31st Annual SPJ NorCal Excellence in Journalism Awards — Call for Nominations

Last Call!! ** FINAL DEADLINE–> 11:59 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016 **

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 — Aug. 25, 2016

Contact: Lila LaHood (415) 846-5346 or Liz Enochs (415) 323-0220

Know a journalist who has done brilliant work over the past year? Someone who does whatever 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 31 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 outstanding work embodies SPJ’s ideals of initiative, integrity, talent and compassion.

The contest entry site — awards.spjnorcal.org — is a one-stop shop for all your contest needs, including a short video with detailed, step-by-step instructions. Create an account, and the site will walk you through the rest.

We welcome entries from journalists producing work in emerging formats and recommend broad interpretation of award categories. Be sure to name everyone who played a significant role in producing the entry and explain how they were involved. Letters of nomination are encouraged.

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

EXPLANATORY JOURNALISM
Honors journalists who increase readers’, listeners’ and/or viewers’ understanding of significant or complex issues. Entries may deepen understanding of 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.
Categories: Radio/Audio, TV/Video, and Small and Large divisions* for Print/Online.

COMMUNITY JOURNALISM
Honors journalists and organizations whose primary focus is coverage of a well-defined 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/Online, Radio/Audio and TV/Video.

FEATURES and LONGFORM STORYTELLING
Honors journalists for exceptional longform narrative writing. Judges will consider creativity, use of humor or drama, style, clarity 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.
Categories: Radio/Audio, TV/Video, and Small and Large divisions* for Print/Online.

COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS
Honors individuals for exceptional commentary, analysis and editorials. Entries may include bylined or unsigned content. News-related blogs are also eligible. Judges will consider quality of expression, clarity and originality.
Entry specifications: Submit up to three samples.
Categories: Print/Online, 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, for which 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/Online.

TECHNOLOGY REPORTING
*New Category* —Honors journalists and organizations whose primary focus is coverage of technology. Entries may include print publications, news broadcasts or news sites.
Entry specifications: Submit no more than five stories and related multimedia content, or two packages demonstrating the range and depth of coverage.
Categories: Print/Online, Radio/Audio and TV/Video.

SCIENCE, ENVIRONMENT and HEALTH REPORTING
*New Category* —Honors journalists and organizations whose primary focus is coverage of science, environment and health. Entries may include print publications, news broadcasts or news sites.
Entry specifications: Submit no more than five stories and related multimedia content, or two packages demonstrating the range and depth of coverage.
Categories: Print/Online, Radio/Audio and TV/Video.

JOURNALISM INNOVATION
Honors individuals or organizations that have demonstrated innovative ways to further the goals of journalism using technology, new funding strategies and/or other approaches. Entrants should demonstrate how innovation can lead to unique coverage.
Entry specifications: Submit up to three samples showing how this innovation works. You may enter the work in other categories as a piece of a larger project.
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.
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.

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.

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.

VIDEO JOURNALISM
Video journalism is image-driven and may or may not include narration.

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.
Entry specifications: Submit videos from up to three stories.

Feature — Honors individuals, teams or news organizations for excellent, artful storytelling.
Entry specifications: Submit one video of up to 60 minutes.

Portfolio — Honors an individual for excellence in video journalism.
Entry specifications: Submit up to five stories with a maximum combined length of up to 60 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 and graduate-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, initiative, presentation and results.
Entry specifications: May include articles, editorials, public service announcements, cartoons, photos and graphics.
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. 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 advancement or advocacy of 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, 2015 and June 30, 2016, 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 Noon (12 p.m. PDT) on Monday, Sept. 19, 2016.

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/Online: Some categories are divided into Small Print/Online and Large Print/Online 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.
For students: $20 per entry. Student fees may be waived for financial need by request. Send an email to spj.excellenceinjournalism@gmail.com to request a waiver.

* New * — Everyone who submits an entry will receive one free drink ticket at this year’s Excellence in Journalism Awards Dinner.

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 2016.”  Checks should be postmarked by Sept. 19, 2016 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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