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Adam Ferguson was named Photographer of the Year in the 75th Pictures of Year International competition at the Missouri School of Journalism. Nearly 40,000 images from nearly 100 countries were entered in this year’s competition. Top editors and photographers donated their time to review every entry over a three-week period of judging.

For the first time, most of the deliberations were streamed live on Facebook. The broadcasts reached nearly 600,000 people, and more than 130,000 visitors have watched the videos featuring the judges’ discussions. The videos are archived on the POYI Facebook page.

For incoming director Lynden Steele, a Missouri School of Journalism graduate, it was a return to familiar territory. “I volunteered with POYI as an undergrad and have watched the contest as a professional evolve over the years,” said Steele. “I’ve lost many, many times.”

“It brought back a lot of memories, and inspiration. My favorite part of POY is when the judges talk about the entries with each other. They bring real insight to bear on the work. I’ve been working as a photographer and editor for about 25 years and after watching and listening to the judges, I can say I’m a better editor now than I was a month ago.”

There are nearly 200 winners across 36 categories. The work ranges from a single photograph to long-term multimedia projects.

Here are a few of the premier winners.

Ferguson, on assignment for The New York Times, was named Photographer of the Year for a portfolio that included stories from Australia’s Outback and a portrait series of women who were forced to carry suicide bombs by the Boko Haram.

Magnus Wennman, staff photographer of the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, was named Newspaper Photographer of the Year. His portfolio includes a long-term project about the friendship between two homeless men and starvation in the Sudan.

Katie Falkenberg of the Los Angeles Times was named Multimedia Photographer of the Year. Her portfolio consists of video pieces ranging from an intimate look at one man’s passion to an examination of people in two towns when one town loses a business to the other.

National Geographic won the Angus McDougal Overall Excellence in Editing Award, which is a traveling Tiffany trophy engraved with the winning publication.

Time magazine won in the Documentary Project of the Year category with a web presentation about ground-breaking women called “Firsts.” According to the entry summary, "The goal with Firsts is for every woman and girl to find someone whose presence in the highest reaches of success says to her that it is safe to climb, come on up, the view is spectacular."

Freelancer Scott Brennan won the Community Awareness Award for his work covering how two towns faced down violence. “(The two municipalities) have asserted their own, local grassroots governments as a direct response to the violence plaguing Mexico,” he said.

The complete list of winners is available on the POYI website.

POYI will celebrate its 75th year with an exhibit at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., opening on April 6. The exhibit will run through Jan. 20, 2019. A photo day that includes speakers and activities will be held at the Newseum on April 7.


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