NPPA members can enter the Best of Photojournalism competition for no charge; non-members can enter for a small fee.

Best of Photojournalism launches 2019 competition with new home, submission system and sponsor

The National Press Photographer Association, headquartered at Grady College, has launched its 2019 Best of Photojournalism Contest (BOP) featuring a new home at the University of Georgia, a new electronic submission system and a new sponsor, Sony Electronics.

The competition is open for entries through Jan. 31, 2019.

The new entry submission and judging system are in place to streamline the entry experience, thanks to BOP’s new host institution at Grady College. The system will also give contest administrators and judges more immediate access to entries after the deadline. The BOP Committee has reviewed all of the categories, updating them to better reflect trends in the industry, providing more opportunities for those in small markets and those new to the profession.

Mark E. Johnson who oversees the photojournalism curriculum at Grady College has worked with William Snyder, chair of the BOP Committee, to ensure a smooth transition with this year’s competition.

“We’ve been working with William and the rest of the NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism Committee for several months on building out this new submission system, one that gives us a lot of information about how entries are coming in,” Johnson said. “The college already had expertise in online submissions systems from the Peabody Awards and their staff has been a great help in getting this platform up and running.”

Each entrant may have up to 20 submissions spread across any combination of categories and divisions – Still Photojournalism, Picture Editing, Online Video, Presentation and Innovation, Video Photojournalism and/or Video Editing.

“BOP’s purpose is to celebrate and elevate the very best visual journalism in the world. These technological improvements to our contest and this sponsor support will make this a really valuable and exciting experience for entrants,” NPPA president Michael P. King said. “I’m ecstatic that Sony has chosen to support NPPA and the stunning journalism our members and entrants create on a daily basis.”

Sony Electronics, manufacturer of the Alpha series of mirrorless cameras, is a Platinum Level sponsor of BOP 2019. With this support, NPPA is offering significant cash and camera prizes to top portfolio winners, and Tiffany crystal awards for winning newsrooms. Sony Alpha cameras will be awarded to the top still photography portfolios as well as the Sony Best of Show-Video winner, and the Best of Show-Stills winner. Cash prizes range from $500 to $1,000.

First round remote judging will take place in February. Final round judging for the Still Photojournalism, Picture Editing and Online Video, Presentation and Innovation disciplines will take place at Grady College between Feb. 28 and March 5. Final round judging for the Video Photojournalism and Video Editing disciplines will take place between March 16 and March 20.

The 2019 NPPA Video Awards will be held in conjunction with the West Coast Workshop in early June in San Diego.

The NPPA offices moved to Grady College in 2015. The move of the BOP Competition to Grady College was announced in January 2018.

“When the NPPA moved to Grady four years ago, our intent was to support their core mission of educating visual journalists,” Johnson continued. “A competition may not seem like an educational program, but what will happen afterwards fits perfectly into what Grady does. Our students will analyze winning entries, talk with the journalists who created them, talk with their editors and reach out to those who were impacted by the stories. They will then produce case studies so other journalists can learn from this work and improve their own journalism efforts.”

One of the benefits of moving the competition to UGA is that all new entries for the contest will be housed at the UGA Special Collections Libraries archives for future reference and educational programs.

More details about entering the 2019 BOP competition can be found on the NPPA website.

Date: January 7, 2019

Editor:  Sarah Freeman,