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Questions?
Contact Awards Coordinator Abbi Martzall via email or by phone 317/927-8000, ext. 210.

Awards & Honors Committee Chair

Andy Schotz
The Gazette
Gaithersburg, Md.
@spjregion2
Email
Bio (click to expand) picture Andy Schotz is a managing editor for The Gazette weekly newspapers in Montgomery County, Md., near Washington, D.C.

He has been an SPJ member since 2002 and has held various positions on the Washington, D.C., Pro chapter board, including three consecutive one-year terms as president.

He served on the SPJ Ethics Committee from 2004 to 2011, including three years as chairman.

Schotz ran unsuccessfully for at-large director on the national SPJ board in 2012. The following year, he ran unopposed for Region 2 director.

He is a perennial SPJ contest judge (D.C. Pro Dateline Awards, SDX, Mark of Excellence, Green Eyeshade, high school essay) and has twice coordinated Region 2's Mark of Excellence contest.

He joined the SPJ Awards & Honors Committee in 2013 and helped work on a national survey seeking feedback about the MOE contest.

Before joining The Gazette in January 2013, Schotz worked for eight years as a reporter and editor at The Altamont Enterprise, a weekly paper in upstate New York, then for 13 years as a reporter for The Herald-Mail, a daily paper in Hagerstown, Md.

He is on the board of directors of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors.


Sarah Bauer, vice chair
Program Director
Minnesota Newspaper Association
612-278-0250
@sarah_mn
E-mail
Bio (click to expand) Sarah Bauer is the Program Director for the Minnesota Newspaper Association (MNA). MNA is the trade association all Minnesota Newspapers, and represents the interests of more than 360 daily and weekly publications. Bauer plans all educational and outreach programs for the Association, including hands-on training for journalists, public forums on media issues, an annual excellence in journalism contest, and its annual convention.

Bauer speaks regularly about media ethics issues, community journalism, social media, and issues like the intersection of journalism and politics. Bauer graduated from the University of Minnesota with degrees in journalism and philosophy. She has been involved with the Society of Professional Journalists as member and chapter leader since she joined the University of Minnesota’s chapter. Since 2006, Bauer has served on the MN Pro chapter board of directors, currently serving as the chapter president and chair of its annual journalism award contest and banquet. She is also the chairwoman of the Society’s national membership committee.


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2013 National Mark of Excellence Awards Honorees

The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to present the national winners of the 2013 Mark of Excellence Awards, recognizing collegiate work published or broadcasted during 2013.

Follow this link to see a list of winners and view their work.


2013 MOE Regional Winners

Region 1
Region 2
Region 3
Region 4
Region 5
Region 6
Region 7
Region 8
Region 9
Region 10
Region 11
Region 12

Annually, the Society of Professional Journalists presents the Mark of Excellence Awards, honoring the best in student journalism. The awards offer categories for print, radio, television and online collegiate journalism. Entries are first judged on the regional level. First place regional winners advance to the national competition and are recognized at SPJ spring conferences. National winners will be showcased on spj.org.

The contest is open to anyone enrolled in a college or university in the U.S. studying for an academic degree in 2013. International SPJ student members may also enter. Students who have had full-time, professional journalism experience, outside of internships, are not eligible. Entries must have been published or broadcast during the 2013 calendar year.


About the Awards | Eligibility | General Rules | Category-specific Rules


About the Awards

Entries are first judged on the regional level. First place regional winners advance to the national competition and are recognized at SPJ spring conferences. National winners will be showcased on spj.org.

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Eligibility

– The contest is open to anyone enrolled in a college or university in the U.S. studying for an academic degree in 2013. International SPJ student members may also enter. Students who have had full-time, professional journalism experience, outside of internships, are not eligible.
– All entries must have been published or broadcast in 2013.
– The entrant must have been enrolled as a student at the time of publication or broadcast.
– Work published or broadcast while working as a student intern is acceptable.
– Unpublished manuscripts, classroom exercises and unaired news broadcasts do not qualify. Any work found to be unpublished, unaired or a classroom exercise will be disqualified.
– A classroom exercise is defined as work assigned for a grade or fulfillment of a course requirement and is not eligible for an MOE Award unless it was also published outside of class in the campus/local newspaper, campus/ local broadcast stations or Web site.
– Advisers may enter for their students.

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General Rules

– Entries not originally published or broadcast in English should include English subtitles or an English translation.
– Incomplete entries will be disqualified. Entrants will not be notified of such disqualification and their entry fees will not be refunded.
– Material submitted for the contest will not be returned. Winning entries may be reproduced or posted on the SPJ website for educational or other purposes.
– A cover letter explaining your entry is optional. Limit to one paragraph.
– Starting this year, all entries in every category must be uploaded to the online awards site. If an entry is mailed to SPJ Headquarters, it will be disqualified.
– Mark the date of publication or broadcast on all items submitted.
– Each contestant may enter as many categories as desired, but may submit no more than two entries per category. There is no limit on the number of entries a school or news outlet may enter.
– Each entry must be accompanied by the correct entry fee.
– Be sure the name of each student who worked on the entry is listed on the entry form and spelled correctly.
– Up to four individuals may be named on a team entry; otherwise, the entry must be submitted in the name of the newspaper, magazine, station or online news site.
– Work should be submitted in the region where the entrant is enrolled in school. See the SPJ website or entry form for regional boundaries. International SPJ student members should select the “international” option in the regional drop down box.


Submitting Your MOE Award Entry

Starting this year, all entries in every category must be uploaded to the online awards site. If an entry is mailed to SPJ Headquarters, it will be disqualified.


Accuracy Requirement

Any corrections, clarifications or retractions made after initial publishing or broadcast should be submitted as part of the entry. Also, copies of any written challenges to the report’s accuracy sent to the entrant or the news organization by or on behalf of those mentioned — including but not limited to letters, emails or legal papers — must be included with the entry. Responses by the news organization also should be included.


Fees

Not an SPJ member? Now's the perfect time to join. Join today and save 40 percent on your entry fee.

– SPJ members (on or before deadline): $9 per entry
– SPJ members (after deadline): $15 per entry
– Non-members (at or before deadline): $18 per entry
– Non-members (after deadline): $30 per entry

Each submission by an SPJ member must be accompanied by a $9 entry fee and the entrant’s membership number. You may not use another student’s membership number to obtain the $9 member entry fee. Each submission by a non-member must be accompanied by an $18 entry fee.

– When an entry by more than one person is submitted, a $9 fee will be acceptable if at least one person on the team is a member of SPJ. The member must be identified and supply his or her membership number. Your adviser’s membership number may not be used for any entry.
– Entries submitted in the Best All-Around categories must be accompanied by an entry fee — $9 if the editor(s) is (are) a member of SPJ, $18 if the editor(s) is (are) not a member. To claim the $9 rate, you must supply the editor’s name and membership number.
– SPJ accepts credit card payments from Visa, MasterCard and American Express.
Make checks and money orders payable to: Society of Professional Journalists. Entrants paying by check should include the award confirmation number in the memo line. Multiple confirmation numbers should be listed on a note accompanying the check.
– No refunds will be issued.


Judging/Criteria

Judging will be based on overall excellence. Criteria include:

– Accuracy and completeness
– Enterprise and ingenuity
– Adherence to high journalistic standards
– Significance and effectiveness
– Extenuating circumstances
– Clarity, insight and respect for the audience.
– Creative use of the medium’s unique capabilities
– Adherence to the SPJ Code of Ethics
– Judges will weigh the resources available to the student when selecting the winners.

One winner and up to two finalists will be chosen in each category unless the judges find that the entries do not meet the overall standard of excellence required. No ties or honorable mentions will be awarded. A category may have up to two finalists and no winner if entries do not meet the requirements. The winners and finalists in each region will be honored at their regional conference in the spring of 2015. Category winning entries from each region will go on to compete at the national level, with different panels of national judges selecting one national winner in each category. These winners will be featured on spj.org.

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Category-specific Rules

See a list of categories (opens in new window).

Print Entries (Newspaper and Magazine Categories)

– Entrants should submit a link to the online article or a PDF of the news/magazine page on which the story appeared. The date of publication should be visible.
– PDFs should have the same name as the title of the story.
– PDFs should be combined into one file, when possible.
– Word documents containing the work will not be accepted.
– Limit a series to no more than five stories.

Art/Graphics Entries

– For photographs published in a newspaper, magazine or on an online news site.
– Entrant should submit a PDF of the news/magazine page on which the art appeared, or a link to the art published on an online news site. The date of publication should be visible.
–Submitting a separate digital photo is optional.

Radio Entries

– Entries may be edited for length.
– Work must have been aired by a campus, public or commercial radio station.
– Work aired on an online radio station or by Podcast is also eligible.
– Entrant should submit a link to the work online or upload an audio file to the awards site. [50 MB file limit]
– All audio files must be .mp3 (preferred), .wav or .aiff format. Audio in other formats will not be accepted.
– A script or transcript with lead-in is strongly recommended, but not required.

Television Entries

– Work must have been broadcast by a campus, public or commercial television station or franchised cable television system.
– Entries may be edited for length.
– Work aired on an Internet TV station or by Podcast is also eligible.
– Entrant should upload the work to an online video site and submit the URL (preferred), or upload a video file to the awards site. [50 MB file limit]
– All video files must be one of the following formats: .wmv, .mov, .mpeg or .mp4.
– Do not upload video to Mediafire. Content uploaded to this site is only available for a limited time.
– A script or transcript with lead-in is strongly recommended, but not required.

Online Entries

– Entries that do not provide complete and accurate URLs will be disqualified.
– Entries in online categories will be judged on interactivity and use of multimedia tools.
– Entrants must keep their entries intact and accessible until September 30, 2014.
–Judging will take place February-April 2014. Best Affiliated Web Site and Best Independent Online Student Publication categories will be judged on content as presented during this time span.

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Questions?

Email awards@spj.org.