“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,” explained jury member Mary Calvert. “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 epitomises the definition of what the World Press Photo of the Year is and means,” added Calvert.
The decision is not without controversy. Stuart Franklin, chair of the jury, released an op-ed detailing his decision to vote against the image as World Press Photo of the Year, as he sees the image as morally problematic.
Notwithstanding the varying opinions, it’s undisputed that these distinguished photojournalists are at the apex of their craft. From nature and sports to contemporary issues and spot news, the best in photojournalism is represented over eight categories. Here are a few of the big winners.