By Eleanor Sheahan, MUTV-23 News reporter


On Feb. 16, judges began critiquing the longest annual photojournalism contest, Pictures of the Year (POY). For the next several weeks moderates will review hundreds of images and photo projects. On March 7 the voting will conclude and the constants will have the resulting they have been waiting for. 

In 1944 at the Missouri School of Journalism, Cliff Edom founded the “First Annual Fifty-Print Exhibition” which is now called “Pictures of the Year.” This competition is an educational opportunity for students to be able to produce news through the power of photos. 

A photojournalist student at the Missouri School of Journalism, Zian Trober, explains that “photojournalism allows us as photographers to share a more connected and emotional story rather towards the viewers, rather than just reading it.” 

The POY works to analyze and evaluate the work of photojournalism across the world and award those who have successfully captured powerful stories through their camera lens. The 2021 POY contest marks the 78th annual competition. 

Contestants had the chance to register and submit work from Monday, Dec. 14, 2020 up until Monday, Jan. 25, 2021. Approximately 30 judges are assembling virtually to critique and review hundreds of images. All judges are professional journalists who are required to be as fair and impartial as they can be. The 2021 panel includes Pulitzer Prize-winning documentary photographers Deanne Fitzmaurice and Preston Gannaway as well as many other successful photographers. 

This year, the competition is separated into four main sections: sports, news, reportage and team. Within these four divisions, there are approximately 35 different categories that are relevant to this past year. These topics range from protests and movements to COVID-19 and the election. 

Everyone is welcome to spectate the ongoing judging up until March 7. Use this link to access the Virtual Zoom session. For more information regarding the Pictures of the Year competition, refer to this site


Edited by Rachel Henderson

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