A Brief History of POYi
POYi began as a photographic contest in the spring of 1944 in Columbia,
Missouri, when the Missouri School of Journalism sponsored its "First Annual
Fifty-Print Exhibition" contest. Its stated purpose was, "to pay tribute to
those press photographers and newspapers which, despite tremendous war-time
difficulties, are doing a splendid job; to provide an opportunity for
photographers of the nation to meet in open competition; and to compile and
preserve...a collection of the best in current, home-front press pictures."
In 1945 the Edoms also founded the College Photographer of the Year contest.
CPoY (www.cpoyi.org) continues to
provide valuable feedback and encouragement to thousands of young photographers,
many of whom have gone on to win in POYi.
In 1948, following a decision to invite magazine photographers to
participate, the Fifty-Print Exhibition Contest became the News Pictures of the
Year Contest. Then, in 1957, the University of Missouri and the National Press
Photographers Association (NPPA) merged their respective contests. Through this
partnership, "Pictures of the Year" was developed and continued until 2001 when
NPPA and Missouri parted ways. POYi is now administered solely by the Missouri
School of Journalism, with additional financial support from Fujjifilm, MSNBC,
National Geographic and the Newseum and by the entrants to the yearly
Guided by former directors Angus McDougall and Bill Kuykendall, the scope of
Pictures of the Year changed dramatically. The number of entered images
increased to tens of thousands, and Pictures of the Year became an international
program. And, in 2001 Pictures of the Year became Pictures of the Year
As the contest grew the overall mission of POYi broadened as well. Today,
there are Pictures of the Year Awards' seminars and workshops. Each year's
contest is commemorated through exhibits, a book and this web site. produced by
students at the Missouri School of Journalism. In addition, the public is
invited to participate in on-line voting for its "Best Picture of the Year."
In 2001 the Pictures of the Year International Endowment
fund was established so as to provide a firm financial footing as
POYi increasingly becomes a center for research and discussion and