Rules/EligibilityCategories
2019 HonoreesPrevious Honorees
Rules/EligibilityCategories 2019 HonoreesPrevious Honorees

Categories

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Newspapers
Magazines
Art/Graphics/Images
Radio
Television
Newsletters
Online
Podcasts
All Platforms
Special Category: COVID-19


Newspapers

Deadline Reporting

  — Non-Daily Publication
  — Daily Circulation up to 100,000
  — Daily Circulation of 100,001+

This award recognizes a reporter or team for deadline reporting of a single event. Entries must have been published in the issue that directly follows the event. Entry must be about a single breaking news event.

Entrants should submit a link to the online article or a PDF of the newspaper page on which the story appeared. The date of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the work will not be accepted.


Non-Deadline Reporting

  — Non-Daily Publication
  — Daily Circulation up to 100,000
  — Daily Circulation of 100,001+

This award recognizes a reporter or team for non-deadline reporting of a single event or issue. Entry may be a single article or a series of no more than five articles.

Entrants should submit a link to the online article or a PDF of the newspaper page on which the story appeared. The date of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the work will not be accepted.


Investigative Reporting

  — Non-Daily Publication
  — Daily Circulation up to 100,000
  — Daily Circulation of 100,001+

This award recognizes a reporter or team for investigative reporting of a single event or issue. Entry may be a single article or a series of no more than five articles.

Entrants should submit a link to the online article or a PDF of the newspaper page on which the story appeared. The date of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the work will not be accepted.


Feature Reporting

  — Non-Daily Publication
  — Daily Circulation up to 100,000
  — Daily Circulation of 100,001+

This award recognizes a reporter or team for feature writing. Entry may be personality profiles, trend stories, human interest stories, or any feature that is not a breaking news story. Entries may be a single article or series of no more than five.

Entrants should submit a link to the online article or a PDF of the newspaper page on which the story appeared. The date of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the work will not be accepted.


Editorial Writing

  — Daily Circulation up to 100,000/Non-Daily Publication
  — Daily Circulation of 100,001+

This award recognizes an editorial writer or team of writers. Entry may be one editorial or a series of no more than five on a single subject. Judges will consider whether the conclusion is logical, fair and of general importance to the community.

Entrants should submit links to the editorials online or PDFs of the newspaper page on which the editorials appeared. The dates of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the editorials will not be accepted.


Washington Correspondence

This award recognizes a correspondent on assignment in Washington, D.C. Entry must consist of a minimum of three different stories demonstrating insightful coverage of significant events or issues. Five story limit. All platforms, including broadcast, are eligible.

For print/online entries, entrants should submit a link to the online articles or a PDF of the newspaper page on which the story appeared. The date of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the work will not be accepted. For video broadcast, entrants should upload the work to an online video site and submit the URL (preferred) or upload a file to the awards site. All video files must be one of the following formats: .wmv, .mov, .mpeg or .mp4. All audio-only files must be .mp3 (preferred), .wav or .aiff format.


Foreign Correspondence

This award recognizes a correspondent on assignment outside the U.S. Entry must consist of a minimum of three different stories demonstrating insightful coverage of significant events or issues. Five story limit. All platforms, including broadcast, are eligible.

For print/online entries, entrants should submit a link to the online articles or a PDF of the newspaper page on which the story appeared. The date of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the work will not be accepted. For video broadcast, entrants should upload the work to an online video site and submit the URL (preferred) or upload a file to the awards site. All video files must be one of the following formats: .wmv, .mov, .mpeg or .mp4. All audio-only files must be .mp3 (preferred), .wav or .aiff format.


General Column Writing

  — Daily Circulation up to 100,000/Non-Daily Publication
  — Daily Circulation of 100,001+

Entry must consist of five different columns.

Entrants should submit links to the columns online or PDFs of the newspaper page on which the columns appeared. The dates of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the columns will not be accepted.


Sports Column Writing

  — Daily Circulation up to 100,000/Non-Daily Publication
  — Daily Circulation of 100,001+

Entry must consist of five different columns.

Entrants should submit links to the columns online or PDFs of the newspaper page on which the columns appeared. The dates of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the columns will not be accepted.


Public Service Journalism

  — Non-Daily Publication
  — Daily Circulation up to 100,000
  — Daily Circulation of 100,001+

This award recognizes a newspaper that renders public service through extensive coverage of an issue facing the community it serves. Entry may include a maximum of five articles.

Entrants should submit a link to the online articles or a PDF of the newspaper pages on which the story appeared. The date of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the work will not be accepted.

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Magazines

Magazine Writing

  — Regional/Local Circulation
  — National Circulation

This award recognizes the work of a magazine writer or team. Entry may be a single article or a series of no more than five articles on the same subject.

Entrants should submit a link to the online article or a PDF of the magazine page on which the story appeared. The date of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the article will not be accepted.


Magazine Investigative Reporting

  — Regional/Local Circulation
  — National Circulation

This award is given to a magazine reporter or reporting team for investigative reporting. Entry may be a single article or a series of no more than five articles, including sidebars.

Entrants should submit a link to the online article or a PDF of the magazine page on which the story appeared. The date of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the article will not be accepted.


Public Service in Magazine Journalism

  — Regional/Local Circulation
  — National Circulation

This award recognizes a magazine or reporter that renders public service through extensive coverage of an issue facing society. Entry may be a single article or a series of no more than five articles. Up to five pages of supporting materials — including editorials, commentaries and sidebars — may be included. (Trade magazines with general circulation, magazine sections of newspapers and Sunday newspaper supplements also should be entered in this category.)

Entrants should submit a link to the online article or a PDF of the magazine page on which the story appeared. The date of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the article will not be accepted.

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Art/Graphics/Images

Breaking News Photography

  — Newspaper Circulation up to 100,000/Regional Magazine/ Non-Daily Publication/Online Independent
  — Newspaper Circulation of 100,001+ or Affiliated Website/National Magazine

This award recognizes a photographer or team, either staff or freelance. Entry should be a single, compelling image of a breaking news event.

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


Feature Photography

  — Newspaper Circulation up to 100,000/Regional Magazine/ Non-Daily Publication/Online Independent
  — Newspaper Circulation of 100,001+ or Affiliated Website/National Magazine

This award recognizes a photographer or team, either staff or freelance, for work featuring personality profiles, trends, human interest of any other feature that is not a breaking news story. Entry may be a single photo or a series of no more than three photos on a single subject.

Entrant should submit a PDF of the newspaper/magazine page on which the photo appeared, or a link to the photo published on an online news site. The date of publication should be visible.


Sports Photography

  — Newspaper Circulation up to 100,000/Regional Magazine/ Non-Daily Publication/Online Independent
  — Newspaper Circulation of 100,001+ or Affiliated Website/National Magazine

This award recognizes a photographer or team, either staff or freelance, for work featuring a sports event or sports figure. Entry should be a single photo. The photograph will be judged on technical excellence, newsworthiness and evidence that the photographer(s) exercised unusual diligence and ingenuity.

Entrant should submit a PDF of the newspaper/magazine page on which the photo appeared, or a link to the photo published on an online news site. The date of publication should be visible.


Editorial Cartooning

  — Newspaper Circulation up to 100,000/Regional Magazine/ Non-Daily Publication/Online Independent
  — Newspaper Circulation of 100,001+ or Affiliated Website/National Magazine

This award recognizes an editorial cartoon published in a newspaper, magazine, newsletter or online news site. They will be judged on craftsmanship, interest, forcefulness, general worth and originality.

Entrants should submit PDFs of five different cartoons on marked newspaper/magazine pages, or links to the cartoons published on an online news site. The date of publication should be visible.


Informational Graphics

  — Newspaper Circulation up to 100,000/Regional Magazine/ Non-Daily Publication/Online Independent
  — Newspaper Circulation of 100,001+ or Affiliated Website/National Magazine

This award recognizes newspaper, magazine, newsletter or online news site graphic artist or team for storytelling graphics that bring important information to readers about an event, process or set of statistics. Clarity, originality, impact and quality of execution will distinguish the work. Entry may be a single graphic or a related series of graphics on a single subject.

Entrant should submit a PDF of the marked newspaper/magazine page on which the graphic appeared, or a link to the graphic published on an online news site. The date of publication should be visible.


Data Visualization

  — Newspaper Circulation up to 100,000/Regional Magazine/ Non-Daily Publication/Online Independent
  — Newspaper Circulation of 100,001+ or Affiliated Website/National Magazine

This award recognizes a graphic artist or team for outstanding visual representation of data. Entries will be judged on their newsworthiness, technical merit, originality, overall design and ability to communicate insightful information.

The entry may be dynamic (i.e., interactive) or static (i.e. intended for print). Static entries must be submitted in any of these formats: JPG, GIF, PNG, SVG, PDF or TIFF. If the entry is dynamic (interactive) the entrant should provide a screenshot and hyperlink to the visualization. Max file size is 50 MB. Please be sure to include date of publication.

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Radio

Radio Breaking News Reporting

  — Large Market (1-100 or Network Syndication)
  — Small Market (101+)

This award recognizes resourceful and complete coverage of a major breaking news event, emphasizing both deadline reporting and continuing coverage as the story develops over succeeding days. Entries may include reports broadcast within 24 hours of the event. Maximum running time: 15 minutes. All audio files must be .mp3 (preferred), .wav or .aiff format. Audio in other formats will not be accepted.


Radio Investigative Reporting

  — Large Market (1-100 or Network Syndication)
  — Small Market (101+)

This award recognizes a reporter or team for investigative reporting of a single event or issue. Entries may be a single broadcast or a series of no more than five parts. Maximum running time: 15 minutes. This category is for short reports; documentaries have a separate category. All audio files must be .mp3 (preferred), .wav or .aiff format. Audio in other formats will not be accepted.


Radio Feature Reporting

  — Large Market (1-100 or Network Syndication)
  — Small Market (101+)

This award recognizes a reporter or team for features. Entry may be personality profiles, trend stories, human-interest stories or any feature that is not breaking news. Entries may be a single broadcast or series of no more than three parts. Maximum running time: 10 minutes. All audio files must be .mp3 (preferred), .wav or .aiff format. Audio in other formats will not be accepted.


Radio Documentaries

  — Large Market (1-100 or Network Syndication)
  — Small Market (101+)

This award recognizes reporters and production teams that dramatically show or analyze a news event, issue or feature in a single broadcast. The broadcast may be part of a documentary series but must stand alone in telling its story. Maximum running time: 60 minutes. Documentary series themselves may be considered in the Public Service category, if applicable. All audio files must be .mp3 (preferred), .wav or .aiff format. Audio in other formats will not be accepted.


Public Service in Radio Journalism

  — Large Market (1-100 or Network Syndication)
  — Small Market (101+)

This award recognizes a radio news organization (station, network or group) that renders public service through extensive coverage of an issue facing the community it serves. Reporting may be conducted by one reporter or a team. Entry may be a single broadcast or a series of no more than five parts. Entry may be a single broadcast or a series of no more than 30 minutes. All audio files must be .mp3 (preferred), .wav or .aiff format. Audio in other formats will not be accepted.

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Television

Television Breaking News Coverage

  — Network/Syndication Service/Program Service
  — Large-Market Station: 1-50 market
  — Small-Market Station: 50+ market

Each award recognizes resourceful and complete coverage of a major breaking news event, emphasizing both deadline reporting and continuing coverage as the story develops over succeeding days. Entries may include reports broadcast within 24 hours of the event. Maximum running time: 15 minutes.

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.

Video produced for original digital presentation (aired only online) should enter the Online Digital Video Category.


Television Investigative Reporting

  — Network/Syndication Service/Program Service
  — Large-Market Station: 1-50 market
  — Small-Market Station: 50+ market

Each award recognizes a reporter or team for investigative reporting of a single event or issue. Entry may be a single broadcast or a series of no more than five parts. Maximum running time: 15 minutes. This category is for short reports; documentaries have a separate category.

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.

Video produced for original digital presentation (aired only online) should enter the Online Digital Video Category.


Television Feature Reporting

  — Network/Syndication Service/Program Service
  — Large-Market Station: 1-50 market
  — Small-Market Station: 50+ market

Each award recognizes a reporter or team for features. Entry may be personality profiles, trend stories, human-interest stories or any feature that is not breaking news. Entry may be a single broadcast or series of no more than three parts. Maximum running time: 10 minutes.

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.

Video produced for original digital presentation (aired only online) should enter the Online Digital Video Category.


Television Documentaries

  — Network/Syndication Service/Program Service
  — Large-Market Station: 1-50 market
  — Small-Market Station: 50+ market

Each award recognizes reporters and production teams that dramatically show or analyze a news event, issue or feature in a single telecast. The telecast may be part of a documentary series but must stand alone in telling its story. Maximum running time: 60 minutes. Documentary series themselves may be considered in the Public Service category, if applicable.

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.

Video produced for original digital presentation (aired only online) should enter the Online Digital Video Category.


Public Service in Television Journalism

  — Network/Syndication Service/Program Service
  — Large-Market Station: 1-50 market
  — Small-Market Station: 50+ market

Each award recognizes a television news organization that renders public service through extensive coverage of an issue facing the community it serves. Reporting may be conducted by one reporter or a team. Entry may be a single broadcast or a series of no more than 30 minutes. Commercially sponsored programs are ineligible unless produced and controlled by the news organization.

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.

Video produced for original digital presentation (aired only online) should enter the Online Digital Video Category.

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Newsletters

Public Service in Newsletter Journalism

This award recognizes a newsletter that renders outstanding public services through extensive coverage of an issue facing the community it serves. Entry may be a single article or a series of no more than five articles. Editorials and commentaries may be added and will count toward the maximum of five pieces. (Entries are limited to independent newsletters that have been issued regularly for more than one year and are supported by advertising, paid subscriptions or non-profit institutions.)

Entrant should submit a PDF of the newsletter, or a link to the site where the newsletter is published online.

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Digital

Online Deadline Reporting

This award recognizes a reporter or team for online deadline reporting of a single breaking news event. Entries must have been published on the website within 24 hours of the event. The date of publication should be visible.

Entries should consist of one main URL and up to five additional URLs to highlight specific features of the article or package. Entries that do not provide complete and accurate URLs will be disqualified. Entrants must keep their nominated entries intact and accessible until September 30, 2021.


Online Non-Deadline Reporting

This award recognizes a reporter or team for online non-deadline reporting of a single event or issue. Entry may be a single article or series of no more than five articles and may include up to five pages of supporting materials. The date of publication should be visible.

Entries should consist of one main URL and up to five additional URLs to highlight specific features of the article or package. Entries that do not provide complete and accurate URLs will be disqualified. Entrants must keep their nominated entries intact and accessible until September 30, 2021.


Online Investigative Reporting

This award recognizes a reporter or team for investigative reporting of a single event or issue. Entry may be a single article or series of no more than five articles and may include up to five pages of supporting materials. The date of publication should be visible.

Entries should consist of one main URL and up to five additional URLs to highlight specific features of the article or package. Entries that do not provide complete and accurate URLs will be disqualified. Entrants must keep their nominated entries intact and accessible until September 30, 2021.


Online Column Writing

Entry must consist of five different columns.

Entrants should submit links to columns published on an online news site. The date of publication should be visible. Entries that do not provide complete and accurate URLs will be disqualified. Entrants must keep their nominated entries intact and accessible until September 30, 2021.


Specialized Journalism Site

This award recognizes a journalism website that focuses on a single topic. Judges will consider content, ingenuity, interactivity and use of multimedia tools.

Each entry should consist of one URL. If affiliated, site should have an independent domain name. Entries that do not provide a complete and accurate URL will be disqualified. Entrants must keep their nominated entries intact and accessible until September 30, 2021.

Judging will take place February-April 2021. This category will be judged on content as presented during this time span.


Digital Video

This award recognizes a breaking news, feature or investigative report created for original online presentation. Entries must be no more than 15 minutes long and may be edited for length.

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.


Immersion Journalism

This award recognizes immersive journalism, including 360 video, augmented reality or virtual reality. Judges will consider content, ingenuity and how the medium fits the story.

Entries should consist of one main URL or respective app. Entries that do not provide complete and accurate URLs will be disqualified. Entrants must keep their nominated entries intact and accessible until September 30, 2021.


Public Service in Online Journalism

This award recognizes a news organization that renders a public service through extensive coverage of an issue facing the society. Commercially sponsored programs are ineligible unless produced and controlled by the news organization.

Entries should consist of one main URL and up to five additional URLs to highlight specific features of the article or package. Entries that do not provide complete and accurate URLs will be disqualified. Entrants must keep their nominated entries intact and accessible until September 30, 2021.


Video Game Reporting

This award recognizes a reporter or team for coverage of video games. Entry may be a single article or series of no more than three articles. No game reviews. The date of publication should be visible.

Entries should consist of one main URL and up to two additional URLs to highlight specific features of the article or package. Entries that do not provide complete and accurate URLs will be disqualified. Entrants must keep their nominated entries intact and accessible until September 30, 2021.

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John C. Ensslin Award for Podcast Excellence

Entries must be no more than 30 minutes long and may be edited for length. Entrants may submit up to two files, not to exceed 15 minutes each.

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.

Named in honor of SPJ’s 2011-12 president, who died Aug. 5, 2019. After decades as a newspaper reporter, he became a successful podcaster, embracing the new platform.

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All Platforms

Fact-Checking

This award recognizes excellence in fact-checking, in a single work distributed on any platform. Work may be published in print or online; broadcast on TV or on radio; or shared by other means, such as in a podcast. An audio or video segment may be up to 10 minutes. An online entry should consist of a URL accessible until September 30, 2021. Entries will be judged on originality, significance, depth, sourcing, logic and clarity. Entries may not be submitted in any other category.


Collaborative Journalism

This category is for two or more unrelated organizations in which at least one is a college, university or similar academic program that has contributed significantly. This award recognizes collaborative team reporting on a topic involving both professional and student reporting teams.

Entries must include one main URL and up to four additional URLS to highlight specific elements of the project. Entries that fail to provide active URLs will be disqualified. Entries will be judged on newsworthiness, originality, design, content, and clarity.


Inequalities in Society

This category will recognize outstanding work about systemic racism and/or other examples of inequalities or bias about, but not limited to race, religion or gender identity. Entries can include anything that appeared online, on air (includes cable) or in print.

1) Print/Online: no more than three elements to a submission

OR

2) Broadcast/Cable: total running time of entry cannot exceed 15 minutes; entry may include multiple parts as long as the time limit is observed.

Entries that exceed the 15-minute limit will be disqualified.

Entries will be judged from a variety of journalism organizations including, but not limited to: SPJ, NAHJ, NABJ, RTDNA, NAJA, AAJA, NLGJA, JAWS.

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Special Category: COVID-19

During a period of extraordinary news, journalists doing extraordinary work deserve extra recognition. We have new categories this year to reflect all-encompassing nature of pandemic coverage. Work looking at COVID-19 angles in news, features, sports, entertainment and other topics is welcome and should be entered in these new categories.

Rules for each subcategory of the COVID-19 category are identical to their counterparts in the non-COVID categories. (So, for example, the rules for Deadline Reporting in the Newspapers category apply to the Deadline Reporting subcategory here as well.)

Newspapers

  — Deadline Reporting
  — Non-deadline Reporting
  — Feature Reporting
  — Editorial
  — General Column Writing

Magazines

  — Magazine Writing (National/Regional/Local Circulation)

Art/Graphics/Images

  — Breaking News Photography
  — Feature Photography
  — Editorial Cartooning
  — Informational Graphics
  — Data Visualization

All Platforms

  — Fact-Checking

Radio

  — Breaking News
  — Feature Reporting

Television

  — Breaking News
  — Feature Reporting

Digital

  — Online Deadline Reporting
  — Online Non-deadline Reporting
  — Online Column Writing
  — Digital Video

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For more information, contact SPJ headquarters via email.