World Press Photo announces winners of 2017 contests

The World Press Photo of the Year: Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, a 22-year-old off-duty police officer, shouts after assassinating the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, at an art exhibition in Ankara, Turkey, on 19 December 2016. © Burhan Ozbilici / The Associated Press

The World Press Photo Foundation announces the winners of its renowned contests, the 60th annual World Press Photo Contest and the 7th annual World Press Photo Digital Storytelling Contest.

The 2017 World Press Photo Contest
The World Press Photo of the Year honors the photographer whose visual creativity and skills made a picture that captures or represents an event or issue of great journalistic importance in the last year.

Burhan Ozbilici’s picture–which also won first prize in the Spot News Stories category–shows how Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, a 22-year-old off-duty police officer, assassinated the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, at an art exhibition in Ankara, Turkey, on 19 December 2016. Altıntaş wounded three other people before being killed by officers in a shootout. Ozbilici is a staff photographer for The Associated Press, based in Istanbul.

Mary F. Calvert, member of the jury, spoke about the winning photograph:

“It was a very very difficult decision, but in the end we felt that the picture of the Year was an explosive image that really spoke to the hatred of our times. Every time it came on the screen you almost had to move back because it’s such an explosive image and we really felt that it epitomizes the definition of what the World Press Photo of the Year is and means.”

Jury member João Silva added:

"Right now I see the world marching towards the edge of an abyss. This is a man who has clearly reached a breaking point and his statement is to assassinate someone who he really blames, a country that he blames, for what is going on elsewhere in the region. I feel that what is happening in Europe, what is happening in America, what is happening in the Far East, Middle East, Syria, and this image to me talks of it. It is the face of hatred."

The 2017 Photo Contest in numbers
The 2017 contest drew entries from around the world: 5,034 photographers from 126 countries submitted 80,408 images. The jury gave prizes in eight categories to 45 photographers from 25 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Iran, Italy, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Syria, New Zealand, Turkey, UK, and USA.

Discover all of the winners and the awarded photos in an image gallery:

Jury member Tanya Habjouqa said about this year’s winners:

“It was a very intense, sometimes brutal, discussion—sometimes even emotional—but I feel proud. I think we were brave in our decision. We were bold. I think the selection is definitely going to push forward a debate and I think it is a debate that is essential to have.”

You can also watch and download exclusive video interviews with the jury members here:

2017 Photo Contest jury and procedures
A group of internationally recognized professionals in the fields of photojournalism and documentary photography—chaired by Stuart Franklin—convened in Amsterdam to judge all entries. The jury is independent, and all entries were presented anonymously. A secretary without voting rights safeguards the fairness of the process, which is explained in full here:

For the full list of jury members and secretaries, please see:

The World Press Photo Foundation will release a technical report reviewing the contest, including the code of ethics, entry rules, and verification process on Monday, 27 February.

The premier award, the World Press Photo of the Year, carries a cash prize of 10,000 euros. In addition, Canon will present the winning photographer with a selection of camera equipment. For more information about Canon, please visit:

Award winners have their travel and lodging paid for by the World Press Photo Foundation to Amsterdam so they can attend the World Press Photo Festival, an event taking place 20-22 April featuring photographer presentations, screenings, and talks. For more information, see They also receive a diploma and a Golden Eye Award at the Awards Ceremony.

2017 Exhibition
The prize-winning photographs are assembled into an exhibition that travels to 45 countries and is seen by more than 4 million people each year. The winning pictures are also published in the annual yearbook, which is available in multiple languages. The first World Press Photo exhibition opens in De Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam, on 14 April 2017. For more information about the exhibition in Amsterdam, please go to:

This year’s exhibition displays will be printed on Canon large-format and Arizona flatbed printers. Please see the Canon website for further information:

The 2017 World Press Photo Digital Storytelling Contest
The Digital Storytelling Contest (previously known as the Multimedia Contest) rewards those producing the best forms of visual journalism enabled by digital technologies and the spread of the Internet. The contest is open to digital storytellers, visual journalists and producers, with submissions that include the work of a professional visual journalist.

Katerina Cizek, Chair of the Immersive Storytelling category said:

“This year, the entries in the Immersive Digital Storytelling Category were very strong, diverse and ambitious. The projects also ranged widely in scale and scope. Because of this, the jury deliberated on how to weigh and balance the diverse qualities of the projects, and agreed on the criteria of: excellence in visual storytelling, importance and originality of reporting, innovation in immersivity and depth of social relevance. We ultimately agreed upon three winners, who each excel in their own ways, exemplifying distinct developments in our emerging field.”

DJ Clark, Chair of the Short Form category added:

“This is a rapidly evolving media format in its early stages. We need people to push the boundaries and experiment. It won’t always work, but when it does it stands out.”

Overview of first-prize winners
First Prize - Immersive Storytelling
The Dig

Topaz Adizes, Executive Director, Creative Director
Mike Knowlton, Executive Director, Creative Director, Creative Technologist
Carla Tramullas, Creative Director, UX Designer
Julia Gorbach, Creative Director
Mark Harris, Creative Director, Creative Technologist
Joe Wheeler, UX Designer
Olivier H. Beauchesne, Data Visualization

Season 1:
Julia Gorbach, Director, Producer, Additional Camera & Sound
Carla Tramullas, Director, Cinematographer
Dane Benko, Editor
Nicholas D’Agostino, Editor
Mériem Dehbi-Talbot, Associate Producer
Grace Larkin, Associate Producer
Julius Bowditch, Associate Producer
Paige Polk, Associate Producer
Hans Lueders, Associate Producer
The Skin Deep + Murmur

First Prize - Innovative Storytelling
A New Age of Walls

Zoeann Murphy, Video Reporter
Anthony Faiola, Berlin Bureau Chief
Reem Akkad, Senior Video Producer
Kat Downs Mulder, Graphics Director
Kevin Schaul, Graphics Editor
Douglas Jehl, Foreign Editor
Samuel Granados, Senior Graphics Editor
The Washington Post

First Prize - Short Form

Zackary Canepari, Director
Carter Gunn, Editor
Christopher ISenberg, Producer
Christopher Gary, Producer
Drea Cooper, Producer
Sue Jaye Johnson, Producer, Cinematography, Additional Interviews
Sophia Rose, Cinematography
Jessica Dimmock, Cinematography
Mo Scarpelli, Cinematography
Matthew Joynt, Original Music
Nate Sandberg, Original Music
Gregg White, Coloring
Brian Susko, Sound Mix
Lindsey Phillips, Additional Editing
Co-produced by Great Big Story and Victory Journal

First Prize - Long Form
When The Spirit Moves

Justin Maxon, Director, Cinematographer
Jared Moossy, Director, Cinematographer

See a gallery of all the winners:

The 2017 Digital Storytelling Contest in numbers
This year, 282 productions were submitted to the contest: 135 Short Form, 54 Long Form, 62 Immersive Storytelling and 31 Innovative Storytelling.

Winners in each category are invited to the World Press Photo Festival in Amsterdam. A representative from each of the winning productions will have their travel and lodging paid for by the World Press Photo Foundation. The winners in each category will receive a diploma and a Golden Eye Award, presented during the annual Awards Ceremony. The prize-winning projects are assembled into an exhibition that travels to select locations. In 2016, the exhibition locations included China, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and UAE.

Posted February 13 2017

About The World Press Photo Foundation

We are a global platform connecting professionals and audiences through trustworthy visual journalism and storytelling. Founded in 1955 when a group of Dutch photographers organized a contest to share their work with an international audience, the competition has grown into the world’s most prestigious photography award and our mission has expanded. We encourage diverse accounts of the world that present stories with different perspectives. We exhibit those stories to a worldwide audience, educate the profession and the public on their making, and encourage debate on their meaning.

The World Press Photo Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization, based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. We receive support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and are sponsored worldwide by Canon.