NPPA’s Sprague Award To Jonathan Malat, Boyd Huppert

The duo of photojournalist Jonathan Malat, formerly of KARE11-TV in Minneapolis who is now at TV2 in Denmark, and reporter Boyd Huppert of KARE11-TV, are this year’s Joseph A. Sprague Memorial Award recipients. Photograph by Ben Garvin
The duo of photojournalist Jonathan Malat, formerly of KARE11-TV in Minneapolis who is now at TV2 in Denmark, and reporter Boyd Huppert of KARE11-TV, are this year’s Joseph A. Sprague Memorial Award recipients. Photograph by Ben Garvin

ATHENS, GA (January 13, 2016) – The National Press Photographers Association’s highest honor, the Joseph A. Sprague Memorial Award, will be presented this year to two individuals whose longtime practice and teaching of the craft of visual storytelling has magnificently and eloquently advanced the profession. 

The duo of Jonathan Malat, formerly of KARE11-TV in Minneapolis who is now at TV2 in Denmark, and Boyd Huppert of KARE11-TV, are this year’s Sprague Award recipients. 

Malat is a three-time Ernie Crisp Television News Photographer of the Year winner who for 18 years has taught on the faculty of NPPA’s Advanced Storytelling Workshop. Huppert, his former KARE11-TV storytelling partner, is the seven-time winner of NPPA’s Photojournalism Award for Reporting. Huppert has also taught with Malat at the ASW for the past 17 years. Together they have won numerous Emmys and Edward R. Murrow honors for their unique and trademark stories.

Established in 1949, the Sprague Award is NPPA's most prestigious honor. It recognizes individuals who advance and elevate photojournalism by their conduct, initiative, leadership, and skill, or for unusual service or achievement beneficial to photojournalism and technological advances. It honors Joseph A. Sprague, a press technical representative for the Graflex Corporation, who is credited with designing the Big Bertha, Magic Eye, and Combat Camera for the company as well as dozens of improvements and refinements to the original Graflex Speed Graphic 4x5 camera, which was once the press industry standard.

The Sprague Awards, along with NPPA’s other top honors, will be presented during a ceremony at NPPA’s Northern Short Course in Iselin, NJ, in late February.

In addition to the Sprague Awards, NPPA’s other top honors and annual recognitions were also announced today.

Photojournalist Yunghi Kim is the recipient of this year’s Clifton Edom Award. The Edom Award recognizes an individual in the tradition of University of Missouri photojournalism professor Cliff Edom to inspire and motivate members of the photojournalism community to reach new heights. Kim “paid it forward” last December when she announced that she is personally funding 10 grants of $1,000 each to photographers selected from a private, invitation-only Facebook group created for this purpose. Kim said she is funding the grants with money she recovered from fees collected for the unauthorized use of her photography. The 10 grants were created, she said, in order to draw greater attention to the importing issue of copyright infringement and protection.

Photographer Phil Sandlin will be presented with the Joseph Costa Award, named after NPPA’s founder. The Costa Award is given for outstanding initiative, leadership, and service in advancing the goals of NPPA in Costa’s tradition. For 50 years Sandlin has documented Florida’s tumultuous and often bizarre news for the Associated Press, building a career and reputation as the consummate “wire man” who covered everything from the Civil Rights movement to space and lunar launches to refugees to presidential elections, hurricanes, and other assorted coastal disasters. And along the way Sandlin also became known for his technical expertise, as well as mentoring young photographers and helping them build their own careers.

Scott Mc Kiernan, the CEO and Founder of ZUMA Press, is the recipient of the Jim Gordon Editor of the Year Award. The award honors an outstanding newspaper, magazine, video, movie, Web, book, or other publications editor who supports and promotes strong photojournalism, best use of photography, and whose individual dedication and efforts have moved photojournalism’s standards forward. It is named after Jim Gordon, who was NPPA’s News Photographer magazine editor for 25 years until he retired in 2003.

Mc Kiernan is being recognized for being a tireless advocate for photojournalism’s excellence and for supporting, mentoring, and connecting photographers while publishing DoubleTruck magazine, where lesser-known stories are given great display.

The Alicia Calzada First Amendment Award this year goes to Gregg Leslie of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. The award recognizes an individual who has worked to promote and advance the First Amendment, especially as it relates to news photographers. It is named after NPPA past president Alicia Wagner Calzada, the founder and longtime chair of NPPA's Advocacy Committee, who is now an attorney specializing in media law. 

Leslie is being recognized for his ongoing dedication to protecting photographers’ rights while tenaciously advocating on their behalf. He has been a staff attorney with the Reporters Committee since 1994. He also serves as editor of their news publications and guides. Leslie has served as chairman of the D.C. Bar's Media Law Committee and he is a member of the American Bar Association's Fair Trial and Free Press Task Force.

Jim Colton will be presented with the John Durniak Mentor Award. It is given to an individual who has served as an outstanding photojournalism mentor. Durniak was executive editor of Popular Photography magazine, a picture editor at Time magazine and The New York Times, and the managing editor of Look. During his career he nurtured some of the most prominent photojournalists of the 20th Century.

For more than 15 years Colton was the photography editor for Sports Illustrated magazine. His career includes being photography director for Newsweek, and before that he was an editor for the Associated Press. Colton, always active in NPPA events, has recently been an editor at large for ZUMA Press, and he is a long-time member of the board of directors for the annual Eddie Adams Barnstorm Workshop.

Loret Steinberg of the Rochester Institute of Technology, and Tim Broekema of Western Kentucky University, are the the recipients of the Robin F. Garland Educator Award. The honor is given for outstanding service as a photojournalism educator. Garland was a picture editor and war correspondent for the Saturday Evening Post until he joined Graflex Inc. as press technical representative after World War II. Later he became a press photography product specialist for Eastman Kodak Co. 

Steinberg is an associate professor of photographic arts and sciences at RIT where she teaches photojournalism, ethics, picture editing, and page design. She has worked with migrant workers and immigrants to document farming issues, and has taught photography to juveniles at a correctional facility as part of her work on children and crime, the criminal justice system, and the larger issues associated with youth and violence in America. She also has a an ongoing, long-term documentary project called “This Is What America Looks Like.” As a veteran professor, Steinberg is known for caring deeply about her students, both her current classes as well as her long-time graduates.

Broekema is a professor of photojournalism, new media, picture editing, and news design for WKU’s School of Journalism and Broadcasting. He’s the former director of photography for the Kalamazoo (MI) Gazette, as well as having been a sports picture editor for the Chicago Tribune and a picture editor for the Louisville Courier-Journal and the Providence (RI) Journal. For more than 30 years he’s been a faculty member for The Mountain Workshops, and he’s proud of the fact that his students and former students have won top honors in CPOY, POYi, the Hearst competition, and in NPPA’s Best Of Photojournalism.

Cathaleen Curtiss is the recipient of a Morris Berman Citation. The honor is given to individuals or organizations for special contributions that have advanced the interests of photojournalism. Berman was a past president of the NPPA as well as the Press Photographers Association of Greater Pittsburgh. Before his death in 2002, Berman had attended each and every one of NPPA's annual conventions. 

Curtiss is being recognized for her dedication and untiring work to revive and modernize NPPA’s Monthly News Clip Contest, of which she is the chair. A photojournalist, editor, and educator, she is the Coordinator of Entrepreneurship at Daemen College in Amherst, NY, as well as being a member of the board of directors of the National Press Photographers Foundation.

Merry Murray of KSNW-TV in Wichita, KS, will be presented with the Kenneth P. McLaughlin Award of Merit. The honor is given to those who have rendered ongoing and outstanding service in the interests of news photography. McLaughlin, a photographer for the San Francisco Chronicle until his death in 1966, was the third president of the NPPA. Murray, coordinator of NPPA’s annual Best Of Photojournalism Video contest, has been an NPPA volunteer for more than 20 years and she is being recognized for her dedication and commitment to NPPA’s Video contest.

The Samuel Mellor Award will be presented to Scott Jensen. The citation honors the memory of NPPA's second national treasurer (1948-1950) who set an example of devotion to NPPA ideals. It is given to a regional leader who has exhibited outstanding performance in their NPPA duties.

Jensen is a two-time winner of NPPA’s Ernie Crisp Television News Photographer of the Year title, first in 2003 and then again in 2008. Once considered as a traditional television news photographer, Jensen has evolved during his two-decade career into a multimedia journalist who is now working for the Alaska Dispatch News in Anchorage. He is being recognized for the changes he made to NPPA’s TV Quarterly Clip Contest and for re-invigorating the competition, which is once again growing in participation.

Photographer Donna Ferrato will receive NPPA’s Humanitarian Award. The award is presented to an individual for playing a key role in saving of lives, or in rescue situations. Ferrato is a documentary photographer and activist who is best known for her work regarding women’s rights and her landmark book about domestic abuse, “Living With The Enemy.” She has continued this focus with her recently-launched campaign, “I Am Unbeatable,” which aims to raise awareness, educate and prevent domestic violence against women and children through real stories of real people. Ferrato is being recognized for her lifetime body of work and dedication to covering domestic abuse and violence against women and youth.

Chip Maury and Ken Jones will receive the Burt Williams Award. The honor is in memory of one of NPPA’s founders and its first national secretary. It is given to a news photographer who has completed at least 40 years of service to the industry.

Maury, for many years one of the leaders of the Military Photographer of the Year competition and workshops, as well as being NPPA’s liaison to the armed forces, began his photography career in 1956 as a U.S. Navy Photographer's Mate.

Jones, a photojournalist for KING-TV in Seattle, has been with the station since 1973, almost 43 years, covering stories not only in the Pacific Northwest but also all around the world. 

The J. Winton Lemen Award this year goes to Think Tank Photo. The honor is given to those who render continuing outstanding service in the interests of press photography and for outstanding technical achievement in photography. Lemen was a charter member of the NPPA. In 1952, after a distinguished career as a news photographer at the Rocky Mountain News, Pittsburgh Press, and Buffalo Times, he established the photo press markets division of the Eastman Kodak Co. and served as the firm's liaison with news photographers.

NPPA president Mark Dolan will present President’s Awards to Mark E. Johnson, Kyle Grantham, and Steve Sweitzer.

Johnson was instrumental in the process of getting NPPA to move from its headquarters in Durham, NC, into the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia in Athens, where he teaches photojournalism, multimedia, and video journalism courses. Within the last year, Johnson took the lead to organize NPPA’s First Amendment event at UGA and led an Ethics roundtable at NPPA’s Northern Short Course, Dolan said.

Grantham is being recognized for his efforts reorganizing NPPA’s 11 geographical Regions into the new Regional structure which was launched January 1, and for his work on bringing NPPA’s clip contests up to date, Dolan said.

Sweitzer, a former NPPA president, is being honored for his long-time volunteer efforts leading the organization’s annual Advanced Storytelling Workshop, for his service on the board of directors of the National Press Photographers Foundation, and for his commitment to continue to serve the greater photojournalism community, Dolan said. 

NPPA Special Citations will be awarded to Seth Gitner of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University; to Tim Tai, a documentary photojournalist and a University of Missouri student; to television photojournalist Anne Herbst of KUSA-TV; and to Jeffrey S. Kent, director of the U.S. Senate Press Photographers’ gallery. 

WDBJ7-TV photojournalist Adam Ward, 27, and reporter Alison Parker, 24, will posthumously receive NPPA’s Legion of Honor Award. They were shot and killed by a former station employee on August 26, 2015 in Moneta, VA, while live on the air doing a location report for the CBS affiliate’s morning news broadcast. The Legion of Honor Award was created to honor and eternalize the memory of visual journalists who have given their lives while performing their duties.