Ladies and gentlemen, we have WB winner(s)

Shamus Walker takes World's Best judge J. Bruce Baumann's portrait Sunday for The Best of News Design annual.

UPDATE: FINAL WINNERS CHOSEN; JUDGES TURN THEIR FOCUS TOWARD EDITING WINNERS AND PREPARING THEIR TEAM STATEMENTS

The judges ended a busy day by having their portraits taken for the annual winners’ book — The Best of News Design.

Day three began at 9 a.m. with judges discussing the merits of the newspapers that remained on the tables after two days of reviewing the 240 entries. Two rounds of cuts brought judges very close to making the final decisions that would result in selecting the World’s Best-Designed™ newspapers published in 2009.

The atmosphere in the judging room quickly changed, according to competition director C. Marshall Matlock, to one of “the most compassionate discussions” he says he’s heard in 21 years of directing SND’s annual print competition. “I only wish I had a video camera to capture the moments,” he said.

Judges had an articulate, compassionate and relevant discussion before they made their final decision by secret ballot. Video interviews are scheduled with each of the judges late Monday or early Tuesday in advance of the final announcement of the WB winners.