Paul Melcher's selection: China International Press
© Goran Tomasevic
China is certainly not know to be a land where freedom of the press thrives. It has been accused, many times, of not only censoring information but also preventing access to it. This is why it is surprising that since 2005 it has its own world press photo competition that generously includes worldwide photography. The China International Press Photo Contest, or CHIPP, is an 8 years old competition held annually during the month of March,organized by China Photo Journalism Society. Like it's western sister, the World Press, it rewards excellence in photojournalism for the previous year.
It's jury is always composed of a mixed of Chinese photo industry executives as well as pro-eminent US photo editors. More than 2,300 photojournalists from over 50 countries and regions entered over 30,000 pieces. Foreign photographers contributed 60 percent of the total entries. The result is always of high quality and to the level of any international photojournalism competition with a twist. Unlike other competitions, it obviously includes an important number of Chinese photojournalism which we, unfortunately, see too little of. The result is a not only a broader understanding of our world but also a refreshing view of the events that plagued our world in the previous year. This years winner, Goran Tomasevic's image of a shell passing by a group of Libyan freedom fighters, clearly shows that not only the judging is of extremely high quality but that the winners do not have to be chinese related. From Sports to environmental issues, to people in the news and portraits, the awards cover a large array of different photographic approach. This year's winners in the 16 different categories are a surprising and refreshing mix of passionate photojournalists from a very wide background.
The result website is of antiquated design, so be patient while you scroll through the winners' galleries. The images are also stamped with a very colorful yet very distracting logo, understandably for copyright protection. Nevertheless, it is a treat to explore.