March 05, 2007

Bittle captures national photojournalism honors

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Max Bittle, a photojournalism student at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, placed 10th in a national photojournalism contest.

Bittle, a junior majoring in journalism from Carterville, receives $500 for his finish in the second round of photojournalism competition of the 2006-2007 Hearst Journalism Awards Program. Fifty college photographers from throughout the nation competed in the program's news and sports photography category.

Bittle earlier placed 11th in the competition's portrait and feature category. A third category, picture story — comprised of multiple photos involving the same topic — remains to be judged. Bittle placed in the top 20 once in last year's competition, and is consistent in his work, said James D. Kelly, associate professor in the School of Journalism in SIUC's College of Mass Communication and Media Arts.

"We've had students who have placed in the top 20 in Hearst previously," Kelly said. "It is the most prestigious of the national student photojournalism competitions. To place at all is worthy of note; to place as consistently as Max has placed these last two years is a real mark of distinction."

Last year, Bittle's portfolio earned him a $10,000 Nikon Sprint Initiative Eddie Adams Scholarship. He has also previously captured Student Photographer of the Year honors from the National Press Association.

Bittle is the son of Randy and Lynne Bittle.

The Hearst Journalism Awards Program is in its 47th year and added photojournalism to its competition in 1970.