2021 NPPA Best of Photojournalism Prizes and Awards

Photojournalists bear witness to history on a daily basis. They stand on the sidewalks and sit in the living rooms of neighborhoods internationally with a shared mission to inform the public. Through well-researched stories and the documentation of life events, audiences rely on these journalists to ethically inform them of what is happening in their communities and to give an understanding to why specific moments in time should matter to us all.

The Best of Photojournalism recognizes the ways in which this type of photography is produced and it proudly honors the journalists who do it. It also recognizes all of the steps it takes to execute compelling still and video imagery in the modern news era.

The competition is divided into five primary divisions, each with content-driven categories. The Still Photojournalism division recognizes the work of photojournalists who tell stories either with single imagery or through the use of multiple image photo stories. The Picture Editing division recognizes the editors who hone the subject approach, sequence and help display works while ensuring that audiences can access and process what is being shown.

The Online Video, Presentation, and Innovation division recognizes individuals and teams that excel in promoting online visual journalism through web sites, galleries, multimedia presentations, and other digital delivery means.

The Video Photojournalism division recognizes the work of visual journalists who work primarily in broadcast environments. The Video Editing division recognizes the unique role that editors play in the production of video narratives.

Across these five divisions, there are nearly 100 categories entrants can participate in, ranging from breaking news and sports to the unique challenges of presidential election cycles and current cultural events. The final mediums – be it print, digital, or broadcast – are all recognized equally.

Judging is handled in two rounds after the closure of submissions. During the first round, more than 100 judges will work through all of the categories and perform an initial assessment – scoring each entry on a scale from one to ten. Every entry will have experts from a relevant field examine the work and the resulting scores will subsequently be averaged.

At the conclusion of the first round, separate panels of final judges, composed of varied information industry experts, will convene to discuss and rank the entries with the highest averaged scores. They will assess everything from the technical merits and aesthetics to the intended potential for impact on the local or international community.

At the end of this finalization process, the NPPA will announce what is the Best of Photojournalism – visual journalism that educates and illuminates.

The competition is supported through a partnership with the University of Georgia’s College of Journalism and Mass Communication and presented by Sony as its primary sponsor.

Sony Alpha Series Camera, $500 and Plaque

  • Ernie Crisp Photographer of the Year
  • Cliff Edom’s ‘New America Award”
  • Photojournalist of the Year (Stills)
  • Magazine Photojournalist of the Year (Stills)
  • Photojournalist of the Year (Stills) – Small markets – less than 50k circ.
  • Emerging Vision (less than 2 years experience)

Sony Alpha Series Camera and Plaque

  • Sony Best of Show – Stills (chosen from all the still winners)
  • Sony Best of Show Video Award (chosen from all the video winners)

$750 and Plaque

  • (Video) Editor of the Year – Editors or Photographers
  • Magazine Picture Editor of the Year
  • Newspaper Picture Editor of the Year Small Market
  • Newspaper Picture Editor of the Year Large Market
  • Online Video Editing
  • Online Video Storytelling Portfolio – Individual
  • Online Video Storytelling Documentary – Individual

Engraved Tiffany Crystals

  • NPPA Photojournalism Award for Reporting
  • Station of The Year – Large
  • Station of The Year – Medium
  • Station of The Year – Small
  • Magazine Picture Editing – Team
  • Newspaper Team Picture Edit (small)
  • Newspaper Team Picture Edit (large)
  • Online Video Storytelling – Documentary – Small Team
  • Online Video Storytelling – Documentary – Large Team
  • Online Video Storytelling – Portfolio – Small Team
  • Online Video Storytelling – Portfolio – Large Team
  • Online Visual Presentation Portfolio – Small Team
  • Online Visual Presentation Portfolio – Large Team

All First Place category winners will receive a plaque.

Second Place through Honorable Mention winners will receive certificates.