The 30th Edition: Introducing the judges

The 27 judges for the general competition of The Best of Newspaper Design™ have been announced by Dennis Varney of the Lexington Herald-Leader, the coordinator for the judging. Here’s a listing of the judges, by teams and categories.


From left, Diego Zúñiga García-Falces, Santiago Carlos Ayulo, Gun Råberg-Kjellerstrand, Epha Riche, Jonathon Berlin


Santiago Carlos Ayulo is the sports and business design director for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Previously he was lead sports designer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Albuquerque Journal. Originally born in Peru, Carlos has been living in the United States since he was eight years old. Carlos and staff have won several SND awards for the P-D.

Jonathon Berlin is the design and graphics director of the Chicago Tribune. He lives in Chicago with his wife, two sons and dog. He is also the editor of the Society for News Design’s quarterly magazine, Design Journal. He previously worked at the San Jose Mercury News, the Rocky Mountain News and The Times of Northwest Indiana.

Diego Zúñiga García-Falces is art director of El Correo in Bilbao, Spain, where he directs design and graphics for the newspaper and GPS, the paper’s weekly magazine. He has won several awards for the newspaper’s design and is working on the paper’s redesign. He has been art director for the design studio Arcadia, working on many newspaper redesigns.

Gun Råberg-Kjellerstrand is editor in chief and MD, Ulricehamns Tidning, Sweden. Before that she was the design editor at Östersunds-Posten, where she and her publication won more than 50 awards from SND/S and other European newspaper design competitions, including being named The Best Designed Local Newspaper in Europe for 2006.

Epha Riche is editor of IndyMoms magazine and Web site, which grew into the nationwide network Prior to launching Moms, she was news design director at the Indianapolis Star. She has been recognized by SND for outstanding work while she was presentation director at the Lexington Herald-Leader and The Times of Northwest Indiana.


From left, Robert Pope, Scott Minister, Anna W. Thurfjell, Chris Ross, Josh Awtry


Josh Awtry is the assistant managing editor for online and presentation at The Salt Lake Tribune, where he has been an outspoken advocate for reader-centered change and telling stories in new ways. He has been a speaker at the Society’s annual conventions and Poynter Institute workshops. He has previously worked at newspapers in South Carolina and Nebraska.

Scott Minister is an art director and designer for The Columbus Dispatch. He oversees a staff of visual journalists who produce daily and Sunday section fronts, special sections, informational graphics and illustrations.

Robert Pope is a commercial and editorial photographer based in Springfield, Illinois. From 1995-2007 he served as managing editor, AME/graphics and director of photography for The State Journal-Register in Springfield. A graduate of Western Kentucky University, Pope serves on the Professional Advisory Committee for WKU’s School of Journalism & Broadcasting.

Chris Ross, design editor at The San Diego Union-Tribune, oversees a staff of 16 designers. She also is co-editor of the paper’s Homescape section. Chris was a reporter and copy editor before gravitating to design. In her 30 years as a visual journalist, she has worked as both a features and news designer.

Anna W. Thurfjell is design director at Svenska Dagbladet, Stockholm, Sweden. She works in-house with developing newspaper concepts and redesign and the switch to compact redesign of SvD in 2004 became a role model for many Nordic newspapers. The newspaper was named World Best-Designed Newspaper™ in 2005.


From left, Guillermo Munro, Chiara Bautista, Nikki Life, Martin Gee, Carmen Riera


Chiara Bautista has worked as a graphic designer and editorial artist for the past 10 years. Her work has won design awards from SND and other organizations. She has been a graphic artist for the Arizona Daily Star since 2001.

Martin Gee is the art director of Oregon Business Magazine. He has worked at the San Jose Mercury News, Chicago Tribune, House of Blues Entertainment and Orange County Register. His design and illustrations have been recognized numerous times by SND. He has spoken at various conferences, workshops, newspapers and schools.

Nikki Life is the design director for The St. Petersburg Times, where she started her career as an intern and returned as a features-page designer in 1997. During her hiatus from the Times, she was a features designer at The Times of Northwest Indiana and the design coordinator at The State in Columbia, S.C.

Guillermo Munro is a senior infographic artist at the Gulf News, Dubai, UAE. He has worked for El Imparcial Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico; Mura, Guadalajara, Mexico; the Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas; the Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, Arizona; the Chicago Sun-Times, to mention a few publications.

Carmen Riera is the art director of Cadena Capriles, where she supervised the creation of the sports newspaper Líder (2004) and the re-design of the newspapers El Mundo (2006) and Líder (2008). She is also a professor of graphic arts and infographics at the Universidad Central de Venezuela and coordinates the Seminar for News Design in Caracas.


From left, Steve Cowden, Wm Pitzer, Jördis Guzman Bulla, Gorka Sampedro, Hiroyuki Kimurai


Steve Cowden has worked for The Oregonian since 1990. He enjoys the process of researching, designing and creating graphics that are both visually beautiful and informative. He graduated from California Polytechnic State University in 1986. In 2007 he was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Journalism for a series of graphics explaining the newest computer chip.

Jördis Guzman Bulla is the art director of the national German Sunday newspaper “Welt am Sonntag”. Her work was honored by SND with a Gold Medal in 2007. Her paper also won Best Designed newspaper at the European Newspaper Awards in that same year. In 2007, she sailed across the Atlantic in a 17-day race and published from daily podcasts, photos and blog reports for “Welt Online.”

Hiroyuki Kimurai is the founding director of Tube Graphics, a pioneering information graphics firm in Tokyo, Japan. For more than 20 years, he has designed graphics especially for publications. He received a Gold Medal from the Malofiej Awards in 1995. He designed graphics for the official guidebook at Nagano Olympic winter games 1998. He has served as a judge for the Malofiej Awards and spoke at the SND Congress in Barcelona.

Wm Pitzer, news graphics editor at The Charlotte Observer, is an illustrator and writer specializing in visualizing information in print and online. He is also the principle of InfoArtz ( Pitzer is an honors graduate of Glenville State College and holds an MA in New Media from Appalachian State University.

Gorka Sampedro is graphics and illustration director at El Economista in Madrid, Spain. The newspaper has been named by SND as one of the World´s Best-Designed Newspapers™. Before El Economista he was graphics editor and illustrator at The New York Times. He was a founding member of El Mundo´s art department in 1989. Sampedro has won many SND awards.


From left, Jeanie Adams-Smith, Eric Seals, Kevin Wendt, Guido Strotheide, Ellen Dietrich-Gleich


Jeanie Adams-Smith, a photojournalism professor at Western Kentucky University for the past seven years and author of three books of her photography, is a multiple awards winner in her field. Most recently she has visited Cuba twice to document the everyday lives of people in Old Havana. Before joining WKU, Jeanie was a photo editor at the Chicago Tribune.

Ellen Dietrich-Gleich is the picture editor in chief at the weekly newspaper Die Zeit in Hamburg, where she has been since 1997. She has been teaching photojournalism since 1990 in Germany and Switzerland, and worked as an editor 12 years for another political weekly in Bonn.

Eric Seals, a photo and video journalist, worked at The State Newspaper in Columbia, S.C. from 1994 to 1998 before moving home in early 1999 to join the staff of the Detroit Free Press. Among the many events Seals has covered include the Presidential campaigns from Bill Clinton to Barack Obama, the California earthquakes, Florida wildfires and hurricanes in North and South Carolina. He has won numerous state and national awards for his work.

Guido Strotheide has been a designer and editor at the Jacksonville Journal-Courier since 1997. Before that, he interned for a year and a half in the Journal-Courier’s photography department. His awards include several SND awards and a Best Use of Pictures from the Pictures of Year competition.

Kevin Wendt,at the age of 30, was named editor of The Huntsville (Alabama) Times in July 2008. He previously spent eight years at the San Jose Mercury News, where he was most recently as an assistant managing editor overseeing sports and copy desks as well as design.


From left, Denise Clifton and Bonita Burton


Bonita Burton is the deputy managing editor of the Orlando Sentinel, overseeing photography, graphics, design and copy editing. Previously she was business design director at the San Jose Mercury News, as well as a designer at the Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Daily News. She is also SND’s vice president.

Denise Clifton is the director for visuals and news projects at The Seattle Times. She has been a designer and art director for more than 12 years at The Times, winning several SND awards. She also spent the 2004-2005 academic year as a Knight Fellow at Stanford University studying storytelling through art, film and literature.

About Matt Mansfield

is a Partner at MG Strategy+ Design.