Spot News Photography

Finalists have been announced since 1980. Full texts, photographs and cartoons are available for Journalism winners from 1995–2015 only.


1999 Photo Staff Associated Press

For its portfolio of images following the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania that illustrates both the horror and the humanity triggered by the event.

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1998 Martha Rial Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

For her life-affirming portraits of survivors of the conflicts in Rwanda and Burundi.

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1997 Annie Wells The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, CA

For her dramatic photograph of a local firefighter rescuing a teenager from raging floodwaters.

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1996 Charles Porter IV, a freelancer

For his haunting photographs, taken after the Oklahoma City bombing and distributed by the Associated Press, showing a one-year-old victim handed to and then cradled by a local fireman.

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1995 Carol Guzy The Washington Post

For her series of photographs illustrating the crisis in Haiti and its aftermath.

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1994 Paul Watson The Toronto Star

For his photograph, published in many American newspapers, of a U.S. soldier's body being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu by a mob of jeering Somalis.

1993 Ken Geiger and William Snyder The Dallas Morning News

For their dramatic photographs of the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

1992 Staff Associated Press

For photographs of the attempted coup in Russia and the subsequent collapse of the Communist regime.

1991 Greg Marinovich Associated Press

For a series of photographs of supporters of South Africa's African National Congress brutally murdering a man they believed to be a Zulu spy.

1990 Photo Staff The Tribune, Oakland, CA

For photographs of devastation caused by the Bay Area earthquake of October 17, 1989.

1989 Ron Olshwanger, free-lance photographer

For a picture published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch of a firefighter giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a child pulled from a burning building.

1988 Scott Shaw Odessa (TX) American

For his photograph of the child Jessica McClure being rescued from the well into which she had fallen.

1987 Kim Komenich San Francisco Examiner

For his photographic coverage of the fall of Ferdinand Marcos.

1986 Carol Guzy and Michel du Cille The Miami Herald

For their photographs of the devastation caused by the eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano in Colombia.

1985 Photography Staff The Register, Santa Ana, CA

For their exceptional coverage of the Olympic games.

1984 Stan Grossfeld The Boston Globe

For his series of unusual photographs which reveal the effects of war on the people of Lebanon.

1983 Bill Foley Associated Press

For his moving series of pictures of victims and survivors of the massacre in the Sabra Camp in Beirut.

1982 Ron Edmonds Associated Press

For his coverage of the Reagan assassination attempt.

1981 Larry C. Price Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram

For his photographs from Liberia.

1980 Jahangir Razmi Ettela'at, Iran

For the photograph "Firing Squad in Iran" that was distributed by United Press International. The photographer remained anonymous until his identity was revealed, with his consent, by Josh Prager of The Wall Street Journal in 2006.

1979 Thomas J. Kelly III Pottstown (PA) Mercury

For a series called "Tragedy on Sanatoga Road."

1978 John H. Blair of United Press International, a special assignment photographer

For a photograph of an Indianapolis broker being held hostage at gunpoint.

1977 Stanley Forman Boston Herald American

For his photograph of a youth using the flag as a lance in street disorders.

1977 Neal Ulevich Associated Press

For a series of photographs of disorder and brutality in the streets of Bangkok.

1976 Stanley Forman Boston Herald American

For his sequence of photographs of a fire in Boston on July 22, 1975.

1975 Gerald H. Gay The Seattle Times

For his photograph of four exhausted firemen, "Lull in the Battle."

1974 Anthony K. Roberts, a free-lance photographer of Beverly Hills, CA

For his picture series, "Fatal Hollywood Drama," in which an alleged kidnapper was killed.

1973 Huynh Cong Ut Associated Press

For his photograph, "The Terror of War," depicting children in flight from a napalm bombing.

1972 Horst Faas and Michel Laurent Associated Press

For their picture series, "Death in Dacca."

1971 John Paul Filo Valley Daily News and Daily Dispatch, Tarentum and New Kensington, PA

For his pictorial coverage of the Kent State University tragedy on May 4, 1970.

1970 Steve Starr Associated Press, Albany (NY) Bureau

For his news photo taken at Cornell University, "Campus Guns."

1969 Edward T. Adams Associated Press

For his photograph, "Saigon Execution."

1968 Rocco Morabito Jacksonville Journal

For his photograph, "The Kiss of Life."


1999 Mike Stocker Sun-Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, FL

For his consistently powerful photographs of the devastation caused by Hurricane Mitch on Central America.

1999 Photo Staff Register-Guard, Eugene, OR

For its coverage of a community recoiling then recovering from a brutal shooting spree at a local high school.

1998 Jean-Marc Bouju Associated Press

For his chilling sequence of seven photographs in Zaire depicting rebel soldiers beating and then executing a man believed to be a member of Mobuto Sese Sekos' presidential guard.

1998 Photo Staff Grand Forks (ND) Herald

For its committed coverage of the severe flooding that devastated their community.

1997 Corinne Dufka Reuters

For her chilling photograph of the execution of a Liberian prisoner on the streets of Monrovia.

1997 Alexander Zemlianichenko Associated Press

For his photograph of Russian President Boris Yeltsin dancing at a rock concert during his campaign for re-election. (Originally submitted in Feature Photography and returned by the Board to that category.)

1996 Jerome Delay Associated Press

For his dramatic photographic coverage of the Middle East and Bosnia (Moved by the Jury from the Feature Photography category.)

1996 Staff Associated Press

For a portfolio of searing images of the war in Chechnya.

1995 Denis Farrell Associated Press

For his aerial-view photograph of hundreds of South Africans lined up to vote in the country's first all-race elections.

1995 David Leeson The Dallas Morning News

For his photograph of a Texas family moving through chest-high flood waters, a group he ultimately led to safety.

1994 Kevin Carter, a free-lance photographer of The New York Times

For a picture first published in The New York Times of a starving Sudanese girl who collapsed on her way to a feeding center while a vulture waited nearby (Originally submitted in Feature Photography and returned by the Board to that category.)

1994 Staff Los Angeles Times

For photographs of the devastation left by fires that blazed through Southern California.

1993 Photographic Staff Palm Beach (FL) Post

For its coverage of the shattering impact of Hurricane Andrew on South Florida.

1993 Photographic Staffs The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald

For pictures depicting the force of Hurricane Andrew and the strength of those who survived the storm.

1992 David C. Turnley Detroit Free Press

For a photograph from the Persian Gulf War of a grieving American soldier sitting by the body of a slain friend.

1992 Staff Associated Press

For photographs of Albanian refugees stranded in Italy.

1991 Photo Staff Detroit Free Press

For photographs of Nelson Mandela's release from prison and subsequent trip to America.

1991 Photo Staff Newsday, Long Island, New York

For photographs taken after the crash of Avianca Flight 52 in Cove Neck, New York.

1990 A photographer (presently unnamed) Associated Press

For a photograph of the funeral bier of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini surrounded by a mob of emotional mourners.

1990 Jeff Widener Associated Press

For a photograph of an unidentified man blocking the path of a procession of tanks in Beijing.

1990 David C. Turnley Detroit Free Press

For photographs of the political uprisings in China and Eastern Europe.

1989 George Riedel Associated Press

For his series of photographs from an airshow disaster in Ramstein, West Germany, where three Italian stunt planes collided in mid-air.

1989 Ben Van Hook The Louisville Courier-Journal

For his photograph of a boy clutching his father at a memorial service for 27 victims of a bus accident in northern Kentucky.

1988 Paul Vathis Associated Press

For his sequence of photographs of a Pennsylvania state official who shot himself during a news conference.

1988 Carol Guzy and Brian Smith The Miami Herald

For their series of photographs depicting the violence and political turmoil in Haiti.

1987 Bernie Boston Los Angeles Times

For his photograph of Coretta Scott King at the unveiling of a bronze bust of her late husband in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.

1987 Michael R. Brown and Malcolm A. Denemark Florida Today

For their photographs of the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger.

1986 David Walters The Miami Herald

For his photos of Mexico City after the earthquake.

1986 Photography Team The Dallas Morning News

For its coverage of the Mexico City earthquake.

1985 Bruce Chambers Press-Telegram, Long Beach, CA

For his photographs of the Mary Decker-Zola Budd run-in during the 1984 Olympics.

1985 Larry C. Price The Philadelphia Inquirer

For his series of photographs from Angola and El Salvador depicting their war-torn inhabitants.

1984 Bill Foley Associated Press

For his dramatic photograph of U.S. Marines rescuing an injured comrade after the terrorist attack on the U.S. Marine compound in Beirut.

1984 James Lott III The Spokesman-Review, Spokane (WA)

For his photograph of a young boy being comforted by a fireman in the aftermath of a neighborhood apartment house blaze.

1984 Mohamed Rawas Associated Press

For his telling photograph of a grieving Palestinian woman holding a picture of her dead son.

1983 James L. Davis The Arizona Daily Star

For his photographs of a shoot-out between members of a religious sect and local law enforcement officers in Miracle Valley, Ariz.

1983 Daymon J. Hartley, freelance photographer of United Press International

For his photographs of a fire rescue in Detroit.

1983 Chester Panzer WRC-TV, Washington, DC

For his dramatic photos of the rescue of survivors of the Air Florida jet crash.

1982 Don Rypka United Press International

For a Reagan assassination attempt photo.

1982 Staff Fort Lauderdale News and Sun Sentinel

For coverage of a Haitian refugee boat disaster.

1981 David Tenenbaum Associated Press

For his picture of the flag-draped hockey goalie Jim Craig at the 1980 Olympics.

1981 Roger A. Werth Longview (WA) Daily News

For his photographs of Mt. St. Helens.

1980 Robert L. Gay Charleston (WV) Daily Mail

For a series on a crazed veteran and a churchful of hostages.

1980 Michael Haering Los Angeles Herald Examiner

For a shot of a girl being struck by a car at a street demonstration in Beverly Hills.