NPPA Revamps Contest, 'National Geographic' Withdraws

Posted on 1/3/2008 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

The National Press Photographers Association has opened The Best of Photojournalism 2008 for entries. This year, the contest runs with a new set of rules, designed to sharpen competition, highlight new stories and reflect the changing face of photojournalism.

Major changes have been made in still photography and Web site categories.

Several still entry categories have been eliminated, merged or added. Particularly notable are three additions. The new "Road to Office" category will document the presidential race, and nontraditional independent photojournalism publishers will now compete in another new category. "Investigative Issue Picture Story" will house watchdog reporting and in-depth documentary pieces.

In the Web site categories, bloggers will now compete against other independent sites, instead of a blog-only arena. In addition, a new category has been created for Web video, separating it from video news photography with a new set of judging criteria.

NPPA unites over 10,000 photographers, editors, students and others working in the photojournalism industry. Its BOP contest is very popular, attracting over 55,000 stills, 1,500 Web sites and 900 videos from some 50 countries in 2007. But it is not without controversy.

In December, National Geographic withdrew its support in favor of the University of Missouri School of Journalism's Pictures of the Year International. Though National Geographic will remain a member and supporter of NPPA as an organization, the magazine will no longer enter or support BOP. But it will not prevent its contributing photographers from individually entering the contest.

National Geographic editors, who believe the two contests are redundant, have urged NPPA and MU to reintegrate them into the single Picture of the Year competition that ran from 1958 through 2002. Due to what appears to be a disagreement over the contest's costs and entry fees, NPPA and MU have remained separate since then.

The dissolution of the relationship, the photojournalism community's reaction and National Geographic's involvement are documented in a News Photographer article.

The 2008 BOP entry period ends Feb. 1.

Copyright © 2008 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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