Ali Ghanbari claims 11th ONPA Television POY title
Ali Ghanbari from WJW-TV in Cleveland has won his 11th ONPA Television Photographer of the Year title for his work in 2017. Ghanbari won first place in five of the six contest categories and also won Best of Show for his first place In-Depth story, "“Calling for Chaplain Willie."

While photographers from WJW amassed the most points in the POY competition, it was WBNS-TV in Columbus that won the Station of the Year title.

Scott Doelling from WBNS place second in the POY compeition and Bill Mahammed from WJW placed third.

Complete contest results

Still coming down from that annual ONPA high...

It’s a thrill every year to finally get to that first moment of the judging of our annual contest. When it gets quiet and the images made by our ONPA members take over the screen. The 3 judges settle in and start the tall task of choosing our best images.

Every year, at least one of the judges will comment about the high quality of work being done in Ohio. And although I have nothing to do with it, I start to feel like a proud Dad who wants to brag. It’s that moment that reminds me how lucky I am to get to bring all these inspirational people together and learn along side them.

Then the Enquirer - Cincinnati and Kentucky goes and wins a Pulitzer in part because of the outstanding video put together by their visual journalists. Just WOW. So proud of that team who has been consistently raising the bar in our video contest every year.

Thank you to our esteemed judges who graciously gave up their weekend and shared their outstanding work with us on Sunday. MORE

Joshua Bickel and Jessica Phelps win ONPA POY titles

Athens, Ohio – Joshua A. Bickel from The Columbus Dispatch and Jessica Phelps from the Newark Advocate have been chosen Ohio News Photographers of the Year for 2017 by the Ohio News Photographers Association.

This is the fourth straight year that Phelps has won the small market POY title. This is the first large market title for Bickel. He previously won in the small market division while at ThisWeek Newspapers for his work in 2013.

Finishing second in large market division was Kyle Robertson from The Columbus Dispatch and finishing second in the small market division was Lorrie Cecil from ThisWeek Newspapers.

The James R. Gordon Ohio Understanding Award was awarded to Erin Clark, from Ohio University for her entry “The Story of Torch,” a documentary essay on a small Southeastern Ohio town. Clark also won the Chuck Scott Student Photographer of the Year award.

Liz Moughon from Ohio University won Best of Show in the contest for her feature picture story entry “Micheshia.”

Alexandria Skowronski from Ohio University won the Larry Fullerton Photojournalism Scholarship.


Winners list and photo galleries and winning videos

Cincinnati Enquirer wins Pulitzer Prize for local reporting.

The Cincinnati Enquirer won the Pulitzer Prize for its story "Seven Days of Heroin."

Sixty journalist blanketed the Cincinnati area to tell the story of heroins deadly toll in the community.

Previously the title video for the series was recognized in NPPA's Best of Photojournalism contest. The video won first place for Best Team Video in the annual ONPA contest.

Ryan Kelly of The Daily Progress won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News photography for his image of people flying into the air as a car drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

Marcy Nighswander presented Carson Award by ONPA
Ohio University professor Marcy Nighswander was presented the Robert S. Carson Memorial Award by ONPA for outstanding contribution to photojournalism during the annual seminar at Ohio University. The award is considered ONPA’s highest honor.

A graduate of Bowling Green State University Nighswander began her career as a staff photographer for the Review-Times in Fostoria, Ohio. She moved on to the Akron Beacon Journal where she was ONPA Photographer of the Year for her work in 1976 and was the first woman to achieve that distinction.

After ten years in Akron she went to the Cincinnati Post and then on to the Associated Press Washington Bureau where she was part of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize in Feature Photography for a collection of images from the 1992 presidential campaign.

Since 1995 Nighswander has been a professor at the School of Visual Communication at Ohio University. Her co-worker Terry Eiler, professor emeritus at Ohio University, made the presentation after taking the surprised recipient on a visual walk down memory lane. tops in NPPA's Best of Photojournalism

 The Cincinnati Enquirer/ won first place for Multimedia Portfolio Team, Large Market in NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism contests.

 They also won first place Sports Mutimedia Story for “On Opening Day, This One Belongs to Us.” The team for that project included: Carrie Cochran producer/cinematographer/editor, Paul Daugherty writer/narrator, Meg Vogel cinematography, Cara Owsley cinematography, C. Trent Rosecrans cinematography, Kareem Elgazzar additional cinematography. also won third Documentary Multimedia Package for  "Seven Days of Heroin.” Team members included: Carrie Cochran producer/cinematographer/editor, Meg Vogel assistant producer/cinematographer/assistant editor, Liz Dufour cinematographer/production assistance, Terry Demio narrator, Dan Horn reporter/writer, Cara Owsley, Sam Greene, Shae Combs and Phil Didion cinematographers, Amanda Rossmann production supervisor.

 Katie Falkenberg from the Los Angeles Times, originally from Ohio, won second place for Multimedia Portfolio Individual in the Multimedia competition.

 In the still competition Jessica Phelps from the Newark Advocate placed second for Best Published Picture Story Smaller Markets for her story “Fatherhood.”

 Maddie McGarvey, from Columbus, won an honorable mention in Portrait and Personality.

 Richard Tsong-Taatarii of the Minneapolis Star Tribune is the Photojournalist of the Year for Large Markets. Jake May of the Flint Journal won the title of Photojournalist of the Year for small markets. Sarah Ann Jump from The Herald in Jasper, IN placed second. May was a speaker for ONPA two years ago and Jump is taking part in this years seminar and judging.

Associated Press Society of Ohio 2017 awards
  Sam Greene from the Cincinnati Enquirer, Scott Heckel from The Canon Repository, Bill Lackey from the Springfield News-Sun, Jessica Phelps from the Newark Advocate and Daniel Melogran from The Bowling Green Sentinel Tribune were named Best Photographers in the annual Ohio Associated Press Media Editors newspaper competition.

 In the broadcast competition Marcus Nichols from WBNS-TV, Columbus was named Best Photographer for large markets and Byron Stirsman from WHIO-TV was Best Photographer for small markets.

 Best use of Photography Awards went to Ali Ghanbari from WJW-TV in Cleveland and Robert Meluch from WFMJ-TV in Youngstown.

 Click here for a complete list of photography winners un the newspaper competition.

Kyle Robertson three-peats as Clip Photographer of the Year
    Kyle Robertson has won the ONPA Monthly Clip Contest title for the fourth time in five years. Robertson is the first three-peat winner since Jim Witmer of the Troy Daily News did so in 1991 capping a string of five titles in six years.

    Jeremy Wadsworth from The Blade finished second in the contest and Barbara Perenic from The Columbus Dispatch finished in third place, duplicating her efforts in the previous year.

   Robertson had wins in every category through the year and maximized his point as only two of his 33 wins during the course of the year were honorable mentions.

    As they have in recent years Dispatch photographers scored well over the course of the year claiming six spots in the final top ten standings.

Gallery of Kyle Robertson’s 2017 clip winners

2017 Final Top 10 Standings
1st - Kyle Robertson, The Columbus Dispatch - 1304
2nd - Jeremy Wadsworth, The Blade - 984
3rd - Barbara Perenic, The Columbus Dispatch - 934
4th - Joshua A. Bickel, The Columbus Dispatch - 894
5th - Andy Morrison, The Blade - 804
6th - Fred Squillante, The Columbus Dispatch - 694
7th - Eric Albrecht, The Columbus Dispatch - 604
8th - Bill Lackey, Springfield News-Sun - 594
9th - Eric Schelkun, Elsestar Images - 564
10th - Adam Cairns, The Columbus Dispatch -554
        - Leah Klafczynski, Akron Beacon Journal - 554

The December results and full final standings can be found here.