New regional strategy

World Press Photo Foundation announces new regional focused strategy and  International Advisory Committee

To offer a more global and better geographic balance of perspectives, the World Press Photo Foundation is launching a new regional strategy, changing the set-up of the annual contest, the judging, the exhibitions and the educational programs. In support of this new regional approach an International Advisory Committee has been appointed. 

Key changes to the annual World Press Photo Contest

  • Regions - There will be winners selected for every category in each region - to support the ability to showcase regional work. From these regional winners, the global winners will be selected. The six regions are: Africa, Asia, Europe, North and Central America, South America, and Southeast Asia and Oceania. 
  • Categories - Instead of the previous eight, mostly thematic categories (e.g. sports, nature, general news etc.), there now will be four format-based categories; Singles, Stories, Long-Term Projects and an Open Format category. These new categories could cover all themes relevant to all people in the world. The Open Format category is not limited to single exposure photographs and welcomes a range and/or mixture of photojournalistic and photo documentary storytelling mediums. With the addition of this new category the Digital Storytelling Contest is discontinued as a separate contest.
  • Judging - Some information about the contest entrants will be shared with jury members at a certain moment of the judging process to improve the selection of winning stories while also improving the balance of diversity across these stories.
  • Prizes - Regional and global winners will be offered a prize package.


In addition to changes in the contest set-up, new exhibition formats will be offered to better reach people in countries where World Press Photo is currently not exhibiting. These formats will be offered in addition to the existing solidarity model where exhibition fees in some places help subsidize exhibitions in others. For exhibitions, the production will also take place more regionally and locally when feasible.

Executive director, Joumana El Zein Khoury on the new strategy:

In a world where freedom of expression is under threat and where polarization is constantly increasing, connecting the world to the stories that matter is more relevant than ever. This means that the essence of World Press Photo remains the same.

To be worthy of the word ‘World’ that is part of our name we have decided to regionalize all of our work: our photo contest, exhibitions, education programs, and the rest of our activities. This represents a big change for us and will have to be gradually implemented. We will also have to learn and adapt along the way."

International Advisory Committee 
In support of this new regional approach, an International Advisory Committee has been appointed to help us stay globally relevant:

  • Chair: Brigitte Baptiste, Colombia, cultural landscape ecologist, expert on environmental issues and biodiversity, and an important leader in gender diversity.
  • Mark Sealy, United Kingdom, executive director of Autograph ABP and principal research fellow, Decolonising Photography at University Arts London.
  • Newsha Tavakolian, Iran, photojournalist, documentary photographer and a 2021 World Press Photo Contest winner.
  • Tanvi Mishra, India, photo editor, curator, writer and creative director, The Caravan. Former World Press Photo Contest jury member.

Brigitte Baptiste, committee chair on the role of the new advisory committee:

“As the chair of the International Advisory Committee of the World Press Photo Foundation, I am grateful to support their commitment to sharing a multiplicity of voices and supporting equality within the photojournalistic industry. I believe it is time to reject homogeneity and make room for real diversity, for the diversity that is represented by the interactions between all the people on an always changing planet. With the new changes at World Press Photo, I want to help enhance their capacities to generate more high-quality stories that more truly represent our world and what is happening in it.”

More information and background on the new strategy and advisory committee here and for the FAQ click here.

The contest entries will open on 1 December 2021. For details on the contest changes, see
here. More details about the contest will be gradually added here over the next few weeks.

Contact us
For additional information or request for interviews please contact our Communications team:

Image credit: Sartep Othman/Metrography