Photojournalism Guidelines

  • Each university may submit two entrants’ work per competition.
  • Photo entrants do not have to be journalism majors to enter the photo competitions as long as they are
    attending a university with an ACEJMC-accredited journalism program or are a recent graduate of said
  • Spring, summer or fall 2021 graduates may enter the 2021-2022 competitions but would not be eligible to participate in the 2022 Championship.
  • The entries must have been published before the students were graduated.
  • All photo entries must be appropriate to the competition in which they are submitted and must have been made by the entrant.
  • One photograph from each entry must have been published in print or online or both during the time period designated to each competition.
  • Entries may be submitted from newspapers, magazines, online media or websites.
  • If the entry is from a professional publication, a statement from the editor of that publication must be
    submitted to verify that the photo was the work of the entrant.
  • Photos approved for a yearbook not yet published are also acceptable if accompanied by a letter from the department administrator verifying the photo’s use in the publication.
  • An entrant may enter both photo competitions unless they qualify for the semi-final round after Photo I.
  • An entrant who has won first place in the Championship is not eligible to compete in future competitions in the same category.
  • An entry submitted once may not be resubmitted in any other competition or in any other competition year.

This competition is journalism. The content may not be digitally altered significantly beyond standard
optimization as in cropping, reasonable adjustments to exposure, color and contrast, etc.

It is not permissible to alter the basic reality of a photograph.
No removal or insertion of objects from the photo.
No cloning pixels to create a new image or add to an image.
No radical color changes.

How to Enter

  • Entrants are nominated by their schools via email. The nominated entrants are then invited to upload their images to Photoshelter.
  • Details will be sent to all participating journalism schools.
    If you would like to receive information emails about the competitions, please contact Program Director
    Jan Watten:

Photo Competitions

Photojournalism I: News and Features

An entry consists of a minimum of four images (at least two news and two features) and a maximum of eight

News: breaking news, general news or news photos relating to sporting events.

Features: features, portraits, sports, documentary photography.

All photographs must have been taken during the following time frame and one image must have been
disseminated in print or online or both from September 1, 2020 through November 8, 2021.

DEADLINE: Entries must be received by November 9, 2021.

Photojournalism II: Picture Story/Series – Visual Journalism

Each entry must include one picture story/series (still images) with up to fifteen images on any subject.
Optional: entrant may include a video that contains the images submitted in the picture story, not to exceed 60 seconds.
Nat sound or dialog is acceptable, but not necessary.

All photographs must have been taken during the following time frame and one image must have been
disseminated in print or online or both from September 1, 2020 through January 31, 2022.

DEADLINE: Entries must be received by February 1, 2022.

Photojournalism Semi-Final Competition

The semi-final competition is open to the top 10 semi-finalists from the two photo competitions: the four top-scoring entrants in each competition, plus two entrants with the highest accumulated or combined scores.

DEADLINE: Entries must be received by April 18, 2022.

National Photojournalism Championship

This event is open to the two first-place winners in photo I and photo II and four finalists selected from the semi-final round. Dates: May 21-26, 2022.


Photojournalism entries are judged based on the following criteria:

  • Photographic quality
  • Visual storytelling
  • Versatility
  • Consistency
  • Human interest
  • News value
  • Originality
  • Editing
  • Writing
  • Reporting