29th ANNUAL SPJ EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM AWARDS CALL FOR NOMINATIONS


 

***** UPDATE: New extended deadline is 11:59 p.m. on MONDAY, SEPT. 8, 2014 *****

Know a deserving journalist who’s performed brilliant work over the past year? Someone who does what it takes to get the story, photo or video? Whose dedication to our craft is second to none? Maybe that journalist is you! For the past 29 years, the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has selected from among the Bay Area’s best of the best for its acclaimed Excellence in Journalism Awards. These awards honor the journalists whose work stand out in their embodiment of SPJ’s ideals of initiative, integrity, talent and compassion.

The contest entry site — awards.spjnorcal.org — features a one-stop shop for all your contest needs, including a short video with detailed, step-by-step instructions. (We no longer accept mailed entries.) Create an account, and the site will walk you through the rest.

Questions? Contact Lila LaHood (415) 846-5346 or Liz Enochs (415) 323-0220
.

Deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. See below for complete Contest Categories and Submission Guidelines.   

Best of luck!

 

CONTEST CATEGORIES



BREAKING NEWS



Honors individuals, teams or news organizations whose work demonstrates clear and accurate reporting and graceful writing on deadline. Judges will consider deadline pressure and complexity of subject.

Entry specifications: Submit up to three stories and related multimedia content.

Categories: Print/Text, Radio/Audio and TV/Video.

 

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING           

Honors individuals or teams that identify important issues and demonstrate initiative, persistence and resourcefulness in pursuing information that is restricted or not easily available.

Entry specifications: Submit one story or a series, along with any related multimedia content. If entering a series, please submit no more than four stories in the series.

Categories: Radio/Audio, TV/Video, and Small and Large divisions* for Print/Text.

 

EXPLANATORY JOURNALISM

Honors journalists who increase readers’, listeners’ and/or viewers’ understanding of significant or complex issues. Entries may add understanding to issues in the news or may focus on issues largely uncovered by the media.

Entry specifications: Submit one story or a series, along with any related multimedia content. If entering a series, please submit no more than four stories in the series.

Categories: Radio/Audio, TV/Video, and Small and Large divisions* for Print/Text. 

 

COMMUNITY JOURNALISM

 

Honors journalists and organizations whose primary focus is coverage of a well-defined small community or neighborhood. Entries may include print publications, news broadcasts or news sites. University-supported projects are not eligible.

Entry specifications: This is for community-based outlets. Submit no more than five news stories and related multimedia content, or two news packages demonstrating the range and depth of local news coverage.

Categories: Print/Text, Radio/Audio and TV/Video.

 

FEATURE STORYTELLING

Honors journalists for exceptional writing that demonstrates originality of approach. Judges will consider humor or drama evoked, style, clarity of writing and suitability of the writing to the subject.

Entry specifications: Submit one story or a series, along with any related multimedia content. If entering a series, please submit no more than four stories in the series.

Categories: Radio/Audio, TV/Video, and Small and Large divisions* for Print/Text.

 

COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS
 

Honors individuals for exceptional writing of commentary, analysis and editorials. Print entries may include bylined or unsigned content. News-related blogs are also eligible. Judges will consider quality of expression, clarity of analysis and originality of approach.

Entry specifications: Submit up to three samples.

Categories: Print/Text, Radio/Audio and TV/Video.

 

ARTS & CULTURE REPORTING

 

Honors journalists for incisive reporting about art, music, movies, theater, dance, books, restaurants, architecture or other public performance. May also include reviews. Judges will consider quality of analysis and persuasiveness of arguments.

Entry specifications: Submit up to three samples.

Categories: Radio/Audio, TV/Video, and Small and Large divisions* for Print/Text.

 

JOURNALISM INNOVATION
 

Honors individuals or organizations that have demonstrated innovative ways to further the goals of journalism using online tools, new funding strategies and/or other approaches. Entrants should demonstrate how innovation has led to unique coverage.

Entry specifications: Submit up to three samples showing how this innovation works.

Categories: All media.

 

DATA VISUALIZATION 

Honors individuals or organizations that have demonstrated excellence in presenting complex information using graphics, maps and other data visualization and interactive tools.

Entry specifications: Submit up to three samples. Include the associated stories or links to them online.

Categories: All media.

 

BEST SCOOP 

Honors individuals or organizations for breaking an important news story that led to extensive coverage by other organizations.

Entry specifications: Submit one story or package of related stories and associated multimedia content.

Categories: All media.

 

PHOTOJOURNALISM

 

Please include the written story or explanation with each submission.

Breaking News — Honors individuals, teams or news organizations whose work demonstrates clear, accurate and graceful photojournalism produced on deadline. Judges will consider deadline pressure and complexity of subject.

Entry specifications: Submit photos with cutlines from up to three stories. No more than 15 images in all.

Categories: Individual and Team.

Photo Essay — Honors individuals, teams or news organizations for excellent storytelling presented in series of related photos that either serve as a stand-alone photo essay or are associated with a written story. May have appeared in print and/or on the organization’s website.

Entry specifications: Submit photos with cutlines from one photo essay. No more than 15 images in all.

Categories: Essay of 1 to 5 images; Essay of 6 to 10 images; Essay of 11 to 15 images.

Audio Slideshow — Honors individuals, teams or news organizations for excellent storytelling presented in an audio slideshow that either stands alone or is associated with a written story.

Entry specifications: Submit one audio slideshow of up to three minutes in length.

Portfolio — Honors an individual for excellence in photojournalism.

Entry specifications: Submit up to 10 images with cutlines. Include the associated stories or links to them online. All images must have been produced between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013. 

Single Image — Honors an individual for a single excellent image captured in the past year.

Entry specifications: Submit one image with cutline. Include the associated story or a link to it online. Image must have been produced between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013.

 

VIDEO JOURNALISM 

This category honors an emerging form of journalism that is increasingly impactful in the emerging world of digital news. Video journalism is image-driven and may or may not include the kind of narration or the involvement of a reporter of traditional broadcast reporting.

How this differs from the TV/Video categories above: Those categories encompass traditional TV-style journalism, usually driven by a reporter and which involve a traditional script and narration. Video journalism is driven by the photographer/video journalist. Its primary focus is on images. And it may break the rules of traditional broadcast journalism, shooting on mobile devices, for example, or focusing more on mood than on script-based information.

Breaking News — Honors individuals, teams or news organizations whose work demonstrates clear, accurate and graceful video journalism produced on deadline. Judges will consider deadline pressure and complexity of subject.

Entry specifications: Submit videos from up to three stories.

Video Journalism Essay — Honors individuals, teams or news organizations for excellent, artful storytelling presented in video journalism format.

Entry specifications: Submit one essay of up to 15 minutes. If the original piece is longer than 15 minutes, submit one 15-minute segment for judging.

Portfolio — Honors an individual for excellence in video journalism.

Entry specifications: Submit up to five stories with a maximum combined length of up to 15 minutes.

 

OUTSTANDING EMERGING JOURNALIST



Honors a journalist with less than five years of professional experience whose work shows great promise.

Entry specifications: Submit resume and three samples of work.

Categories: All media



 

STUDENT SPECIAL PROJECT

 

Honors individuals or classes of college-level students for exemplary reporting, writing, and/or photography produced by all forms of student media, including special projects that report local news. These should be student-generated and not part of an ongoing university-sponsored project.

Entry specifications: Submit up to three samples.

Categories: All media



 

PUBLIC SERVICE

 

Honors individuals, teams, or news organizations that try to improve conditions for the benefit of society. Entries will be judged on the significance of the issues, evidence of initiative, effectiveness of presentation and results obtained or pledged.

Entry specifications: May include project articles, editorials, public service announcements, cartoons, photos, graphics and online material.

Categories: All media



 

NORCAL SPJ BOARD OF DIRECTORS AWARDS

 

Every year, the SPJ-NorCal Board of Directors honors individuals in the following six categories. Anyone may nominate candidates for consideration. There is no fee to nominate candidates for Board Awards, but a nomination letter is required. Complete instructions are available online.

1) Journalist of the Year: For extraordinary journalistic contributions in the past year.

2) Career Achievement: For extraordinary achievements exemplifying the highest standards of the profession.

3) Unsung Hero: A person whose contribution to journalism usually happens behind the scenes and is often overlooked (for example, a copy editor, librarian, web producer).

4) Meritorious SPJ Service/John Gothberg Award: For outstanding contributions to the Northern California Chapter of SPJ.

5) Distinguished Service: For distinguished service to journalism by a journalist or non-journalist.

6) The Silver Heart: Awarded to a journalist whose career reflects an extraordinary dedication to giving voice to the voiceless.

 

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS



Qualifying Timeframe: Entries must have been published/broadcast between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014, by a news outlet or individuals based in Northern California. Each entrant may submit only one entry per category.

Deadline: Entries must be time-stamped by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014.

Multiple entries: Stories or projects entered in the Public Service, Best Scoop or Outstanding Emerging Journalist categories may also be entered in one other category. Entries for other categories may not be entered in multiple categories.

Cover letters: Letters of nomination or recommendation are permitted in any category, but they are not required, except for Board Award nominations.

Divisions for Print/Text: Some categories are divided into Small Print/Text and Large Print/Text divisions to reflect the reality that larger organizations have more resources than smaller ones. “Large” organizations are defined as organizations where one or more of the following apply: print circulation exceeds 100,000 and/or average monthly unique website visitors exceed 500,000. If neither of those apply to your organization, select “Small.” Note: If your organization is a news service or an organization that produces content for syndication, choose your division based on the estimated reach the story received in syndication.

Fee: For SPJ members**: $30 per entry. For non-SPJ members: $40 per entry.

Payments: Payments can be made by credit card via awards.spjnorcal.org. You may also select a “Pay by check” option. Checks should be made to “SPJ NorCal.” In the memo field, please write “EIJ 2014.”  Checks should be postmarked by Sept. 5, 2014 and mailed to:

SPJ NorCal Chapter
c/o San Francisco Public Press
44 Page St., Ste. 504
San Francisco, CA 94102

** To be eligible for the $30 SPJ member entry fee, you must be a member of both the SPJ national organization (current membership fee $75) AND the SPJ Northern California chapter ($20) as of the time-stamp of entry. Membership is good for 12 months, based on the date you joined. Chapter membership entitles you to free or reduced member admission to NorCal chapter activities, including the Excellence in Journalism Awards dinner. To join SPJ and the NorCal chapter, please go to: www.spj.org/join.asp.

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