Craig Walker of the Denver Post, a MediaNews Group daily newspaper, has been named Newspaper Photographer of the Year in the

One of Craig Walker's images

Missouri School of Journalism’s Pictures of the Year International competition, “one of the most highly respected photojournalism contests in the world,” according to the Denver Post article about the win (2/12/12 written by Tom McGhee).

The article states:

Walker, 45, received the award for a portfolio of photographs that included pictures from a project about Iraq War veteran, Brian Scott Ostrom, who suffers post traumatic stress disorder, and others taken at Occupy Denver protests. “It is really special because it looks at an entire year’s work; it leaves me speechless,” Walker, 45, said Sunday of the award.

The York, Pa., native, who has been with The Post since 1998, won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography for a collection of photos he took over 27 months that documented the transition of Ian Fisher from high school graduate to a soldier engaged in the Iraq war.

A news release about the Pictures of the Year award called Walker’s project on PTSD sufferer Ostrom “stunning.”

“In honoring Walker’s portfolio, the judges noted a strong balance of powerful aesthetic with solid journalistic content that reflects news events and social issues,” according to the release. POYi is a program of the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the journalism school.

“I think it is important to document our history and I feel really fortunate that I can do that in a visual manner,” Walker said.

A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Photography, he began his career in Massachusetts, at the Marlborough Enterprise.

He credited his success to people who have opened their lives to his lens. “It is people like Ian and Scott who are willing to open up their life and share that personal a story. Those stories don’t happen unless you meet those people. “

See Walker’s portfolio here.

Check out a blog post by Charles Apple on the win.