Jay Janner

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Recipient of the STAR PHOTOJOURNALIST OF THE YEAR award in The Charles E. Green Awards (2018)

Jay Janner
Austin American-Statesman

Round Rock police officers Sean Randolph, left, and Kevin Fruge cry at the funeral for Round Rock police officer Charles Whites at Shoreline Church on Wednesday May 2, 2018. Whites, a 19-year veteran of the Round Rock Police Department, died from injuries sustained on February 25 when he was struck by a car while directing traffic around an accident on Interstate 35. [JAY JANNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

Round Rock police officers Sean Randolph, left, and Kevin Fruge cry at the funeral for Round Rock police officer Charles Whites at Shoreline Church on Wednesday May 2, 2018. Whites, a 19-year veteran of the Round Rock Police Department, died from injuries sustained on February 25 when he was struck by a car while directing traffic around an accident on Interstate 35. [JAY JANNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

Judge’s Comments:

All four finalists in the Headliners Foundation’s Photojournalist of the Year competition submitted some very strong images for which they should all enjoy a sense of accomplishment as they help keep their communities informed.

Congratulations to Jay Janner of the Austin American Statesman for his high quality work that earns him the title of Photojournalist of the Year.

Janner’s work reflects an empathy for his subjects, a creative eye that makes good use of lensing and angles, and a keen sense of timing.

By using a drone, Janner has offered a view and perspective that his readers would never have seen because of perimeter restrictions at the crime and fire scenes. As a bonus, the images are both well composed to help hold the viewers’ attention even longer while picking out details that are intriguing and informative.

Readers can’t help to have a strong reaction to the poignant image of the young father grieving over the death of his infant child who died at a day care center. The moment is deafeningly quiet as it tells a story that must be shouted for all to hear. This kind of work is why journalists do their jobs and they must not be hindered or censored.

As a welcome relief, Janner also displays a sense of humor as seen in his SXSW, donkey, and Boy Scout Parade photos. Patience often rewards a photographer as the unexpected presents itself.

Whether sports, spot news, or features, Jay Janner of the Austin American Statesman provides photographic coverage at a high and consistent standard, telling stories along the way while respecting both his subjects and readers. He well deserves the honor to carry the title of Photographerof the Year.

Cliff Schiappa
Development Director,
Heartland Men’s Chorus and former AP photo editor

Judge’s Bio:

Cliff Schiappa’s career as a photojournalist began in high school at his hometown weekly newspaper founded by Walt Whitman in Huntington, NY. He earned his bachelor’s degree in photojournalism at the University of Missouri and worked at The Kansas City Times for four years and The Associated Press for 23 years.

He traveled to five continents covering major stories including the summer Olympics in Seoul and Barcelona, papal tours of the United States and South America, presidential campaigns, Hurricane Katrina, Final Fours, World Series, Super Bowls, Goodwill Games and 8-man football in southern Kansas. In the early 90’s, Schiappa visited 120 newsrooms to teach journalists how to operate the AP LeafDesk, the first electronic darkroom that transformed the industry. In 2000, Schiappa was promoted to assistant bureau chief and in 2004 was named Midwest photo editor responsible for AP photo coverage in 13 states. He has received top honors from the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, National Headliner Awards and the National Press Photographers Association. Schiappa has served as a member of the board of NPPA and a trustee at the William Allen White Foundation at the University of Kansas. He was inducted into the Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame in 2011. From 2008 to 2018 he worked in the non-profit sector as Interim Executive Director at an adult literacy program and as Development Director at Heartland Men’s Chorus where he also sang bass. He is now retired and living in his small corner of paradise in Palm Springs, CA.

To see photos from Jay Janner’s prize-winning portfolio, please click the links below:

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Headliners Foundation