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COLUMBIA, Mo.—Winners of the 63rd Annual Pictures of the Year International (POYi) Competition, one of the world's largest and most prestigious photojournalism contests, were announced by the Missouri School of Journalism.

Judges viewed more than 39,000 images submitted by more than 1718 newspaper and magazine photographers and editors from 400 publications from 45 countries. Awards were given in 46 distinct categories by a panel of 12 of the world's leading photographers and editors, who made the winning selections during 19 days of judging from Feb. 19 through March 8 on the MU campus.

Barbara Davidson of the Dallas Morning Newswas named Newspaper Photographer of the Year (NPOY), the competition's top award in the newspaper division. Davidson's competition portfolio included a body of work from the Tsunami aftermath, the funeral of Pope John Paul II, Nigerian faith healers and the New Orleans Ninth Ward. The judges were impressed with the photographer's sense of intimacy with her subjects and strong storytelling. Todd Heisler, a staff photographer with the Rocky Mountain News, received second place NPOY. His portfolio contained several stories and iconic single images about U.S. military personnel killed in Iraq being returned to the U.S. Michael Macor, a staff photographer at the San Francisco Chronicle and last year's portfolio winner in POYi received third place NPOY.

Tamas Dezso a Hungarian freelance photographer, was named Magazine Photographer of the Year (MPOY). His winning portfolio includes stories about changes in Europe, including "A Decade After" which examines the nationalistic states created from the dissolution of Yugoslavia, "Romania- on Europe's Eastern Edge" and a new member of the European Union, and stories on a Hungarian village, "Totkomlos" and another on a section of Budapest, "District 8". Two other European freelance photographers, Marcus Bleasdale and Massimo Mastrorillo won second and third place portfolios, respectively. Bleasdale last year was the POYi magazine photographer of the year.

Roger Lemoyne, with the photo agency Redux and working on a project supported by the Alexia Foundation, won the World Understanding Award for an essay on the "Democratic Republic of Congo", covering, as Lemoyne writes, "the conflict in Eastern Congo and the UN led effort to bring peace." The POYi jurors were so impressed with the quality of entries this year, that three other documentary projects were awarded Judges' Special Recognition. These include: David Gillanders' "Homeless Children of Ukraine", Washington Post staff photographer Carol Guzy's project on Rwandan amputee refugees living in Washington, D.C., "Wounded Messengers," and The San Francisco Chronicle's Brant Ward project on homeless, "No Place for a Lady."

The Community Awareness Award went to Brenda Ann Kenneally. Her essay, "Upstate Girls" portrays the struggle of young women in an economically troubled Troy, N.Y. A Judges Special Recognition award went to an essay on the city of Flint, MI, by Steve Jessmore called, "Sense of Community." As Jessmore notes, "While statistics and public opinion are stacked against Flint, many of its people haven't given up hope."

Brenda Ann Kenneally also won Best Photography Book with Money Power Respect; Pictures of My Neighborhood. Roger Lemoyne, who also won the World Understanding Award, placed second in the book division with Détails Obscura - Photographies 1995-2003. Third place went to Vietnam at Peace, by Philip Jones Griffiths.

The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, LA, won the Angus McDougall Overall Excellence in Editing Award, in recognition of the newspaper's consistently high level of work in picture editing and presentation. POYi Judge Denis Finley, editor of the Virginian-Pilot, said, "They worked under trying circumstances, horrific at best, while the rest of the community was evacuated."

The Los Angeles Times won Best Use of Photographs by a Newspaper (over 100,000 circulation) for the second time in three years. Second Place in best use went to The San Jose Mercury News, third Place to the The San Francisco Chronicle, and awards of excellence to The New York Times and The Toronto Star. The New York Times Magazine placed first place in the Best Use of Photographs by a Magazine category, followed by National Geographic Magazine and TIME Asia and DOUBLEtruck.

The Evansville (IN) Courier & Press won first place in the Best Use of Photographs by a Newspaper under 100,000 and The Concord Monitor won second place. Third place went to the The Naples Daily News, and an award of excellence to The Albuquerque Tribune

The public is invited to choose their single Best Picture of the Year Award from the single picture category first-place winners in this year's POYi. Nominees will be posted on the Internet at www.msnbc.com where online voters can cast their ballots.

These and other winners will be honored during the annual POYi awards ceremonies and education programs, April 21. Hosted by the Missouri School of Journalism, events during the day on Friday will be held at Jesse Wrench Auditorium of Memorial Union on the MU campus. There will be an evening Gala Reception and Silent Print Auction to benefit the POYi Endowment at the Reynolds Alumni Center.

For further information about POYi and to view the winning photographs, visit the POYi web site at www.poyi.org.

David Rees, Associate Professor
Co-Director Missouri Photo Workshop
Director Pictures of the Year International
Missouri School of Journalism
106 Lee Hills Hall
Columbia, MO 65211


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