Pictures of the Year International selects judges who maintain the highest journalistic and ethical standards. We have confidence that these same values will apply as jurors for POYi. We recognize that our profession is a close network and that the judges are also working journalists. So, we carefully research and consider any potential conflicts and then counsel all the members about their obligations to be fair and impartial. Any judge with entries in a category are asked to recuse themselves. The entire three weeks of judging is an open forum for anyone to quietly observe the process. POYi conducts the annual competition with complete transparency and integrity.
POY81 JUDGES AND MODERATORS
Beatriz Terrazas, independent
John Kaplan, University of Florida
The’ Pham, Charlotte Observer
Sarah Miller, Idaho Satesman
Nuri Vallbona, University of Texas-Austin
Alyssa Pointer, Atlanta Independent
Ryan Garza, Boston-based Detroit Free Press
Carlos Osorio, independent
Dirk Shadd, Tampa Bay Times
Maureen Cavanagh, The New York Times
Barry Chin, Boston Globe
Lauren Lambert, independent
Pat Kane, independent
Neeta Satam, independent
Andrea Bruce, independent
Jim Urquart, independent
Natalia Jimenez, Washington Post
Vanessa Charlot, U. Mississippi
Meridith Kohut, independent
Pinar Istek, Chicago Tribune
Anita Baca, AP Mexico
David Guzman, Dallas Morning News
Joe Cavaretta, Sun Sentinel
Michael Hamtil, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Noreen Figueroa, Scholastic Books, AOL
Marcia Prouse, Independent
Bettina Hansen, Seattle Times
Evelio Contreras, CNN
Janet Jarman, Independent
Ryon Horne, AJC
Yoshi James, SF Chronicle
Beatriz Terrazas is a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer with an abiding belief in the power of story to change lives. She started her photojournalism career at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram where she covered everything from sports to features, from politics to breaking news. From there she went on to work at The Dallas Morning News where she was on a team of journalists who won the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for a global project about violence against women.
In 1998, she was awarded a Nieman Fellowship, and when she returned to the paper a year later, she laid her camera aside for a few years to take a feature writing job. During that stint, Terrazas won first place in the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, the Gold in the Society of American Travel Writers, and was a finalist in the James Beard Journalism Awards.
While she still takes the occasional photo or writing assignment, she currently works as a video and photography producer for the FirstNet Program at AT&T. FirstNet is the public safety broadband network mandated by the federal government based on the 9/11 Commission Report.
Terrazas helps first responders across the country tell the story of how their network helps with communications during daily and emergency responses. She also produces video stories about how roles in fire, EMS, law enforcement, and emergency communications affect first responders’ mental health, and about the programs that help them cope with these stressors. Her work can be seen on the FirstNet program’s YouTube channel and has been viewed by thousands of first responders in advertising campaigns, social media posts and at industry events across the country.
John Kaplan is one of America’s most accomplished narrative photographers, having been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography, POY Photo1grapher of the Year, the Overseas Press Club Award, two Robert F. Kennedy Awards, and the Nikon Documentary Sabbatical Grant.
Kaplan’s work is exhibited at museums and galleries worldwide including solo exhibitions in the United States, Peru, Bolivia and Korea as well as shows in China, the United Kingdom, France, Japan, Korea, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. He has twice been selected as a Pulitzer Prizes juror and Pictures of the Year juror.
His academic honors include being named a Fulbright Scholar, University of Florida International Educator of the Year and a UF Research Foundation Professor. He has also been named Teacher of the Year and Scholar of the Year by the UF College of Journalism and Communications.
In 2019, he was asked to join the distinguished Nobel Laureates Forum Lectureship series held in China, the first non-Nobel Prize winner invited.
Halfway through my engineering degree, I switched to journalism. My mother was furious and did not speak with me for a month. When my younger brother wanted to be a journalist, my mother told us: "One dreamer in the family is good enough!"
Growing up in a war-torn country, I've witnessed corruption, where human life is worth less than a loaf of bread. I have seen a world where fairness and justice did not exist. I pledged to make a difference. A few years later, I realized journalism is the key to my passion and way of life.
Day in and day out, visual journalists capture a moment in time, recording history through the lens, and act as eyewitnesses to our communities. From covering a 5-alarm fire, human rights protests or even a high school football game, our mission is to be objective, fair, and ethical.
Through the visual journalists' lens, we get a glimpse of a subject's inner thoughts and feelings as if we're there with them. Those images, in my belief, make a difference in our daily lives and impact all human races.
Years from now, when people look at these images, they will have a better understanding of how we live today, the issues we face, and how we come together as communities.
Sarah A. Miller is a visual journalist at The Idaho Statesman in Boise. In 2022, she was named the Idaho Photographer of the Year. Previously, she worked as a staff photojournalist for nearly nine years at the Tyler Morning Telegraph in Texas. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University in journalism with a minor in broadcast & cinematic arts.
After college, Sarah attended the Eddie Adams Workshop Barnstorm XXIII (2010), the Missouri Photo Workshop (2017), Mountain Workshop (2015), served as a speaker at the NPPA Women in Visual Journalism Conference (2017) and attended the winter 2020 cohort of the Poynter Leadership Academy for Women in Media.
While working at the Morning Telegraph in Texas, Sarah advocated for stronger community photo coverage, pitching her own stories on complex topics such as maternal health, Alzheimer’s disease, and intellectual disabilities. In 2018, she received the Barbara Jordan Media Award from the Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities. Sarah has many hobbies and loves spending time in the mountains, rockhounding in the desert and playing clarinet in a community band.
Nuri Vallbona, is a documentary photojournalist and writer who has focused most of her career on social justice stories. Her love for her Latina roots led her to become an active participant in the National Association of Hispanic journalists where she became one of 35 Hispanic photographers chosen by actor Edward James Olmos to document Latino life for the book, Americanos, which was featured in an exhibit at the Smithsonian.
The daughter of immigrants from Costa Rica and Spain, Nuri was born in Houston and majored in photojournalism at the University of Texas. She has worked for many Texas newspapers, including the Dallas Morning News, Houston Post and Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Her work often focused on stories throughout Latin America, including the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, a volcanic eruption in Colombia and immigration issues.
In 1993, she signed on with the Miami Herald. She chronicled the enslavement of farmworkers, teen violence, the jailing of the mentally ill and the effects of the housing crisis in South Florida.
Her work has been recognized by the National Press Photographers Association, the Associated Press Managing Editors, the Catholic Press and others. In 2000, Nuri was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography. This was followed by a Nieman fellowship at Harvard University.
More recently, her photographs have appeared in the Suffrage Now exhibit at the Elizabeth Ney museum and in the book, The One Ann Only, about former Texas governor Ann Richards.
Returning to Texas, Nuri began writing articles for the National Catholic Reporter’s Global Sisters Report and photographing assignments for Reuters. She began teaching at Texas Tech University and at the University of Texas at Austin, where she taught reporting as well as photojournalism courses.
Alyssa Pointer is an independent visual journalist based in Atlanta. She received her Bachelors of Arts in photojournalism and African American studies from Western Kentucky University. She worked as a staff photojournalist at the Atlanta Journal Constitution from 2017-2021.
Her photography has received recognition from Time Magazine’s Photos of the Year, the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar, Hearst Journalism Awards, The Atlanta Press Club, Bartlett and Steele Awards and the National Press Photographers Association Best of Photojournalism.
Alyssa is a member of the Women Photograph, Diversify.Photo, Authority Collective, the National Association of Press Photographers and The National Association of Black Journalists — Visual Task Force. She is on the board for the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar and NABJ VTF. She is the Southeast Regional Chair for the National Association of Press Photographers.
Ryan Garza is a multiple Emmy award-winning photojournalist covering news throughout the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan through photo and video. Garza, who was born and raised in the city of Flint, Michigan, worked for more than a decade as a staff photographer at The Flint Journal before joining the Detroit Free Press in 2012.
In 2017, his work “Don’t Forget About Flint” documenting the Flint Water Crisis and the effects it had on his hometown was chosen for a national Edward R. Murrow Award.
Although he has been a part of covering many big news stories in his state, he enjoys spending his time and effort finding moments in the daily lives of regular people. That work led him to being recognized by many state, regional and national awards including NPPA’s BOP and Missouri School of Journalism’s POYi. He was named Michigan Press Photographer of the Year in 2012 and in 2022.
Carlos Osorio is a Salvadoran-Canadian photographer with a background in newspapers, including working 13 years as a staff photojournalist at the Toronto Star.
He has reported on drug trade and the opioid crisis in North America, children fleeing violence in El Salvador, Syrian refugees resettling in Canada, polar bears in the subarctic and the ongoing struggles of Indigenous communities in Canada.
He is the recipient of numerous Canadian photojournalism awards, and was part of a Reuters team that was a finalist for the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in feature photography for work covering the climate crisis.
Carlos currently works as a freelance photographer in Canada.
Dirk Shadd is an award-winning photojournalist working at the Tampa Bay Times since 1998 where he takes daily assignments, projects and leads coverage of Tampa Bay Lighting hockey. He has documented four Stanley Cup Finals with the Lightning, and journeyed around the world as players took the Stanley Cup to their hometowns after their first championship in 2004. Shadd expanded his work in sports covering Super Bowls, World Series games, NCAA March Madness, beach volleyball, Grand Prix racing, sled hockey and senior citizen bingo (it is St. Petersburg, after all).
Some of his favorite and most challenging assignments include traveling to Honduras to document the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch, the fun of capturing red carpet moments at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles, and a visit to Pearl Harbor and Hawaii to document a softball exhibition game consisting of American war veterans versus a veteran team from Japan.
Shadd contributed to the Tampa Bay Times' prize-winning series, "Failure Factories," which received the Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting in 2016 and was a finalist for the Public Service category.
A graduate from Ohio University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in journalism and a specialization in creative writing and political science, Shadd enjoys work focused on people and communities. Shadd’s other interests include swimming, biking, running, traveling, and rehabbing old houses (but not all at the same time).
Maureen Cavanagh is a long time photo editor currently working at The New York Times. She was the Creative Director of The Players’ Tribune and former Deputy photo editor at Sports Illustrated Magazine. Cavanagh has been a Producer at the Eddie Adams Workshop and runs the ‘Women in Sports Photography’ mentorship program & instagram account. She serves as a Board Member of the Doug Pensinger Photography Fund which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing career development opportunities to young photographers. Cavanagh has a Bachelor’s degree in photojournalism from Newhouse at Syracuse University and a Master’s degree in Journalism from Columbia University, Graduate School of Journalism. She currently lives in Fairfield, CT. along with her husband and 4 children.
Barry Chin has worked as a staff photojournalist at the Boston Globe since 1987 and was a member of the Boston Globe newsroom staff that won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting in 2014.
He has been fortunate to have covered every Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics championship win during his tenure at the Globe. Accomplishments include first place awards for Newspapers Sports and Spot News Photography from the National Headliner competition. The National Baseball Hall of Fame awarded him Best of Show and first place for feature photo in 2003 and first place for action in 2004. He was also awarded first place for his sports photos from the NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism Photo Contest and second place Sports portfolio award from POYi that same year.
The International Olympic Committee awarded him its “Golden Lens Award” for his photo of U.S. Olympic boxer David Reid’s gold medal upset victory in the 1996 Atlanta summer games. That year, he also won second place for Sports Picture Story in the World Press Photo contest.
While he enjoys covering sports, some of his most memorable assignments have also taken him to Ireland, Spain, and India for feature stories. Chin is a 1982 graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Lauren Owens Lambert is a conservation photographer and visual journalist. Her work has a creative focus in documenting the human aspect of conservation, climate change and our relationship with the natural world during the age of the anthropocene. Her work has been published with National Geographic, Audubon Magazine, BioGraphic, Smithsonian Magazine and National Wildlife Magazine. She freelances with news organizations such as Agence France-Presse and Reuters.
Lauren is an Associate Fellow at the International League of Conservation Photographers and a contributing photographer with Everyday Extinction and Everyday Climate Change. Lauren has shown in exhibitions at PhotoVille in New York City and has presented work at the United Nations on the importance of visual storytelling with Ocean science and data communication.
Pat is a photographer and multimedia journalist based in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, on the traditional land of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation.
He takes a documentary approach to stories about life in Northern Canada, with a special focus on issues important to Indigenous people, including the relationship between land and identity.
Pat is a National Geographic Society grantee, a Royal Canadian Geographical Society grantee, and an alumni of the 2020 World Press Photo, Joop Swart Masterclass. His work has been published by The Atlantic, The Globe and Mail, National Geographic, The New York Times, World Press Photo and other media worldwide.
Pat is of Irish-Canadian and Algonquin Anishinaabe ancestry, and is a member of the Timiskaming First Nation.
Neeta Satam is a photojournalist, educator, and National Geographic Explorer based in Mumbai, India, and Saint Louis, Missouri. Her work explores the themes of cultural assimilation, human rights, and the environment through photography. She is an Associate Fellow at the International League of Conservation Photographers and serves on its Advisory Board.
Her personal journey and cultural identity have always influenced the issues she documents as a visual storyteller. During an eight-year consulting stint as an environmental scientist in the United States, she observed that economic growth motives rather than concerns about conservation and human health often drive environmental policy. This realization and her passion for social justice ultimately inspired her to make a career switch to journalism.
Neeta earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri's School of Journalism. She has covered assignments for The New York Times, Audubon Magazine, Nature Magazine, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, and numerous other publications. She is a Pulitzer Center, The International Women's Media Foundation, and the National Geographic Society grantee.
Andrea Bruce is a photographer, educator and writer whose work focuses on ideas of democracy and the aftermath of war. She often concentrates on the social issues that are sometimes ignored and often ignited in war's wake.
Her clients include National Geographic and The New York Times as well as many publications around the globe. Andrea was a 2016 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University where she studied ideas of democracy. In 2023 she was awarded the CatchLight Senior Fellowship to support her role as publisher and creator of the local, visual-first publication Down in the County serving Pamlico County, NC. She is also a member/ owner of the photo agency NOOR.
Andrea started conflict photography while working in Iraq in 2003, bringing a local reporter’s knack for intimacy and community focus to the lives of Iraqis and the U.S. military. For eight years she worked as a staff photographer for The Washington Post, where she originated and authored a weekly column called "Unseen Iraq.” She also worked at The Concord Monitor and The St. Petersburg Times after graduating from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1995.
In 2011, she was an Alicia Patterson Fellow and in 2019 she became a CatchLight Global Fellow and a National Geographic Explorer. Her awards include the 2018 IWMF Anja Niedringhaus award, a 2014 World Press Photo 2nd prize for Daily Life and the inaugural Chris Hondros Fund Award in 2012 for the “commitment, willingness and sacrifice shown in her work.” She has been named Photographer of the Year four times by the WHNPA, received several awards from the Pictures of the Year International contest, including the 2017 Environmental Vision Award, and was awarded the prestigious John Faber Award from the Overseas Press Club in New York.
Currently, she is based in North Carolina, continues to freelance on a local and global scale, and teaches for New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. She will receive an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2024.
Jim Urquhart has covered extremism, armed violence and the destabilization of America for more than a decade. He has spent most of this time with violent hate groups, armed militias and armed leftist groups covering these issues anywhere from in their homes at their kitchen tables, to inside access to armed standoffs against federal agents, civil unrest and to the violence of the January 6th attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
He has done this work transparently, never concealing his identity, mixed ethnicity and mixed racial family make-up from his contacts or story subjects.
Urquhart was a 2022 Nieman Journalism Fellow at Harvard University where he continued his studies on race and power, domestic extremism, white nationalism and conflicts around the world.
A freelancer since 2010, he works with a number of leading news organizations, editors and reporters where he can collaborate and help shape the coverage of the issues they are investigating.
Prior to freelancing, he worked for 10 years as an editor, photojournalist and reporter at several daily newspapers in the United States.
He also works as a consultant for several news organizations where he mentors others to improve their on-the-ground reporting, sourcing and security considerations when reporting on extremist movements.
In addition to photojournalism, he is also an on-site safety advisor and a hostile environment and first aid training instructor working around the world on-the-ground to secure and prepare journalists for the violent and austere environments that are all too common now.
Natalia is the senior photo editor for the National Desk at The Washington Post, where she covers a range of issues, including women's rights, immigration, and the political landscape. Before joining the Post, she managed the photography team at NBC News where she also art directed and commissioned illustrations. She has served as a juror for the Overseas Press Club, American Photography 37, and NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism. Natalia was faculty on the first Women Photograph workshop held in Latin America in 2019 and was a mentor in their 2021 program. She was first drawn to visual editing while an assistant to photographers Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb as they developed longform visual narratives through book publishing. Though she has focused on digital storytelling for most of her career, she retains an appreciation for the tactile experience of photography books and aims to apply that thoughtfulness to her everyday work.
Vanessa Charlot is an award-winning photographer, filmmaker, lecturer, curator and an Assistant Professor of Creative Multimedia at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media. Her work focuses on the intersectionality of race, politics, culture and sexual/gender expression to explore the collective human experience. The purpose of her work is to produce visual representations free of an oppressive gaze.
Vanessa seeks to humanize Black bodies through her photography, restoring the dignity and vitality of those often shot as subjects divorced from context, motives, and histories. Her work invites us all to question our relationship to what we think about when we see Black bodies as static images and in motion.
She has worked throughout the U.S., Caribbean and Southeast Asia. Her photographs have been commissioned by the New York Times, Gucci, Vogue, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Oprah Magazine, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Apple, New York Magazine, Buzzfeed, Artnet News, The Washington Post and other national and international publications.
Vanessa’s work was featured as the cover of the The Photo Issue of Washington Post in November 2022. She lectures at the International Center of Photography and provides safety training to leading media outlets. Vanessa is the recipient of the International Women's Media Foundation Courage in Journalism Award for 2021.
Meridith Kohut is a Texas-based photojournalist who has reported on health, humanitarian, and environmental issues in more than 35 countries.
She spent ﬁve years documenting the economic crisis in Venezuela - photographing thousands waiting in breadlines, parents dying from medicine shortages in collapsed public hospitals and people clashing with security forces in violent, government street protests. Her Venezuela crisis work has resulted in dozens of front-page stories published in The New York Times. Her coverage has been recognized by The Overseas Press Club, The George Polk Journalism Awards and Pictures of The Year International. Her 5-month investigation and photo essay that exposed those hundreds of children had died from severe child malnutrition in public hospitals was a ﬁnalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Feature Photography in 2018. She earned a Courage in Journalism Award in 2018 from the International Women’s Media Foundation.
Kohut embedded for months on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 22-page feature story that she photographed for TIME magazine about the psychological toll of the virus in an under-resourced hospital in Brooklyn, NY received the SPJ Deadline Award for Best Magazine Feature, the Best Magazine Special Event Reporting Award from The New York Press Club and an honorable mention for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma by the Dart Awards.
She reported and photographed The New York Times magazine’s cover story about racial and economic divides when Los Angeles, CA was the epicenter of the pandemic. The NYT Magazine series about Climate Migration that Kohut photographed across four countries was awarded Best Reporting on International Environmental Issues by the Overseas Press Club and the Nina Mason Pulliam Award for Outstanding Environmental Reporting, from The Society of Environmental Journalists. Her most recently photographed cover story for The NYT Magazine about exploited migrant child labor in U.S. slaughterhouses led the Department of Labor to cross-train USDA inspectors to identify child labor violations.
Kohut is an advocate for trauma-informed journalism practices and has lectured on themes including compassionate photography and photojournalism ethics.
Pinar Istek is currently a photo editor at the Chicago Tribune. She previously spent 4 years as a photo editor at the Tribune Content Agency, before which she worked as a news photographer in the U.S., Turkey, Guatemala, and Costa Rica.
Istek has a Master’s degree in Journalism with a focus on photojournalism from Mizzou. She is a former graduate student coordinator for POY. She also spent time as a Ph.D. student at The University of Texas at Austin, studying freelance photojournalism in the contemporary media economy. Pinar is Kurdish and from Turkey.
Anita Baca is a photo editor on AP’s Latin America and Caribbean desk, based in Mexico City. She began her journey into the world of photojournalism more than 30 years ago as a budding newspaper photographer for the school newspaper at the University of New Mexico as well as stringing for the evening newspaper, the Albuquerque Tribune.
Soon after she graduated she was hired in 1993 as a contract photographer for the AP in Central America where she worked for seven years covering elections, hurricanes, summits, pressers, a few papal visits and “mucho” festivals.
Before joining the team in Mexico City in 2010, Anita honed her photo editing skills at the San Antonio Express-News.
Currently Anita is learning to create photo newsletters, navigate CMS systems and is part of AP’s weekly global gallery editing team which is the favorite part of her day when it is her month to curate.
David Guzman became the Director of Visual Journalism for The Dallas Morning News in 2022. He leads an award-winning staff that's dedicated to providing North Texas with memorable and inspiring visuals. Before joining The Dallas Morning News in 2022, David was the director of photography at the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Joe is a senior staff visual journalist at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. He previously worked for the Associated Press based in Mexico City and Las Vegas. He served as the Director of Photography at the San Antonio Express-News and worked as a photojournalist at the San Jose Mercury News, the Albuquerque Tribune, and his hometown newspaper, the El Paso Times. He attended the University of New Mexico and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador.
Michael Hamtil is a multimedia editor and visual team leader whose work alongside numerous photographers has shaped his passionate belief in the principles of visual journalism and the myriad ways they can be creatively applied. He currently works as the Assistant Multimedia Director at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch/STLToday.com. Prior to that, he worked at The Dallas Morning News editing both short and long-form storytelling; for news, sports and features; in still, video and multimedia formats. He has also worked as a multimedia producer at MSNBC.com and photo editor at Copley Chicago Newspapers/Sun Publications.
Michael earned a journalism degree from the Missouri School of Journalism and has served on judging panels for the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund grant and the Pictures of the Year competition. He lives in St. Louis with his spouse and two kids.
Noreen L. Figueroa has worked as a visual content editor and producer for more than 20 years. She was a Multimedia Producer for NBC News online (formerly MSNBC.com), where she edited news, sports, entertainment feature stories and worked with the NBC News Desk breaking news team.
Noreen also worked as a photography manager at AOL, where she managed content and teams in News, AOL Latino and Entertainment and covered live events in person that included the Republican National Convention and the Live 8 London concert, which earned an online content Emmy for the AOL team.
She currently works as a photo editor for Scholastic Magazines+ and is a board member for the National Press Photographers Foundation (NPPF) where she works on NPPF’s social media projects. She is an alumnus of the graduate program from the Missouri School of Journalism.
Marcia Prouse believes passionately that powerful images can change the world. This is her second time judging POY.
Marcia has held photo leadership roles in three newsrooms known for photojournalism excellence — the Detroit Free Press, the Orange County Register and the Tennessean in Nashville. She has edited key national and international visual reporting for several decades.
While in Detroit, she was part of the team that edited two Pulitzer Prizes and three finalists. Her team won the POYi’s Angus McDougall Excellence in Editing award. The projects ranged from long-term coverage of apartheid in South Africa, the impact of gun violence on children in Detroit and white-collar layoffs.
In Orange County, she helped edit two Pulitzer finalists, and later worked as Assistant Managing Editor, responsible for Page 1. While Director of Photography, she created a photo column called “Orange Slices.”
She served as the Visuals and Storytelling Coach at the Tennessean, working with the visual team and writers across the newsroom. She helped lead coverage of the 2020 tornadoes and a year-long project that documented the impact of opioid addiction on a three-generation family. She created and edited a special section on small towns with 16 photographers from the six Gannett newspapers in Tennessee.
Marcia holds a master’s degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and produced a photo documentary book, “Arrow Rock: 20th-Century Frontier Town.” She graduated cum laude from Arizona State University.
Although mostly retired, Marcia freelance edits stories and photography for Chalkbeat, mentors college students, some of whom founded an arts and culture magazine and she volunteers in her community.
Bettina Hansen is a photo editor at The Seattle Times, specializing in dynamic visual storytelling in print and online. After 10 years as a staff photographer, she moved to the desk in 2021, and edits weekly Sunday centerpiece enterprise stories for A1 and Northwest sections, as well as daily front-page news, sports and feature packages.
As a staff photographer at The Seattle Times, Bettina covered a wide range of stories. She moved fluidly from deeply reported documentary pieces on topics like violence against Indigenous women and the return of midwifery in labor and delivery, to large-scale breaking news and sporting events, covering the Seattle Seahawks through multiple seasons, including two Super Bowl runs.
Raised in Phoenix, Bettina earned a journalism degree from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University and went on to internships at the East Valley Tribune and Arizona Republic newspapers, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate and finally The Hartford Courant, where she worked as a staff photographer from 2009-2012, before moving to Seattle.
Her work has been recognized by Pictures of the Year International, Best of Photojournalism, the Society of Professional Journalists, and others. Bettina lives in Seattle with her husband Bill, daughter Beatrice and son Bruno.
Evelio Contreras is an award-winning producer, photographer and editor for CNN in New York. His multimedia work for cnn.com focuses on personal stories. He is part of a 3-person climate change unit with correspondent Bill Weir, which won an Emmy in 2022 for a project called "Eating Planet Earth: The Future of Food." Evelio’s work on “The Hidden Workforce,” an immigration documentary for CNN, was recognized with a Peabody in 2019.
His online video storytelling work at The Roanoke Times, the Las Vegas Sun and The Washington Post has received recognition from national organizations including the Capital Emmys, National Press Photographers Association, Online News Association and Harvard's Nieman Storyboard. His work at CNN has been recognized by Covering Climate Now, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Editor and Publisher and the NPPA.
Born in Texas, Evelio is a border-town kid at heart and the son of migrant workers. He sees his travels and journeys across the U.S. as continuing the same story that his parents began: building a better life for folks that he meets and considers like family along the way.
Janet Jarman is a photojournalist and documentary filmmaker covering predominantly environmental issues and maternal health equity.
Her work has been published in The New York Times, National Geographic, GEO, Smithsonian, amongst others. She has also worked for numerous international foundations. In addition to working on editorial assignments for magazines and newspapers, Jarman has produced a number of films, including “Birth Wars”, an award-winning feature-length documentary film supported by a MacArthur Foundation grant.
Jarman’s photographs have been featured at Visa Pour l’Image, Perpignan, and her work has received awards in Pictures of the Year International, American Photography, PDN Photography Annual, POY Latam, Latin American Fotografía, Communication Arts, and Best of Photojournalism.
She has served as a still photography jury member for leading international contests, such as POYi 2016 (Reportage Division), the FNPI Premio Gabo (2018), and CPOY 2020. She was also a multimedia storytelling judge for POY Latam 2019, and in 2015, she produced the POY Latam contest in Mexico.
Ryon Horne is an award-winning filmmaker and video journalist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has worked for the AJC for more than two decades. He is a video and audio producer covering breaking news, entertainment, sports and features. Ryon has won two Emmy Awards and an Edward R. Murrow Award for his documentary work.
Recently Ryon made history by co-directing the news organization’s first full feature documentary “The South Got Something to Say,” a love story to the city of Atlanta and its contribution to the culture of Hip-Hop. Along with Tyson Horne and a powerhouse production team, Ryon produced a comprehensive documentary, interviewing nearly 70 artists, producers, and politicians who all contributed to the history of hip hop in the South.
He also recently co-directed the award-winning short documentary “The Dancer,” a compelling story about the tragic life of modern dancer Gerard Alexander. The film has been featured in 5 film festivals, including Out on Film Festival, winning the Grand Jury Prize and Best Short Documentary.
Ryon is continuing his work with the AJC’s new venture, AJC Films and Originals.
Yalonda “Yoshi” M. James is an award-winning staff photojournalist and video producer at The San Francisco Chronicle in San Francisco, CA. Her passion is documenting stories that shine a light on social justice issues and Black life in America.
James was a 2008 Pulitzer Prize finalist with her Charlotte Observer team for a project called, 'Sold a Nightmare,' which earned them a second place Gold Medal for Public Service.
James is a 2001 Mass Communications graduate from the University of South Carolina (Upstate), where she won Gold and Bronze medals from College Photographer of the Year, 1998. She is also a 2008 Interactive Media Design graduate from The Art Institute of Charlotte, being selected into the Alpha Beta Kappa National Honor Society during the '08 election. She is a former 2019-2020 Community Listening Fellow with the American Press Institute.
James’s photography and videos have been published in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Commercial Appeal, The Charlotte Observer, The New York Times, USA Today, Newsweek, MSNBC, Fusion, Education Week, St. Petersburg Times, The State (Columbia, SC), The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Post & Courier, South Carolina: 24/7, and The Bridge Builder's and Charleston's Grand New Span.
James is the director of short documentary films, "The BLM (Black Lives Matter) Bridge Protest: One Year Later," and "Singing for KING."
Director of photojournalism, Reynolds Journalism Institute
As director of photojournalism at RJI, Lynden Steele oversees the Pictures of the Year International competition, co-directs POY Asia and manages the POYI archive. He also teaches at the Missouri School of Journalism.
In 2021, Steele partnered with fellow Mizzou alum Kay Chin Tay to found Pictures of the Year Asia, a program dedicated to supporting photojournalists living and working throughout Asia. This program joins POY Latin America and College Photographer of the Year in a mission to create, preserve and share a visual record of life as witnessed by photojournalists across the entire planet.
Before coming to RJI, Steele had worked at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch since 2008, most recently as assistant managing editor of photography. The work of his staff has been widely recognized. Notable awards include the 2017 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for Domestic Photography, the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography and the POYI Director’s Choice in 2015.
In 2014, the Post-Dispatch’s photo, graphics and metro teams won an EPPY Award from Editor & Publisher for Best Use of Photography on a Website and the Scripps Howard Foundation Award for Breaking News for staff coverage of Ferguson.
Prior to his work in St. Louis, Steele was a picture editor at the White House and edited the photography book “Portraits of a Leader: George W. Bush.”
Steele began his career as a staff photographer at the Monroe Evening News in Michigan, followed by a staff position at Copley newspapers in the Chicago suburbs.
He received his bachelor’s degree in photojournalism from the Missouri School of Journalism. Steele and his wife, Jody Mitori, who is also a Missouri School of Journalism graduate, have three children.