In 2019, the National Press Photographers Association’s (NPPA) the Best of Photojournalism (BOP) contests will be held in its new home at the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication in Athens, Georgia. Every year, BOP attracts the most talented professionals in four divisions - still photography, video, online visual journalism, and editing - collectively consisting of nearly 100 categories.
The contests remain administered by the NPPA, and a new contest committee is at the helm. William Snyder, professor and director of the photojournalism program at the Rochester Institute of Technology, chairs the committee.
The BOP committee’s first priority was to review and change some of the categories to improve the contest and better reflect the rapidly changing industry.
“This year’s entrants will immediately notice changes when they explore the Online Visual Journalism division,” Snyder said. “More and more content is moving online and the term Multimedia no longer fit.”
Call for entries for the 2019 contest will be open January 3 - 31. Additional information will be available soon.
In addition to online video categories, there will be online presentation categories, as well as categories for social media, docu-series, video editing and a category for innovative visual journalism that can include virtual reality, 360º video and other immersive story forms.
A new still portfolio category - Emerging Vision - will recognize young photojournalists who have been professionals for three (3) years or less. Independent photojournalists are strongly encouraged to enter this category as well as newspaper, wire service or magazine staff members.
The Photographer of the Year category will be open to everyone, regardless of who they work for, circulation size, or years in the industry, while the Photographer of the Year (Small market newspaper) category will be for those who work for newspapers with circulations under 65,000, regardless of experience level.
ENTRY FEE FOR NON-MEMBERS
Those who are NPPA members in good standing on the contest entry deadline – midnight Eastern Time, January 31, 2019 – will be able to enter the contest for free. Those who are not NPPA members may enter for a $75 fee. All team category entries will require at least one team member to be an NPPA member in good standing, or one team member must pay the entry fee.
MEMBERSHIP DISCOUNT OFFERED
From December 15, 2018 through January 2, 2019, NPPA is running a promotion with the professional membership fee reduced to $125 for new or renewing members.
In addition, Canon will be offering a 20% discount on their Canon Professional Services annual fee to all NPPA members in good standing.
“With this stellar magazine, unparalleled press freedom advocacy, and now this premier contest, it is clear that you simply get more by being an NPPA member,” NPPA President Michael P. King said. “There is no better way to be a visual journalist and be connected in the industry.”
The BOP’s new host institution is hard at work preparing for the contests’ arrival in Athens.
"As the headquarters of the NPPA, Grady College and the University of Georgia are thrilled to be the hosts of the Best of Photojournalism Contest,” Charles Davis, Dean of Grady College said. “It's a signal honor, and one we are taking very seriously, as we look for new ways to engage the public and our students on the best of visual journalism. In the years ahead, we'll work to increase the stature and visibility of the awards even more.”
UGA Senior Lecturer, Mark Johnson, directs UGA’s support of the BOP contests. He is responsible for building the new entry system, coordinating operations and logistics during the judging, and ensuring the entries will be archived.
“We are firmly committed to the idea that the Best of Photojournalism competition needs to go beyond the recognition of the importance of the work visual journalists around the world do,” Johnson said. “The shared educational mission of the NPPA and the University of Georgia gives us a platform from which to analyze the best work produced each year and help other journalists and journalism students learn both how it was done and how it impacts communities.”
The individual division coordinators are Bettina Hansen of The Seattle Times, Online Visual Journalism; Kyndell Harkness of The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Picture Editing Division; Kevin Martin of The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Still Images Division; and Merry Murray, of KSNW, Wichita, Kansas, Video Division.
“This is a top-notch team,” King said. “They have a clear vision for improving the Best of Photojournalism contests. They know they are custodians of a legacy created and maintained by their predecessors, and they are committed to ensuring that BOP grows into the prominent celebration of visual journalism that it was always meant to be.”