POY Asia judging sessions are moderated by one of the Founding Advisors and he or she has no voting rights.

The main role of a moderator is to facilitate the conversations and occasionally to break up ‘fights’.

Moderators are also around to clarify rules or check on things judges can’t.

The moderator will decide the number of votes to carry to the next round, and the next, until a stage where everyone feels comfortable in discussing the rankings.

Statement of Judging Ethics

The mission of Pictures of the Year Asia is to recognize excellence in the photojournalism and documentary photography. “Show truth with a camera,” remains the guiding principle as articulated by POY founder Cliff Edom in 1943.
Pictures of the Year Asia selects judges who apply the highest journalistic and ethical standards to their selections as well as their own actions as jurors.
We recognize that our profession is a close network and that judges are also working journalists.We carefully consider any potential conflicts and then counsel all members about their obligations to be fair and impartial.
The judging process is an open forum for all to observe in person or virtually. Our goal is to conduct POY Asia with transparency and integrity.
The decisions regarding the winning entries reflect the collaborative effort of the entire judging team. Just as the results are viewed as an example of excellence in visual journalism, the judging process itself sets a standard of professionalism.

The POY Asia 2021 judging will be moderated by

Kay-Chin Tay

Co-Director & Founding Advisor
POY Asia

Kay-Chin Tay is a Singaporean documentary photographer. A 1992 graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, he worked for more than a decade in newspapers in Singapore and the United States, working his way up from photographer to presentation editor. After turning to independent photography, Kay Chin worked with the photography and film group Objectifs to co-found Shooting Home, one of Southeast Asia’s first photography workshops. In that year he was also named one of 12 Hasselblad Masters of the world. In 2010, he co-founded PLATFORM, a photography collective to promote photojournalism and documentary work in Singapore. Leading up to the 50th anniversary of Singapore attaining political independence, Kay Chin and the PLATFORM team launched an initiative to publish 20 books by 20 Singaporean photographers. In 2015, an exhibit featuring all 20 books was held at Jendela (Visual Arts Space) at Esplanade–Theatres by the Bay. Kay Chin has exhibited in the USA, Turkey, Australia, China, South Korea, Bangladesh, Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore. His photographs are collected by institutional and private collectors around the world. In 2018, he was invited by Pera Museum in Istanbul, Turkey, to curate the exhibit, Singapore Unseen. He is a nominator for World Press Photo’s Joop Swart Masterclass from 2019 to 2021. He was a judge at the 77th Pictures of the Year competition and a faculty member for the 72nd Missouri Photo Workshop.

Lynden Steele

Co-Director & Founding Advisor
POY Asia

As director of photojournalism at the Missouri School of Journalism’s Reynolds Journalism Institute, Lynden Steele oversees the Pictures of the Year International competition, coordinates worldwide exhibitions and manages the POYI archive. He also teaches at the Missouri School of Journalism. Before coming to RJI, Steele worked at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch since 2008, most recently as assistant managing editor of photography. The work of his staff has been widely recognized. Notable awards include the 2017 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for Domestic Photography, the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography and the POYI Director’s Choice in 2015. In 2014, his staff, along with the Post-Dispatch’s graphics and metro team, won an EPPY Award from Editor & Publisher for Best Use of Photography on a Website and the Scripps Howard Foundation Award for Breaking News for staff coverage of Ferguson. Prior to his work in St. Louis, Steele was a picture editor at the White House and edited the photography book “Portraits of a Leader: George W. Bush.” Steele began his career as a staff photographer at the Monroe (Michigan) Evening News, and also worked as a staff photographer for Copley newspapers. He received his bachelor’s degree in photojournalism from the Missouri School of Journalism. Steele and his wife, Jody Mitori, who is also a Missouri School of Journalism graduate, have three children.