Amsterdam, the Netherlands—The 2020 World Press Photo Contest and Digital Storytelling Contest opened for entries on December 2, 2019. Entering the contests is free, and all professional visual journalists worldwide are eligible.
Major awards for the 2020 World Press Photo Contest are the World Press Photo of the Year and the World Press Photo Story of the Year. Major awards for the Digital Storytelling Contest are the World Press Photo Interactive of the Year and the World Press Photo Online Video of the Year. Moreover, the awards carry a cash prize of more than $11,000 each.
In addition, the contest entries are judged independently by a jury of visual storytelling professionals. Zoeann Murphy, visual journalist at the Washington Post, will chair the 2020 Digital Storytelling Contest jury; Lekgetho Makola, head of Market Photo Workshop, will chair the 2020 Photo Contest jury.
World Press Photo Foundation Reaches Out
The World Press Photo Foundation is campaigning to attract a more representative range of submissions to both contests. It is focusing particularly on increasing the number of participants coming from countries currently underrepresented in the contests. In addition, it seeks to grow the number of entries from female visual journalists. “It is important for us to improve representation from underrepresented regions to encourage a diversity of perspectives and to showcase stories offering a more comprehensive representation of our world. For example, last year only 8% of World Press Photo Contest winners were from Africa; only 5% from South America,” said Anna Lena Mehr.
The 2019 photo contest saw a significant increase in the number of winners identifying as female, from 12% in 2018 to 32% in 2019. In addition to better gender representation amongst winners, the photo contest had a 3% increase in entrants identifying as female (16% in 2018 compared to 19% in 2019).
What’s more, the 2019 Digital Storytelling Contest showed a gender balance of 53% identifying as women and 47% identifying as men (represented by the main visual journalist).
“There is still work to do on increasing these numbers; however, it shows that our outreach campaign is starting to work. Improving diversity is important to us; it will take time, and we are committed to it,” added Mehr.
Furthermore, the World Press Photo Foundation is reaching out to its network, including former jury members and winners, partners and organizations. It also launched a social media campaign in an attempt to further improve the diversity of the entrants.
2020 Contest Timeline
The following dates should be noted by all those interested in entering the contest.
• January 9, 2020: photo contest registration deadline, 12:00 noon CET.
• January 14, 2020: submission deadline. Both contests’ websites close at 12:00 noon CET.
• April 16, 2020: awards show in Amsterdam.
• April 17–18, 2020: World Press Photo Festival in Amsterdam.
World Press Photo Foundation
The foundation is a global platform connecting professionals and audiences through trustworthy visual journalism and storytelling. In 1955, a group of Dutch photographers organized a contest to expose their work to an international audience.