Award
THE NATIONAL PRESS CLUB

Accepts entries starting November 3, 2014
Entry Deadline January 23, 2015
Decision Date
Ceremony Date
Entry Fee (See Details)
Monetary or Material Award (See Details)

About the Award

Annually, the Society of Professional Journalists presents the Mark of Excellence Awards, honoring the best in student journalism. The awards offer categories for print, radio, television and online collegiate journalism. Entries are first judged on the regional level. First place regional winners advance to the national competition and are recognized at SPJ spring conferences. National winners will be showcased on spj.org.

Tips for Winning:

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
– Judges will weigh the resources available to the student when selecting the winners.

Notable Winners

2013
• “Activists hang out to protest 3M,” by Ichigo Takikawa, University of Minnesota
• “Tornadoes hit close to campus,” by Kari Travis, Taylor University

See more: https://www.spj.org/moe13.asp#Art/Graphics

Jury

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
– Judges will weigh the resources available to the student when selecting the winners.

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 category may have up to two finalists and no winner if entries do not meet the requirements. The winners and finalists in each region will be honored at their regional conference in the spring of 2015. Category winning entries from each region will go on to compete at the national level, with different panels of national judges selecting one national winner in each category. These winners will be featured on spj.org.

Monetary/Material Award Details

Eligibility Requirements

– The contest is open to anyone enrolled in a college or university in the U.S. studying for an academic degree in 2014. International SPJ student members may also enter. Students who have had full-time, professional journalism experience, outside of internships, are not eligible.
– All entries must have been published or broadcast in 2014.
– The entrant must have been enrolled as a student at the time of publication or broadcast.
– Work published or broadcast while working as a student intern is acceptable.
– Unpublished manuscripts, classroom exercises and unaired news broadcasts do not qualify. Any work found to be unpublished, unaired or a classroom exercise will be disqualified.
– A classroom exercise is defined as work assigned for a grade or fulfillment of a course requirement and is not eligible for an MOE Award unless it was also published outside of class in the campus/local newspaper, campus/ local broadcast stations or Web site.
– Advisers may enter for their students.

Entry Fee Details

Not an SPJ member? Now's the perfect time to join. Join today and save 50 percent on your entry fee.

– SPJ members (on or before deadline): $9 per entry
– SPJ members (after deadline): $15 per entry
– Non-members (at or before deadline): $18 per entry
– Non-members (after deadline): $30 per entry

Each submission by an SPJ member must be accompanied by a $9 entry fee and the entrant’s membership number. You may not use another student’s membership number to obtain the $9 member entry fee. Each submission by a non-member must be accompanied by an $18 entry fee.

– When an entry by more than one person is submitted, a $9 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.
– Entries submitted in the Best All-Around categories must be accompanied by an entry fee — $9 if the editor(s) is (are) a member of SPJ, $18 if the editor(s) is (are) not a member. To claim the $9 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 should 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.

Required Material

– Entries not originally published or broadcast in English should include English subtitles or an English translation.
– A cover letter explaining your entry is optional. Limit to one paragraph.

– For photographs published in a newspaper, magazine or on an online news site.
– Entrant should submit a PDF of the news/magazine page on which the art appeared, 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.

Entry Format

– Entries not originally published or broadcast in English should include English subtitles or an English translation.
– Incomplete entries will be disqualified. Entrants will not be notified of such disqualification and their entry fees will not be refunded.
– Material submitted for the contest will not be returned. Winning entries may be reproduced or posted on the SPJ website for educational or other purposes.
– A cover letter explaining your entry is optional. Limit to one paragraph.
– Starting this year, 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.
– Mark the date of publication or broadcast on all items submitted.
– Each contestant may enter as many categories as desired, but may submit no more than two entries per category. There is no limit on the number of entries a school or news outlet may enter.
– Each entry must be accompanied by the correct entry fee.
– Be sure the name of each student who worked on the entry is listed on the entry form and spelled correctly.
– Up to four individuals may be named on a team entry; otherwise, the entry must be submitted in the name of the newspaper, magazine, station or online news site.
– Work should be submitted in the region where the entrant is enrolled in school. See the SPJ website or entry form for regional boundaries. International SPJ student members should select the “international” option in the regional drop down box.

Award Categories

Breaking News Photography
Large (10,000+ students) and Small (1-9,999) School Divisions

Submit ONE photo of a breaking news event. For photographs published in a newspaper, 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.


General News Photography
Large (10,000+ students) and Small (1-9,999) School Divisions

Submit ONE photo of a news event, not covered on deadline. For photographs published in a newspaper, 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
Large (10,000+ students) and Small (1-9,999) School Divisions

Submit a photo, or a short series of photos. Limit a series to no more than FIVE photos.

For photographs published in a newspaper, 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.


Photo Illustration
Large (10,000+ students) and Small (1-9,999) School Divisions

Submit a photo, or a short series, of photos that helps illustrate a news or feature story without necessarily being straight photography. Entries may be staged, composite or otherwise manipulated, but should disclose that to the reader. Limit a series to no more than FIVE photos. For photo illustrations published in a newspaper, magazine or on an online news site.

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


Sports Photography
Large (10,000+ students) and Small (1-9,999) School Divisions

Submit ONE photo of a sports event. For photographs published in a newspaper, 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.


Editorial Cartooning

Submit THREE different published cartoons commenting on issues of significance to the newspaper’s readers. All three cartoons should be by the same cartoonist.

Three cartoons = one entry. Upload all three cartoons as one entry. Do not submit cartoons separately.

For cartoons published in a newspaper, magazine or on an online news site.

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

Contact Information

Sarah Bauer, vice chair
Program Director
Minnesota Newspaper Association
612-278-0250
@sarah_mn

[email protected] 

Entry Links

Entry URL http://awards.spj.org/
Further Information https://www.spj.org/a-moe.asp
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