY winners, along with many of the individual categories, and you can see them posted online here.)