NPPA ‘Best of Photojournalism’ competition hosts live webcasts of judging

‘Best of Photojournalism’ will announce winners of 12 categories during live broadcast March 5 at 6 p.m.

The National Press Photographers Association headquartered at Grady College is hosting live webcasts of its ‘Best of Photojournalism’ judging now through March 4.

The feed can be viewed on the two NPPA YouTube channels: Room 1 and Room 2.  Both feature images of the photos being evaluated and conversations by judges in print, online and picture editing categories which include features, politics, environment, breaking news, portraits and others. A full schedule of the categories being judged and when can be found on the NPPA webcasting webpage.

Sara Bertolini, a Grady College journalism student, assists with the live webcast of the NPPA “Best of Photojournalism” judging. (Photo: Sarah E. Freeman)

A total of 26 judges will work to evaluate the merits of 8,810 entries in still and video categories.

A live broadcast announcing the winners of the still and online competition categories will be broadcast by Grady Newsource on March 5 at 6 p.m. In addition to the winners, the broadcast will feature interviews with several people associated with the competition. The awards announcement can be viewed live through the Grady Newsource Facebook page and on Charter Cable 15.

Nearly 30 volunteers are helping with the judging and include several Grady College photojournalism alumni, Grady students who are taking photojournalism classes and are members of the NPPA student chapter at UGA and four students from collegiate photojournalism programs at Howard University (Washington, D.C.), Syracuse University (New York), Rochester Institute of Technology (New York) and Madison College (Wisconsin). Grady College sponsored the four out-of-state students to travel to Athens, Georgia, as an outreach to other photojournalism program.

“I feel like I am getting a semester’s worth of learning in just a few days,” said Emily Dimond, a photojournalism student form Madison College.

For Danielle Devries, a photojournalism student at Rochester Institute of Technology, accepting the offer to volunteer was an opportunity to get to know the mindset of what professional photographers look for in award-winning work and also to make connections.

“It’s comforting to be in an environment where everyone understands the industry,” Devries added.

While the still images are being judged now, the broadcast video editing and video photojournalism categories will be judged March 16-20.

This is the first year that Grady College has hosted the “Best of Photojournalism” competition. Entries from this year’s competitions and future competitions will be housed at the Richard B. Russell Special Collections Library.

Follow the NPPA Twitter Account, @nppa, #NPPABOP, for category winners.

Best of Photojournalism Competition moves to UGA and Grady College

The National Press Photographers Association has announced a new partnership with the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication to promote, organize and archive the annual Best of Photojournalism Competition.

The contest’s 100 categories span still, video, multimedia and editing disciplines and draw entries from around the world. The 2019 competition will mark the first time in more than five decades that all disciplines are housed together.

The decision follows a year-long, competitive process the NPPA began in 2017. The partnership will allow all entries from the Best of Photojournalism Competition to be permanently archived at the University of Georgia’s Special Collections Libraries, and Grady College will develop case studies based on the winning entries for the benefit of classrooms, newsrooms and independent journalists to help them improve their own storytelling.

“Grady College welcomes the Best of Photojournalism contest, which for us signifies the strengthening of a relationship that began with the relocation of the National Press Photographers Association to the college in 2015,” said Grady College Dean Charles Davis. “This agreement strengthens our shared educational mission and provides the contest with a most important archival home.”

“Over the past year, NPPA’s Board of Directors has given a great deal of consideration in evaluating all of its options for a home to its flagship contests,” said newly-elected NPPA President Michael P. King. “We are excited about this next chapter in our contests’ history and look forward to growing our partnership with the University of Georgia.”

The University of Georgia will spend much of 2018 working with the NPPA to develop a new contest entry system and updating entry rules and procedures in advance of the opening of the 2019 contest.

The National Press Photographers Association is dedicated to the advancement of visual journalism – its creation, practice, training, editing and distribution – in all news media.  For more than seven decades, NPPA has supported visual journalists through advocacy, workshops, certifications and competitions to equip its members and prepare the emerging generation of visual journalists in the face of an ever-changing media landscape.  NPPA has continuously published News Photographer magazine since 1946, and it is considered to be the authoritative source on news, issues, trends and information about visual journalism. Affiliated with the NPPA is the National Press Photographers Foundation Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, charged with advancing press photography through education and awarding scholarships and fellowships to deserving students who have demonstrated ability or promise in the field of photojournalism.  For more information, see or follow @NPPA on Twitter.

Cox Institute and NPPA spearhead resource effort for independent journalists

Training Initiative Includes Assistance from UGA SBDC and Atlanta Press Club

A working group called the Independent Journalists Resource Coalition (IJRC) was launched today at the University of Georgia as part of an effort to bring new training and support to a growing number of journalists who work independently.

The James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and the National Press Photographers Association, also headquartered at Grady, are spearheading the initiative, which plans to build an online clearinghouse of training and support services and offer in-person training for journalists working as freelancers and contractors.

“Now more than ever, Americans need to get their news from a variety of places with a variety of voices — but as newsrooms shrink, the number of voices is dwindling, fast. It’s an existential threat to our democracy,” said Bob Sullivan, an award-winning independent journalist who is leading the IJRC initiative as a member of the Cox Institute’s advisory board. “In this chaotic environment, independent journalists can be an essential part of the solution, but we must find a way to provide them with the tools and protections afforded reporters at large media organizations.”

The IRJC will leverage existing training platforms including the NPPA’s Business Practices Resources, which features tools such as the Cost of Doing Business Calculator.

“Visual Journalism is changing rapidly — from technology to business practices — and if you want to compete and succeed today you need to stay educated, informed and current,” said NPPA President Melissa Lyttle, an independent photojournalist. “This has the potential to be a huge resource, and furthermore shows the NPPA’s continued commitment to helping independent visual journalists.”

The IJRC also plans to partner with the Small Business Development Center, a unit of UGA Public Service and Outreach, and will work directly with Area Director Laura Katz to craft business training programs specific to the needs of independent journalists. The IJRC will work with the Atlanta Press Club to test initial training and gain feedback from its independent members prior to a broader program launch.

Freelance and contract journalists face a myriad of issues in the content marketplace including negotiating fair compensation, acquiring legal aid and finding affordable technology services.  Operating as an independent journalist essentially means running a small business, but many journalists don’t have the background and skills necessary to thrive in that environment.  The IRJC intends to work with this community of journalists to identify their most pressing needs and find ways to address them through training and other service offerings.

The initial work of the IRJC is supported through a donation from Adam Levin, a New York-based consumer advocate and author. Organizations interested in joining or supporting the IRJC are encouraged to contact Keith Herndon, director of the Cox Institute, at

About the Grady College

Grady College offers undergraduate degrees in advertising, entertainment and media studies, journalism and public relations, along with certificates in new media, public affairs communications and sports communication. Grady also offers three graduate degrees; a master’s and doctoral program of study plus a Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts in Narrative Media Writing. Grady offers a Graduate Certificate in Media Industry Research for students enrolled in a graduate program at the college. Accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, Grady is a leader in journalism research and education. The College is home to several prominent centers and institutes, including the Peabody Awards, recognized as the most prestigious award in electronic journalism, and the National Press Photographers Association. Grady’s faculty includes internationally known researchers and respected industry professionals. Alumni include Pulitzer Prize winning journalists, Emmy Award winning producers and reporters and company CEOs.

About the Cox Institute

The James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership at the Grady College prepares students and professionals for leadership roles in the news media. By sponsoring intensive training programs and funding applied research, the Cox Institute is at the forefront of addressing the strategic challenges faced by contemporary news organizations.  The Cox Institute was established in 1990 by the late Conrad Fink, a legendary journalism professor in the Grady College. It is named for the late James M. Cox Jr., who headed Cox Enterprises and Cox Broadcasting Corporation from 1957 until 1974.

About the NPPA

For more than 70 years, the National Press Photographers Association has focused on education and advocacy for visual journalists. The NPPA vigorously promotes freedom of the press in all its forms, working to protect the First Amendment, as well as visual journalists’ rights to earn a living from their work. Through regional and national education events, the NPPA pushes forward the values enshrined in its Code of Ethics and helps prepare staff and independent visual journalists to succeed in challenging environments. The NPPA recognizes the best work in photojournalism through its annual Best of Photojournalism competition, along with monthly clip contests for multimedia and still photojournalism and quarterly contests for television, picture editing and student work. NPPA is the voice for visual journalists.

About the UGA Small Business Development Center

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides tools, training and resources to help small businesses grow and succeed. Designated as one of Georgia’s top providers of small business assistance, the SBDC has 17 offices ranging from Rome to Valdosta to serve the needs of Georgia’s business community. Since 1977, our network of partners has helped construct a statewide ecosystem to foster the spirit, support, and success of hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs and innovators. The SBDC, a Public Service and Outreach Extension of UGA, is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs.

About the Atlanta Press Club

The Atlanta Press Club has grown to become one of the largest and most dynamic professional journalism associations in the country. Our membership encompasses Atlanta’s burgeoning media community — print, broadcast and online, big and small, national and local media outlets. Over half of our 500-plus members are working journalists. The balance is public relations professionals, educators, retirees and students. Its mission is to serve the evolving professional, educational and social needs of our media community, foster journalistic excellence and advance the public’s interest in and understanding of a free press.

Grady College to host Drone Summit 2017

Grady College is joining CNN Aerial Imagery & Reporting (CNN Air), Turner Entertainment, the National Press Photographers Association and the New Media Institute to host the first Drone Summit October 20-21, 2017. The event will take place at Grady College.

The Drone Summit will gather the leading practitioners, manufacturers, technologists and educators involved with the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) industry for a two-day program. The event will begin with a Drone Filmfest—a pilot-submitted collection of drone footage—and will also feature panel discussions, best practice forums for using drones in media and entertainment applications and networking.

“Drones are an increasingly important part of the media landscape, be it journalism, film, public relations or advertising,” said Charles N. Davis, dean of Grady College. “We want to bring the industry together, get to know as many of the players as possible and build ties between them and our students.”

CNN, a leader in integrating UAS technology into its newsgathering operations, was selected by the FAA as one of the first three industry “Pathfinders” to develop safe uses in newsgathering. CNN has shared data and research that have helped formulate a framework for various types of UAS to be safely integrated into the national air space, and they continue to work to expand the safe and legal operation of UAS in newsgathering.

“Drones can be an invaluable addition to the journalist’s toolkit, allowing us to create unique and powerful imagery, to be more creative in our storytelling and more importantly, to add context and understanding for all of our viewers and users,” said Greg Agvent, senior director of CNN Air. “As a new and nascent industry, we’re making headway on the opportunities that are before us, on the regulations that impede us, and on the technology that will enable us, but continued collaboration and the exchange of ideas and information are necessary to stay on that upward trajectory.”

Grady College was also the first site for the Drone School for Journalists in March 2017.

For more information on this exciting new event, sign up for updates at

Drone Summit

Grady College is joining CNN Aerial Imagery & Reporting (CNN Air), Turner Entertainment, the National Press Photographers Association and the New Media Institute to host the first Drone Summit October 20-21, 2017. The event will take place at Grady College.

The Drone Summit will gather the leading practitioners, manufacturers, technologists and educators involved with the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) industry for a two-day program. The event will begin with a Drone Filmfest—a pilot-submitted collection of drone footage—and will also feature panel discussions, best practice forums for using drones in media and entertainment applications and networking.

Training initiative on drone journalism hosts first workshop at Grady College

Grady College has been selected to be the first site for an innovative new drone journalism program sponsored by The Poynter Institute, Google News Lab, Drone Journalism Lab at the University of Nebraska, National Press Photographers Association and DJI.

The hands-on workshop and online teaching will train journalists in using drones, or unmanned aerial systems, for their news coverage. The Grady College workshop is scheduled for March 17-19.

The workshops will offer training on safe drone operations as well as information that drone pilots need to study for the Federal Aviation Administration’s new Part 107 Drone Pilot’s Certificate. In addition, the three-day workshops will focus on the legal and ethical issues of drone journalism, community best practices and coordinated operations in a breaking news environment, as well as explore ways drone photography can be used in innovative storytelling.

As a certified drone pilot myself, I know how difficult the exam can be for people who have no other pilot training,” said The Poynter Institute’s Al Tompkins, who is organizing the workshops. “Our goal is not to make you ‘test-ready’ but to show you what will be on the exam and to give you the fundamental knowledge you will need to study for the test.”

“We’re dedicated to supporting journalists’ experimentation with new technology,” said Erica Anderson of Google News Lab. “Drones present an opportunity for journalists to tell stories in visually rich and immersive ways, but there are still many open questions on how to apply them safely, ethically and creatively for news reporting. We couldn’t be more pleased to partner with The Poynter Institute on the drone journalism program to help tackle these challenges.”

Additional online training will be available later this year via Poynter’s e-learning platform, News University.

Drones are purpose-built context machines. They can, in less time and at vastly reduced costs, give a viewer an understanding of the scale and scope of a story unlike anything else journalists have in the toolbox,” said the Drone Journalism Lab’s Matt Waite, who has become a leading voice for drone journalism. “Just getting a drone straight up 100 feet in the air has the power to change our understanding of how big, how far, how wide, how massive something is. And it can be done safely and for very little cost.”

The workshops also will include NPPA’s legal counsel Mickey H. Osterreicher, who has worked for years speaking on behalf of journalists as the federal government drafted regulations for where and when drone journalists could fly.

“NPPA has been at the forefront in advocating for the use of drones for newsgathering. With that opportunity comes an inherent role of operating them in a legal, safe and responsible manner,” Osterreicher said.  The legal landscape is especially complex because state and local governments increasingly are imposing their own restrictions on drone flights.

NPPA headquarters are at Grady College.

The program also will feature hands-on introductory flight training sponsored by DJI, the global leader in drone technology and 2016 winner of NPPA’s Lemen award for technology innovation in photojournalism.  “We are thrilled to join with Poynter to empower journalists with state-of-the-art technology that inspires innovative storytelling,” said DJI policy lead Jon Resnick.

In addition to the March workshop at Grady College, three other universities are serving as hosts and partners for these workshops: Syracuse University Newhouse School of Public Communications, April 21-23; University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication, June 16-18; and the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication in Portland, Aug. 18-20.

In addition, the Google News Lab will support a limited number of travel scholarships for members of the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Asian American Journalists Association, Native American Journalists Association and NLGJA, the Association of LGBTQ journalists.

Participation at each hands-on workshop will be limited to the first 60 people to register. Workshop details are available at