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SPJ adds awards categories on COVID-19, inequalities in society, video game coverage to contests


Matthew Kent, Program Coordinator, 317-920-4788, mkent@spj.org
Jennifer Royer, SPJ Director of Communications and Marketing, 317-361-4134, jroyer@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists continues to update its awards programs with the addition of video game writing and reporting categories and the addition of two special topics categories: “Inequalities in Society” and COVID-19 coverage.

These changes come after the addition of fact-checking, 360 video, data visualization and collaboration categories in 2019.

“In this extraordinary year, journalists are doing incredible work under very challenging circumstances,” said Sue Kopen Katcef, awards and honors committee chair. She explained that the Sigma Delta Chi, Mark of Excellence and New America contests will honor the best of journalism being produced in these unusual times. “Because of the extraordinary nature and volume of work being produced, we are expanding both the SDX and MOE contests by adding special COVID-19 categories.”

The “Inequalities in Society” category in the SDX contest 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.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement are two of the biggest stories of the year. But other important and impactful journalism is being produced as well. We will honor the best of the best — all of it -- in this historic year,” Kopen Katcef said.

The changes reflect the changing face of journalism and a chance to shine a greater spotlight on exemplary work by individual journalists, teams and newsrooms.

Normally, MOE winners would be honored, and a MOEy best in show winner announced, during the Student Union event at SPJ’s annual conference. But because the conference is being held virtually this year, a special Student Union is being planned for October. More details are coming soon.

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund or give to the SPJ Foundation.


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