POY RJI | Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute

Statement of Judging Ethics

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.


2019 POY judges

February 11–15

Session includes Daily Life, Midterm Elections, Spot News, General News, Impact 2018, Immigration Status, Daily Life–Picture Story, Portrait, Portrait Series, Newspaper Local Picture Story and Newspaper Photographer of the Year

Mariana Bazo

Staff photographer, Reuters News Agency

Mariana Bazo

Mariana Bazo studied history at the Universidad Catolica del Peru and Photography at the Missouri School of Journalism as a Fellow with the Reuters Foundation from 1993 to 1994.

Since then she has worked as a photographer for Reuters News Agency in Peru and has covered the main news of Latin America as the era of terrorism in Peru covering the Tarata bomb, the capture of Abimael Guzmán, the capture of the Japanese embassy by the MRTA; the FARC conflict in Colombia, crisis in Bolivia and Venezuela including the death of Hugo Chavez, the food crisis in 2016 and several presidential summits and elections throughout America. Her photos are published in newspapers around the world, from The New York Times to China Daily. Her file on the Peruvian conflict is part of The Truth Commission, Lima, 2003.

Her coverage extends to the many natural disasters in the region, such as floods, accidents and earthquakes in Colombia, 1998, Peru, 2007, Chile 2010 and 2012.

As a general assignment photographer, Bazo’s coverage includes sports as well. She has covered the World Cup Russia 2018, Olympics Games as Sydney 2000 and Rio 2016, Pan American Games and Copa Americas in Paraguay, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Mexico and Chile.

As an editor, Bazo has taught photojournalism classes at Instituto IPAD and seminars for World Press Photo in Bogota. Produces multimedia projects where she combines photography and video like: 'Mr Blues', 2010 for Media Storm, New York; 'Octavia and Esteban', 2012 and 'Chemical Affinity', 2014 for the Universidad Catolica, Lima.

She has published in multiple collective books on contemporary photography such as: 'Discovering Ecuador' National Geographic, Quito 1994. 'The Pleasure of Life', 2001 and 'New Sories', 2008 of the World Press Photo Foundation, Amsterdam, 'The Art of Seeing': The Best of Reuters 'Photography', Washington DC, 2000, 'Pasion Por las Personas', Lima, 2007; 'Our World Now', Reuters, Washington DC, 2006, 2007, 2009.

She has participated in several group exhibitions such as: 'The Pleasure of Life', World Press Photo, Amsterdam, 2001; 'Pasion Por las Personas', Lima and Cuzco 2007; 'Commission of The Truth ', Lima 2007.

She has been nominated as Canon Ambassador in Peru in 2016 and participates in the Canon College Tour giving talks in different Universities of Peru.

Jahi Chikwendiu

Staff Photographer, Washington Post

Jahi Chikwendiu

Jahi Chikwendiu wanted to be practical, but in the end his passion for photojournalism won out. After earning his undergraduate degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in math education from the University of Kentucky, Chikwendiu began his career as a high school math instructor, teaching for a year and enjoying the everyday challenges of being an educator. During that first year of teaching, Chikwendiu’s first Spring Break included a visit to The Washington Post where multiple-Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and editor Michel du Cille would be the first professional editor to ever see Chikwendiu’s portfolio. Inspired by du Cille’s suggestion, Chikwendiu spent his first summer break from teaching as an independent photographer for his hometown newspaper, the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader. At the end of that summer, his career took a turn when Herald-Leader director of photography Ron Garrison offered him a fulltime staff photojournalism position. Three months later, the Kentucky News Photographer Association (KNPA) named Jahi the 1998 Photographer of the Year. After two years of covering the rich cultural landscape of Kentucky, he would join the staff of The Washington Post, where he’s been a staff photographer since January of 2001.

Since joining the Washington Post, Chikwendiu’s main base of coverage has been the DC area, but he has covered a wide range of stories that include DC’s broken school system, the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq and the country’s adjustments following the 2012 US military pullout, AIDS and poverty in Kenya, genocide in Darfur, cluster bomb victims in South Lebanon, the 2011 formation of the world’s newest country, South Sudan. Chikwendiu spent the first three months of 2009 in Africa covering the Barack Obama inauguration from the Kenyan home village of the US president’s father and other stories in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Kenya, and South Sudan. In 2014, Chikwendiu spent well over a month in Missouri covering issues surrounding the fatal shooting of unarmed, Black teenager Michael Brown by Darren Wilson, a police officer for the city of Ferguson, Missouri. In the past year, Chikwendiu has covered issues of immigration in the US, the economic recovery of Ferguson, Missouri, four years after the death of Michael Brown, unemployment in Omaha, Nebraska, voting among voter suppression in rural Georgia, and the effects of governmental collapse in Venezuela on the neighboring island-nation of Trinidad.

The photojournalist’s work has been recognized by various local, national, and international organizations - Kentucky Newspaper Photographers Association, Atlanta Photojournalism Seminars, World Press Photo, Days Japan International Photojournalism Awards, National Association of Black Journalists, White House News Photo Association, Nat’l Press Photographers Assoc, Virginia News Photographer Association, Overseas Press Club, Harry Chapman Media Awards, Pictures of the Year International, Northern Short Course, Southern Short Course, the Kentucky Governor Arts Awards, and the Scripps Howard Awards for Journalism…

— but his heart always comes back to the question of how to best evolve as a storyteller and how to best raise the next generation of visionaries.

Akili-Casundria Ramsess

Executive Director, National Press Photographers Association

Akili-Casundria Ramsess

Akili-Casundria Ramsess is Executive Director of the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) based in Athens, at the University of Georgia. Ramsess returned to the Atlanta area in 2011 as an independent visual journalist, editor and media consultant following a distinguished career as a Pulitzer-winning picture editor that culminated in her role as director of photography for the Orlando Sentinel.

Prior to the Sentinel, Ramsess built a portfolio of photo editing experiences, from the Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, Atlanta Journal & Constitution and deputy director of photography for the San Jose Mercury News. She has also won numerous NPPA Best of Photography, POYi and Society of News Design picture editing awards.

Ramsess began her photojournalism career as a freelance photographer in the Los Angeles area covering news, entertainment and sports for local newspapers, and wire services and eventually, a staff photographer with the now defunct Los Angeles Herald Examiner.

Dave Weatherwax

Producer, Kertis Creative

Dave Weatherwax

Dave Weatherwax believes in producing honest storytelling that forms a real connection within a community. His approach has recently led him to become a Producer with Louisville-based creative agency Kertis. Previously, Dave worked as the Visuals Editor at The Herald in Jasper, Ind. A small, family-owned newspaper, The Herald is honored annually for its community journalism and use of photography in covering Dubois County. Dave thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to document the life and culture in southern Indiana for several years. He greatly valued the relationships he formed with the subjects he documented for The Saturday Feature, a weekly photo column.

Before Jasper, he was a staff photographer and videographer for The Jackson Citizen Patriot in Jackson, Mich. Dave is a graduate of the School of Journalism at Michigan State University. He is a native of Grand Rapids, Mich.

In Jasper, Dave led a picture editing team that earned several editing and best use awards in both Pictures of the Year International and the National Press Photographers Association's Best of Photojournalism. His story work for The Saturday Feature also earned him top honors in both competitions.

February 16–18

Session includes Sports Action, Sports Life, Olympic Action, Olympic Life, Sports Picture Story, Recreational Sports and Sports Photographer of the Year

Kim Chapin

Deputy Director of Photography, Boston Globe

Kim Chapin

Kim Chapin has been deputy director of photography at the Boston Globe since 2005. Her primary role is visual editor of Bostonglobe.com. In addition, she edits significant sporting events, day to day operations, as well as handling most administrative duties within the department.

Previously Kim worked at Newsday on Long Island, New York, as Day and Sports Photo Editor for 8 years. She was also design and photo editor for 2 1/2 years at the Saginaw News in Michigan. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1992.

Tim Rasmussen

Director of Photography Digital and Print Media, ESPN

Tim Rasmussen

Tim Rasmussen is the Director of Photography at ESPN for Digital and Print Media where he is responsible for photography at ESPN The Magazine and all digital platforms. In 2017 the magazine was awarded General Excellence and Best Sports cover by American Society of Magazine Editors.

He joined ESPN in 2015 after nearly 10 years as Assistant Managing Editor for Photography at The Denver Post, where the paper became known for its exceptional photography. Under his leadership the photography staff was awarded three Pulitzers, two for Feature Photography and one for Breaking News Reporting. He established video journalism at the Post where the staff was awarded six National Murrow Awards including Overall Excellence and nominated for a National Emmy in Current News Coverage.

Karen Warren

Karen Warren

Karen Warren, started her journey as a photographer and photo editor at The Daily Texan at The University of Texas in Austin. After graduating from The University of Texas with a Bachelor of Journalism, she began her career as a visual journalist at the Austin American-Statesman, eventually moving to work at the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Her desire to return to the great state of Texas, brought her to Houston and the Houston Chronicle in 1997, where she has proudly worked as a photojournalist.

During her career, Karen has covered the Atlanta Olympics, shot four Super Bowls, and edited seven Super Bowls for The Sporting News. She has covered countless Houston Texans games, as well as, college football.

Karen's passion, however, has been shooting baseball. Since her first trip to Kissimmee, Florida in 1998, to cover the Astros Spring Training, she was hooked. And during her time, was there for the Astros 2005 journey through the playoffs and to their World Series against the White Sox. She has also had the fortune of shooting Rice University during their 2003 championship at the College World Series in Omaha, and in 2010, she followed the Pearland Little Leaguer's at the Little League Worls Series in Williamsport.

Karen is married to Robert Seale and they live with two cats Lexi and Kiki.

Kathy Willens

Kathy Willens

Kathy Willens is a veteran Associated Press photographer specializing in sports. One of the first women photographers hired at AP, Willens began her career covering night and weekend sporting events for a suburban Detroit newspaper in the early 1970’s. Shortly thereafter she worked as a photo lab technician at the Miami News. The News hired Willens as a photographer after publishing a string of her news pictures and feature stories on their front page. Working from Miami and in New York, Willens now covers breaking news and sports. During the 1980’s and 90’s Willens traveled to Latin America and Africa illustrating political and social stories.

Willens has covered six Olympic games, World Series, NBA Finals, NCAA Final Four, Stanley Cup hockey playoffs and ten NFL Super Bowls. In 2015, Willens captured one of the most memorable images from Super Bowl XLIX, a last-minute, game-changing interception by the New England Patriots, who went on to defeat the Seattle Seahawks. Willens is adept at capturing intimate, story-telling moments. In 1995, reporting and photographing for the AP, Willens broke ground with an eight-month long photo essay on prison mothers in New York, focusing on a former heroin user who gave birth to a daughter in prison and kept the baby with her the prison’s nursery. In 2016, Time.com named Willens among 28 trailblazing women photographers of the last century.

Willens’ photos appear regularly in major newspapers and online, including the New York Times, LA Times, USA Today, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, and in magazines: Sports Illustrated, Time, Newsweek, (the now-defunct) Life magazine. Her photos are published in several books including: “150 Years of Associated Press Photography,” “Heroes of 9/11,” “Baseball’s Greatest Shots” and “Brooklyn: A State of Mind.” In 2004, several of Willens’ Haitian refugees’ photos were part of an exhibit at the Historical Museum of South Florida, “Assignment: Miami.” Willens is a five-time winner of the Newswomen’s Club of New York “Front Page Award,” a two-time winner of the Baseball Hall of Fame Award, a 2006 Pro Football Hall of Fame photo contest winner and was honored with an Associated Press Managing Editors Award for Reportorial Excellence for an AP series on child labor. She is a ten-time winner in the New York Press Photographers Association’s annual contest. One of Willens’s student photos part of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection.

In addition to her work for the AP, Professor Willens has taught Visual Reporting to students at New York University’s Arthur Carter Journalism Institute since 2001.

February 20–23

Session includes Science & Natural History—Singles, Science & Natural History—Picture Story, Environmental Vision Award, News Picture Story, Community Awareness Award, Issue Reporting Picture Story, World Understanding Award, Photography Book of the Year and Photographer of the Year

Tanya Habjouqa

Tanya Habjouqa

Born in Jordan and educated in the United States, Tanya Habjouqa resides in East Jerusalem and is a member of NOOR. A photographer, artist, and educator—her work stems from long-term investments and collaborative methodology, blending ethnographic research and investigative reportage.

Examining details of conflict in the Middle East, Habjouqa addresses the presentation of these conversations by western media outlets. In recent years, her projects have been commended by the likes of TIME, Smithsonian and World Press Photo. Habjouqa is known for producing sensitive work underscored by the absurd.

She is a mentor for the Magnum Foundation initiative, “Arab Photography Documentary Program” and teaches workshops internationally. She is trained in journalism and anthropology with an MA in Global Media with emphasis on Middle East Politics from University of London SOAS.

Her work has been exhibited worldwide and is in the permanent collections of the MFA Boston, Institut du Monde Arab, and the Carnegie Museum of Art. She is represented by East Wing and Ilex galleries.

Zun Lee

Zun Lee

Zun Lee is an award-winning Canadian photographer, physician and educator. He was born and raised in Germany and has also lived in Atlanta, Philadelphia and Chicago. He is a 2018 Knight Foundation Grantee, 2017 Art Gallery of Ontario Artist in Residence, and a 2015 Magnum Foundation Fellow. He currently resides in Toronto.

Lee has been globally recognized as one of the top emerging visual storytellers to watch. His focus on quotidian Black life has led to publications and mentions in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, TIME, The New Yorker, Huffington Post, MSNBC, Washington Post, Forbes, and Smithsonian Magazine.

For his project Father Figure: Exploring Alternate Notions of Black Fatherhood, photographer Zun Lee embedded himself in the lives of African-descended families across the US and Canada. By focusing on intimate moments of everyday family life, Lee interrogates Black father absence stereotypes and situates them in a broader context of pathologized black masculinity. The resulting monograph, produced by acclaimed publisher CeibaFoto, has won several major international awards.

In the fall of 2014, Lee worked on repeated assignments in Ferguson, Missouri, where he engaged the local community to produce a more nuanced narrative of resistance. His archival project Fade Resistance examines a gap in the recent history of Black visual representation through a collection of over 3,500 found Polaroids of African American families. Produced from the 1970s to the early 2000s, these photographs illuminate how Black communities codified their own lives to generate meaning and belonging. The fact that the original families no longer own these images brings into focus a sociopolitical dynamic of Black dispossession and dislocation that looms over the archive as a whole.

Rita Reed

Rita Reed

Rita Reed is an photographer, author and educator.

As a staff photographer for more than 20 years at the Cedar Rapids Gazette and the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, Reed worked on local and international stories in Haiti, Bolivia, Colombia, Taiwan, China and the countries of the former Eastern Bloc.

Throughout her career Reed’s work has focused on adolescents and issues they face. Reed received the Nikon Sabbatical Grant for Documentary Photography to complete a 7-year documentary project on gay and lesbian teenagers. Growing Up Gay: The Sorrows and Joys of Gay and Lesbian Adolescence was published by W. W. Norton in 1997.

Now retired, Reed began teaching at the University of Missouri in 2001 where she oversaw the College Photographer of the Year competition. Reed has also served as a faculty member at the Missouri Photo Workshop, created and led international photo exhibits and workshops in Germany, Romania, Scotland, Macedonia, Russia and China.

Her professional and academic efforts have been recognized in many ways. In 2014, the Missouri School of Journalism awarded Reed The O.O. McIntyre Professorship Award. And, in 2015 with the National Press Photographers Association awarded Reed the Morris Berman Citation. The honor recognizes significant contributions that advance the interests of photojournalism.

Darcy Padilla

Photographer, Agence VU

Darcy Padilla

Darcy Padilla is a photographer and educator focusing on long-term research about struggle and the trans-generational effects. She is a member of Agence VU in Paris and the faculty of the Art Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Padilla’s honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, Open Society Institute Individual Fellowship, Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellowship, Alexia Foundation Grant, Getty Images Grant, International Photo-reporter Grant, Canon Female Photojournalist Award, the first World Press Photo Award for Long-term Projects, and a W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography.

Published and exhibited internationally, Padilla was commissioned by Le Monde for a year to photograph the 2016 election and had a solo exhibition of her ongoing project on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation at the 2017 Visa pour l’image, International Festival of Photojournalism in France. She was a judge on the second season of Sky Arts’ Master of Photography, a television program simulcast to Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

She has given artist talks at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, the Centre d'Art Santa Mònica in Barcelona, DOK-Festival (Norway), and Lumix Festival (Germany). Participating in panels at London Photo (United Kingdom) and Milano Photo Week (Italy). Lecturing at Stanford University, Syracuse’s Newhouse School, UC Berkeley, and leading workshops at Eddie Adams and Rencontres d’Arles (France).

Padilla’s recent book “Family Love,” published in France by Editions de La Martinière, follows a family for 21-years — an intimate story of poverty, AIDS and social issues.

February 25–March 1

Session includes Multimedia Daily Life, Online Daily Life–Visual Editing, Multimedia News & Issue Reporting, Online News & Issue Reporting–Visual Editing, Newspaper–Visual Editing, Newspaper Visual Editor of the Year, Magazine/Media Visual Editor of the Year, Documentary Project of the Year, Angus McDougall Overall Excellence in Editing Award, Multimedia Photographer of the Year and Documentary Journalism

Moderator—Jarrad Henderson

Video Producer, USA Today

Jarrad Henderson

Jarrad Henderson is an Emmy-award winning video producer and award-winning visual journalist and filmmaker who is respected for working strategically and efficiently with creative teams or independently in a deadline driven environments. Jarrad is a 2018 Fellow with the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University's School of Continuing Studies and the Chair of the National Association of Black Journalists — Visual Task Force.

Jarrad currently works as a Video Producer in the Video franchises and Special Projects unit at USA Today where he has had the opportunity to cover the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the 2016 Presidential Election and the Met Gala.

Jarrad also produced and edited a 3-part series on the barrier facing recently released people entitled, “Re-entry Back to Society, or Back to Prison?” which earned him an Emmy and was a Livingston Award finalist in 2017 for his part in the National reporting on PTSD and Veteran suicide.

Wesley Lindamood


Wesley Lindamood

Wesley Lindamood is a design and user experience manager at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum where he supervises a team of user experience designers, exhibition designers, and developers responsible for the design and development of digital and physical exhibitions and products.

Before joining the Museum, Wes worked as a senior interaction designer at NPR on the design of numerous award-winning stories and products such as, “Planet Money makes a T-shirt.” Wes has worked online his entire career, holding lead design positions at USA Today, Congressional Quarterly and Chemical & Engineering News magazine.

His work has been recognized by the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, NPPA, World Press Photo, POYi, the International Documentary Association, the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Awards, the Society for News Design, and the Online News Association, among others.

Tim Matsui

Tim Matsui

Tim Matsui is a visual journalist and independent non-fiction filmmaker.

He began his career as a photojournalist working for international magazines, newspapers and photo agencies. In his personal projects he’s reported on human trafficking, human resources for health, food systems and nutrition, alternative energy and the environment.

His work spans commercial and editorial, working with a wide range so clients, from Frontline and The New York Times to Startbucks and The Council on Foreign Relations.

Tim made a name for himself in the journalism world through his feature documentary film on sex trafficking, “The Long Night.”

Tim has been recognized POY, World Press Photo, the Overseas Press Club, and has won grants from the Open Society Foundations, Fledgling Fund, Alexia Foundation, and the Fund for Investigative Journalism. He was also nominated for two National News & Documentary Emmy Awards and was a finalist for the Stanford Knight Journalism Fellowship.

Bernadette Tuazon

Director of Photography, CNN Digital

Bernadette Tuazon

Bernadette Tuazon is the director of photography for CNN Digital, where she oversees photo coverage of breaking news and features. Tuazon manages a team of photo editors spread across Atlanta, New York and London.

Before joining CNN, Tuazon was a senior photo editor for the Associated Press for more than two decades. There, she covered breaking news, sports and features, and worked with photographers on a variety of multimedia projects.

While at the AP, Tuazon was part of the team who was awarded the 2010 Edward R. Murrow Award for Video News Documentary, Killer Blue: Baptized by Fire. She was also an official honoree of the 2009 Webby Awards, for the Depth of Field series and the 2009 Webby Awards official honoree of the 2008 elections time-lapse project. Tuazon has also served as a juror for Visa Pour Image, a reviewer for the 2019 NY Portfolio Review and is currently a Women Photograph mentor.

Tuazon studied General and International Studies at Columbia University in New York; she graduated Cum Laude from the University of the Philippines, with a B.A. in Communication, Major in Journalism.

Manjula Varghese

Staff Photographer, The San Francisco Chronicle

Manjula Varghese

Manjula Varghese is a two-time Emmy award winning documentary filmmaker and visual journalist. She began her career in documentary filmmaking as the lead cinematographer and producer on “Reserved to Fight,” a feature documentary that followed marines for five years as they reintegrate back into civilian life after experiencing frontline combat. The project was an ITVS Open Call recipient and aired on PBS in 2008. The film aired in nine different countries and screened throughout several film festivals in the U.S.

In 2009, Manjula started a production company, Mirrorlake Films, in Salt Lake City. Thjey produced and field directed a doc-series entitled, “The Mission,” which explores the experiences of Mormon missionaries. Mirrorlake also produced the third season of "The Generations Project,” a 13-part episodic doc series that explores family history. The effort earned her team Emmy and Telly awards.

Varghese currently works on the San Francisco Chronicle video team where she creates short and long form video content for the publication. In 2018, her work for the Chronicle earned three Emmy nominations, including a regional Emmy award for producing, "Mending the Heart," a national breaking news interview segment. and premiered the mini doc, “The Dreamer,” at the Indie Memphis Film Festival.