Enter OnlineRules/Eligibility
Categories2020 Honorees
Enter OnlineRules & EligibilityCategories2020 Honorees

2020 National Mark of Excellence Awards Honorees

The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to present the national winners of the 2020 Mark of Excellence Awards, recognizing collegiate work published or broadcasted during 2020.

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


2020 MOE Regional Winners

Click on each region's number to read a press release that contains a complete list of winners from that region.

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.

Entries are first judged on the regional level. First-place regional winners advance to the national competition, and most are recognized at their respective regional SPJ conference in 2022. National winners will be showcased on spj.org.

A best in show (MOEy) award will be given for the overall best entry among all national winners. The winner will be honored at the SDX Awards dinner.

Winners in the following categories are eligible for a MOEy only if they cover a single topic:


Eligibility
General Rules
Category-specific Rules


[ Back to Top ]


Eligibility

[ Back to Top ]


General Rules


School Enrollment


Submitting Your MOE Award Entry

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 must 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 50 percent on your entry fee.

– SPJ members (by deadline): $20 per entry
– Non-members (by deadline): $30 per entry

Each submission by an SPJ member must be accompanied by a $20 entry fee and the entrant’s membership number. You may not use another student’s membership number to obtain the $20 member entry fee. Each submission by a non-member must be accompanied by a $30 entry fee.

– When an entry by more than one person is submitted, a $20 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.
– A fee must accompany entries in the Best All-Around categories. The fee is $20 if an editor is an SPJ member, $30 if an editor is not a member. To claim the $20 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 must 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
– Available resources

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 winner must be named in a category if there are finalists.

[ Back to Top ]


Category-specific Rules

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

Print/Online

– Entrants must submit a link to the online article or a PDF of the newspaper/magazine page on which the story appeared. The date of publication must be visible.
– PDFs must 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.
– Entries should include a cover letter verifying (where applicable) that the research, reporting, writing, photography (video and digital), design and layout was/were all student produced. Failure to include this letter could result in a disqualification of the entry.
– Entries that do not provide complete and accurate URLs will be disqualified.
– Entrants must keep their entries intact and accessible until September 30, 2022.
– Judging will take place February-April 2022. Best Affiliated Website and Best Independent Online Student Publication categories will be judged on content as presented during this time span.

Art/Graphics/Multimedia

– For photographs published in a newspaper or magazine or on an online news site.
– Entrant should submit a PDF of the news/magazine page on which the art appeared in print, 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.
– Entries should include a cover letter verifying (where applicable) that the research, reporting, writing, photography (video and digital), design and layout was/were all student produced. Failure to include this letter could result in a disqualification of the entry.
– Video entries must have been broadcast by a campus, public or commercial television station or franchised cable television system.
– Online/digital entries shall come from websites, areas of websites and all digital platforms operated by a campus affiliated organization or program.
– Video entries may be edited for length.
– Entrants 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.
– A script or transcript may be included with each entry, but it is not required.
– Entries should include a cover letter verifying (where applicable) that the research, reporting, writing, photography (video and digital), design and layout was/were all student produced. Failure to include this letter could result in a disqualification of the entry.

Audio

– 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 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.
– Podcast entries must be no more than 30 minutes long and may be edited for length.
– Podcast entrants may submit up to two files, not to exceed 15 minutes each.
– Podcast entrant should upload the work to an online audio or video site and submit the URL (preferred) or upload the file(s) to the awards site [50 MB file limit]. Files must be in one of the following formats: .mp3, .wav, .aiff, .wmv, .mov, .mpeg or .mp4.
– Entries should include a cover letter verifying (where applicable) that the research, reporting, writing, photography (video and digital), design and layout was/were all student produced. Failure to include this letter could result in a disqualification of the entry.
– Entries should include a cover letter verifying (where applicable) that the research, reporting, writing, photography (video and digital), design and layout was/were all student produced. Failure to include this letter could result in a disqualification of the entry.

Television

– 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 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.
– All entries must have a transcript included with the entry, with the exclusion of entries in the Best All-Around Newscast category.
– Entries should include a cover letter verifying (where applicable) that the research, reporting, writing, photography (video and digital), design and layout was/were all student produced. Failure to include this letter could result in a disqualification of the entry.

[ Back to Top ]


Questions?

Email awards@spj.org.