Pictures of the Year presents Virtual Conversations with 77th competition and 74th CPOY winners

Photo above: A couple relax in a HipCo bar in Buchanan, Monrovia on January 11, 2019. HipCo is a musical and increasingly, a political phenomena in its home country of Liberia. It is the first genre of music in the west African nation that is sung primarily in Kollokwa, a colloquial version of the local pidgin dialect. It has become increasingly political as Liberians fear that their new president is corrupt. Photo by Michael Robinson Chavez of The Washington Post.

Pictures of the Year and College Photographer of the Year will celebrate this year’s winners virtually during the “Virtual Conversations with 77th competition winners and 74th COPY winner” event that takes place throughout next week.

The event, which kicks off April 21, will feature four insightful conversations exploring different photography topics each day such as how winners are covering the pandemic in their communities and innovative storytelling.

“POY has a long tradition of sharing great photography and are excited to continue this tradition virtually,” says POY Director Lynden Steele. “Our topics range from COVID-19 coverage in places like Italy to an unexpected story about climate to the personal story of one photographer’s career of traveling the world creating historic and meaningful photographs. We are grateful to the photojournalists taking time to discuss their work and helping us stay connected to each other during this time.”

POY, the oldest and most prestigious photojournalism competition is a program of the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism.

The events are free and open to the public. Folks are asked to register in advance. The conversations will be livestreamed on POY’s Facebook page and recorded. The archived recordings will be available via POY’s Facebook page and website,

About the various events

Four Photographers of the Year cover COVID-19 in their own community will take place at 2 p.m. CST, Tuesday, April 21 via a Zoom webinar.

As COVID-19 sweeps across the planet, moderators Lynden Steele, director of photojournalism at RJI and director of POY, as well as Regina Boone, POY judge and staff photographer at the Richmond Free Press will talk to four Photographers of the Year who are covering the outbreak in their own community as they work and live on different points of the virus timeline. The panelists are Alon Skuy of The Times in South Africa, Barbara Davidson in Los Angeles, Fabio Bucciarelli in Italy, and Marcus Yam of the Los Angeles Times, who has spent the past several months in Hong Kong.

Please register here

From Student to National Geographic Photographer will take place at 1 p.m. CST on Wednesday, April 22 via a Zoom webinar.

Graham Dickie was named the 74th College Photographer of the Year in 2019. The honor came with Nikon camera equipment from CPOY’s co-sponsor Nikon Inc, a scholarship from the National Press Photographers Foundation and an opportunity to form a relationship with National Geographic. Graham's winning body of work spans four years. During the panel he will talk to National Geographic Picture Editor Alexa Keefe and CPOY Director Jackie Bell about how his student project is now becoming a book.

Please register here

Innovative Storytelling and Supertrees from Vox will take place at 3 p.m. CST on Thursday, April 23 via a Zoom webinar.

Three extraordinary tree species are protecting the climate from collapse. Can humans protect them? With support from the Pulitzer Center, a Vox team traveled to Brazil, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo to report this story, which won first place in Online Storytelling: News Reporting in Pictures of the Year International. In this joint presentation with the Smith/Patterson Science Journalism Lecture and the Missouri School of Journalism, Vox reporter Umair Irfan and Visuals Editor Kainaz Amaria will discuss their storytelling approach with Missouri School of Journalism Associate Professor Sara Shipley Hiles and POY judge Jarrad Henderson, senior multimedia producer for the Investigative and Enterprise Video Team at USA Today.

Please register here

Photographer of the Year International Michael Robinson Chavez of The Washington Post will talk about his long career and working with editors at 1 p.m. CST on Friday, April 24 via a Zoom webinar.

Chavez’s 25-year career work spans more than 70 countries and includes stories on climate change in Siberia, the economic collapse in Venezuela, violence in Mexico, droughts in California, tsunamis in Indonesia and Chile, the Egyptian revolution, gold mining in Peru, the 2006 Hezbollah/Israeli war and the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq. He will discuss his career and how he and picture editor Chloe Coleman collaborate to create meaningful stories. This event will be moderated by POY Director Lynden Steele.

Please register here

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