Rick Shaw

Rick Shaw

Pictures of the Year International (POYi)

  • Director
315 Reynolds Journalism Institute

Rick Shaw is director of Pictures of the Year International (POY), the oldest and most prestigious photojournalism program in the world.

POY's primary mission is to promote the work of photojournalists and foster professional development as a program of the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism. Shaw oversees the program's 72-year competition, coordinates worldwide exhibitions, cultivates the POYi Archive, and has launched new initiatives including POY Latin America.

Shaw's prior newspaper career spans 27 years in visual editing and management. He began as a photojournalist and moved into photo editing, working for newspapers such as The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville and The Sacramento Bee for 12 years. At The Sacramento Bee, he served in a variety of roles including photo editor, assistant director of photography, and an assistant news editor. He was named director of photography and graphics at The Arizona Republic in Phoenix, and in 2001 joined the Hartford Courant as its director of design and graphics.       

He has been recognized with several design and picture editing awards, including "Picture Editor of the Year" in POY and NPPA competitions. In 1991, Shaw was part of the editing team for The Sacramento Bee that won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, responsible for both the photo editing and page design for the series, "The Sierra in Peril." The Sacramento Bee and Hartford Courant both have won POY's Angus McDougall Overall Excellence in Editing Award.

Shaw joined the University of Missouri in 2004 as an assistant professor in the photojournalism sequence, teaching visual editing and management and serving as the director of photography for The Missourian, the student-produced daily city newspaper. In 2006 and 2007, he directed the student photo editing staff to two consecutive POY Photo Editing Portfolio awards, competing against professional newspapers nationwide.

In 2006, the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute named Shaw director of Pictures of the Year International. He continues as an adjunct faculty member at the Missouri School of Journalism, teaching visual editing, multimedia, and photojournalism.

Shaw also specializes in drone technology as an emerging tool for journalism and co-teaches the course "Civilian Drone Issues, Applications and Flight." Shaw earned UAS Safety Certification and UAS Instructor Certification for small unmanned aircraft from the Unmanned Safety Institute in Orlando, Florida, affiliated with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He also completed the FAA Ground School Knowledge Test for Private Pilot – Airplane certification.

Shaw holds a Master of Arts degree in Journalism, specializing in online visual journalism. His thesis research examined how Web-based news organizations’ visual character, or visual personality, affects audience perceptions of credibility.