2024 Best of Photojournalism Competition

For more than 75 years, the members of the National Press Photographers Association have worked tirelessly for the benefit of photojournalists by utilizing a range of advocacy and educational programs. Through our annual Best of Photojournalism competition, we proudly recognize the work of visual storytellers around the world.

The 2024 National Press Photographers Association Best of Photojournalism competition is now open for entries.

Submissions are handled via the Picter platform. Please read through the rules, division and category descriptions before beginning your submissions. Reach out to use at [email protected] if you have any questions.

 

 

Rule Update – posted January 17, 2024

This November, in an unprecedented move for major journalism competitions, the NPPA posted provisional rules for the Best of Photojournalism contest. For several weeks, these were available online while we actively solicited and received feedback from members. Some of this feedback was incorporated, all of it was discussed. 

 

For many years, the Still Photojournalism division did not require the publication of work for photographs to be entered, but all five of the other divisions did have this requirement. As part of a lengthy review of the contest, we decided to align Still Photojournalism with the other divisions. During our provisional period, we received only one comment expressing confusion or concern about how this would be enforced, and no strong pushback. Given this, we decided to finalize those rules with some clarifications. 

 

This contest spans six different divisions: Still Photojournalism, Video Photojournalism, Video Editing, Photo Editing, Documentary, and Online Video Presentation and Innovation. A big reason that we retool the rules on a yearly basis is to ensure that they accurately represent the industry.

Another, as directed by the NPPA executive committee, is to slowly bring all the divisions — which had been disparate contests — into general alignment. Is it fair to require publication for some entries but not all? And we considered the mechanics of running this contest, which relies on the unpaid volunteer labor of hundreds of your peers judging entries and running the technical and editorial components of the process. Given the rise of AI tools, and the thousands of entries we receive each year, is it feasible for volunteer judges to spot AI generated images and go through the flagging process to receive and view RAW photos for that many entries? Requiring publication also seemed like a small, albeit imperfect, way to cut down on ineligible entries and make running the contest a feasible task for a group of volunteers. This was not the main component of our decision, but it did affect that decision making. 

 

However, we have heard from many of you in the past few days expressing passionate opposition to the publication requirement, citing a variety of factors from equitable access to editors and publishing options to the role awards play in getting work published inside and outside of newsrooms. While we did not appreciate the tone of certain comments that made personal attacks on committee members, we did listen carefully to the frustrations and feedback that they expressed. We volunteer for this work to make rules that serve you, not to create ones that hamper you, and in this regard, we missed the mark.

 

We want to best serve our members, and the current rules aren’t doing that. So, we are revising the rules of this year’s contest, and extending the entry period to 11:59 p.m. PT on Wednesday, January 24. If you have already submitted your work, you will be able to reopen your entry to make changes.

 

Under these revised rules, work that was made and self-published between January 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023,  including work published on social media, is allowed to be submitted. Unpublished work is still not eligible.

 

We revise the contest yearly, and we are extending an earnest invitation to all the members who gave us passionate and well-argued feedback over the last few days to be an active part of rewriting these rules next year, with the goal of creating a more sustainable contest into the future. This revision discussion will be in addition to the provisional period for feedback on the full contest rules. 

 

This contest is for you, and that is what separates it from any other journalism awards. You are the members that run NPPA, the committee that shapes the rules, and the judges that volunteer to run the contest every year. We want you — NEED you — to have an active voice in shaping the contest. Thank you all for making your concerns known to us this year, and we look forward to working with you ahead of next contest season to make the contest better, bigger, and more equitable for all entrants.

 

About the Contest

The competition is split into six primary divisions: Still Photojournalism, Video Photojournalism, Picture Editing, Video Editing, Online Video Presentation & Innovation and Documentary.

The 2024 Best of Photojournalism contest judging will take place during the weekend of February 24th — 25th at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. All results will be posted on this site shortly thereafter, along with recordings of the judging process for each division.

The 2024 competition will begin accepting entries on December 18, 2023, and remain open through 11:59 p.m. ET on January 21, 2024 January 24, 2024. 

Entries for the 2024 Best of Photojournalism competition will be entered via an online portal. All entrants will be required to have a contest-site account regardless of whether they are an NPPA member or not. (Your NPPA login credentials will not work on the competition submission site.)

All entries must have been made (or, for story categories, initially published) between January 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023.

Category information for the six divisions is available at the top of each page. Please be sure to review the Visual Integrity, Technical Guidelines and Terms of Entry pages before you begin preparing your entries.

There are several changes to category rules for the 2024 competition. 

In Still Photojournalism, the Photojournalist of the Year categories have been redesigned based on feedback received over the last year. There are now three categories – International, National and Community. The spirit of this change is to more accurately reflect the bodies of work that photojournalists produce and the resources available to them. 

In the Picture Editing division, the Editor of the Year categories now mirror the Photojournalist of the Year structure. Again, this is to more accurately reflect the staffing and resources of publications.

In the Video Photojournalism division, the major change is in the Station of the Year category. Based on the number of entries over the last few years, the former Small and Medium market categories have been combined. 

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.

Questions about the competition can be sent to [email protected].