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:
• “Ex-UCF Student Planned Wider Attack On Students, Officials Believe,” by Jacob Sadowsky, University of Central Florida
• “Living Galapagos,” by staff, University of North Carolina

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

Jury

Judging will take place first on the regional level, with judges for each region selecting regional winners in each category from among the entrants in that region. First, second and third place winner will be chosen unless the judges find that the entries do not meet the overall standard of excellence required. No ties or honorable mentions will be awarded. The winners in each region will be honored at their regional conference in the spring of 2014. The first-place winning entries from each region will go on to compete at the national level, with different panels of national judges selecting one national first-place 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 2013. 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 2013.
– 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

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– 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.

– Entries that do not provide complete and accurate URLs will be disqualified.
– Entries in online categories will be judged on interactivity and use of multimedia tools.
– Entrants must keep their entries intact and accessible until September 30, 2014.
–Judging will take place February-April 2014. Best Affiliated Web Site and Best Independent Online Student Publication categories will be judged on content as presented during this time span.

 

Entry Format

– 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.
– Incomplete entries will be disqualified. Entrant will not be notified of such disqualification nor will their entry fee 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.

 

Award Categories 

Online News Reporting

Submit a story or package about a newsworthy event, development or single issue of significance to the public. Judges will consider ingenuity, interactivity and use of multimedia tools.

Entries should consist of one main URL and up to three 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, 2015.


Online Feature Reporting

Submit a story or package about a feature topic. Subjects may include, but are not limited to, personality profiles, trend stories, human-interest stories, consumer information, historical perspectives or reviews of cultural events. Judges will consider ingenuity, interactivity and use of multimedia tools.

Entries should consist of one main URL and up to three 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, 2015.


Online In-Depth Reporting

Submit a story or package about a topic or issue of public importance that is explored in significant depth with multiple sources. Judges will consider ingenuity, interactivity and use of multimedia tools.

Entries consist of one main URL and up to three 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, 2015.


Online Sports Reporting

Submit a story or package about a sports event or sports figure. Entries may be either news or feature pieces. Judges will consider ingenuity, interactivity and use of multimedia tools.

Entries 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, 2015.


Online Opinion & Commentary

Submit three individual pieces or packages dealing either seriously or humorously with opinion or commentary. Entries can be personal columns, op-ed pieces or staff editorials. All three pieces should be written by one writer or writing team.

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

Entries that do not provide complete and accurate URLs will be disqualified. Entrants must keep their nominated entries intact and accessible until September 30, 2015.


Best Use of Multimedia

Submit ONE URL to a multimedia element on a new organization’s website. Multimedia includes — among other things — any piece of reporting that brings together various media, including text, audio, video and other interactive elements. Entrants should include a cover letter describing the piece and how it serves its audience. Judges will consider design, content, interactivity and complexity.

Entries that do not provide complete and accurate URLs will be disqualified. Entrants must keep their nominated entries intact and accessible until September 30, 2015.


Best Affiliated Web Site

This award is for Internet sites operated in conjunction with a student newspaper, student magazine or student broadcast station. Entrants should include a cover letter describing how the site’s content and mission differ from and enhance that of its affiliate. Judges will consider design, content, interactivity and use of multimedia tools. Award will be made in the paper, magazine or station’s name.

Entrants should submit one main URL and up to three additional URLs (in the same domain) to highlight features.

Judging will take place February-April 2015. Websites will be judged on content as presented during this time span.

Entries that do not provide complete and accurate URLs will be disqualified. Entrants must keep their nominated entries intact and accessible until September 30, 2015.


Best Independent Online Student Publication

This award is for online publications and Internet sites that produce primarily original content and operate independently of other student news organizations. Entrants should include a cover letter describing the site and how it serves its audience. Judges will consider design, content, interactivity and use of multimedia tools. Award will be made in the outlet’s name.

Entrants should submit one main URL and up to three additional URLs (in the same domain) to highlight features.

Judging will take place February-April 2015. Websites will be judged on content as presented during this time span.

Entries that do not provide complete and accurate URLs will be disqualified. Entrants must keep their nominated entries intact and accessible until September 30, 2015.


Best Digital-Only Student Publication

This award is for publications that produce primarily original content on a digital platform, which can include tablets and e-readers. Entrants should include a cover letter describing the publication and how it serves its audience. Judges will consider design, content, interactivity and use of multimedia tools. Award will be made in the outlet’s name.

Entrants should submit one main URL to the publication’s app or download link.

Entries that do not provide complete and accurate URLs will be disqualified. Entrants must keep their nominated entries intact and accessible until September 30, 2015.

Contact Information

Chad Hosier
[email protected]
317/927-8000, ext. 210

Entry Links

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