2021 Photojournalism Championship
211 photo entries were submitted in the 2020-2021 News & Features and Picture Story/Series competitions. The top winners of those competitions qualified for the Hearst Journalism Awards National Championship. In addition, four finalists were selected from a semi-final round to participate.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Championship was held virtually again this year. Finalists met their judges on Zoom and fulfilled their assignments from home.
The assignment and instructions shared with the finalists:
“Throughout the last 18 months, the global pandemic and economic downturn have filled many of our days with uncertainty and unfamiliar protocols. Nothing that we are doing today, or have lived through in the last year, is normal. Coupled with racial divisions, political frictions, immigration restrictions, and Covid-19 afflictions have shaped our daily lives in ways that we could not have imagined.
How we celebrate birthdays, graduations, and other pinnacle achievements have changed. Additionally, the manner in which we mourn the loss of friends and family who have succumbed to COVID-19 or the passage of time has stretched the community’s bounds and tested our resilience. As we all begin to pick up the pieces and strive to regain order in our lives, the world has changed, and how communities are woven has unraveled, frayed, and then mended together.
Your assignment is to document the new normal that represents the American experience in 8-10 images. All of the last year and a half events have come together to create the chaotic normalcy of the world we live in today.”
The first-through-third place winners were awarded scholarships of $10,000, $7,500, and $5,000 respectively. The three finalists earned $1,500 scholarship awards.
In addition, two $1,000 awards were presented for Best Single Photo and Best Portfolio from the semi-final competition.
The winners and finalists are featured below.