Gamet wins 2023 Perry Photojournalism Challenge with ‘An Evening Out With The Loneliest Generation’

Sunday, March 5, 2023 - 8:15am

by Kaitlin Van Loon

Meredith Gamet, a junior journalism and French double major from Omaha, won the top prize in the 2023 Philip Perry Photojournalism Challenge for her essay “An Evening Out With The Loneliest Generation.” Gamet will receive a $7,000 scholarship to complete her studies at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Second place was awarded to Jordan Moore, a junior journalism major from Omaha, for her essay “Possessions” that examines the material items that Gen Z treasures most. Moore will receive a $2,000 scholarship.

"In a world of dominating materialism and overconsumption, I wanted to explore what kinds of possessions a younger generation values the most," Moore said. "This photo essay tells a story of belonging, connection, and an appreciation for the things that surround us everyday."

Third place went to Amber Rodriguez, a junior journalism major from Papillion, for her essay “Beyond the Binary" Rodriguez will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Lydia Hernandez, a freshman advertising and public relations, and sports media communication double major from Omaha, and Hayden Rooney, a sophomore broadcasting major from Lincoln, received honorable mentions.

Hernandez's photo essay, "The Things We Hold Onto," follows a group of UNL students on a Saturday night in the dorms on UNL campus. Rooney's photo essay, "HUNGER of YOUTH," explores food insecurity, the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and how he believes Gen Z is re-defining their generation.

The annual competition is a test of determination and drive. This year, 18 students had 24 hours to shoot and compose a photo essay of up to 10 images around the theme “Framing Gen Z.” The competition kicked off at noon on Feb. 25. The students were free to interpret the theme as they saw fit, producing an essay at any location of their choosing. Submissions were due at noon Feb. 26.

The following Saturday, on March 4, essays were judged by six photojournalism professionals in two rounds. In the initial round, participants were narrowed to five finalists who were invited to present their essays to the judges and the general public. Following the presentations, the judges conferred to select the winners.

This year’s judges were Mike Davis, visual storytelling consultant, editor, educator and author; Ann Milroy, creative manager at DigitalSky; Frank Franklin II, a staff photographer with Associated Press New York; Shaun Sartin, a freelance photojournalist in Lexington, KY; Allen Schaben, a staff photographer with the Los Angeles Times; and Patrick Sison, photo editor at Associated Press New York.

The Perry Photojournalism Challenge is supported by donations from Philip Perry, CEO of Perry Reid Properties.