Tag Archives | Contest

What you need to know about this year’s contest

It’s contest season again!

Notice there are two options this year: one from New Jersey SPJ, the other from Keystone SPJ.  Here’s the lowdown:

  • The NJ SPJ contest opens on Tuesday, Jan. 2. Because of a sharp decrease in contest entries, our contest has been scaled down to include only our four signature awards: Courage Under Fire (for journalists who, despite strong opposition, defend the principles of a free press), the Barto (our “rookie of the year” award); the Awbrey (for local journalism that goes above and beyond); and the O’Brien (for investigative journalism that digs deep through effective use of public records). For an overview of the contest, go here. to submit work, go here.  Our contest closes March 1. Questions? Contact our contest coordinator Heather Taylor at heather.taylor.spj@gmail.com or call (609) 250-2582.
  • The SPJ Keystone Chapter 2018 Best in Journalism Contest is already open and is comprised of about 30 categories; entries can be submitted  until Feb. 26. As our members know, we had hoped to run a joint contest with Keystone but there were logistical issues, so we are elated that our friends in Pennsylvania expanded their contest to include submissions from New Jersey. The contest may be accessed through this link: https://betternewspapercontest.com/2018SpotlightAwards Any questions or concerns should be directed to Pat Trosky at pattrosky@gmail.com or spjkeystone@gmail.com.

To enter the Keystone SPJ journalism contest, you’ll need to set up a new open call login. NOTE:  Keystone uses Better Newspaper Contest (BNC) to manage its submissions (as we did up until this year), but if you entered a BNC contest in New Jersey or elsewhere, that login will not work in the Keystone contest. This is true for individuals and for companies.

You can create your login in one of two ways. Go to the Keystone SPJ website ( https://keystonespj.wordpress.com/) and click on the url at the bottom of the announcement OR go directly to the contest page using this url:  https://betternewspapercontest.com/2018SpotlightAwards

Once you’re on the Keystone BNC page, you’ll see the open call contestant login on the lower lefthand corner of the page. Click that.

Once on the Open Call Contestant page, look to the lower right corner and create an open call account. Fill in the info and submit. Pat Trosky, president of the Keystone chapter, will then get an email to approve you. When she does, you can then log in and set everything else up.


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Contest deadline extended!

Excellence_croppedStragglers, rejoice! We’ve extended the contest deadline to 11:59 Tuesday, March 8 for all categories EXCEPT the Awbrey, our special local journalism category for work that goes the extra mile and seeks to engage and improve communities. Because the Awbrey requires extra documentation, the deadline for submissions is March 15. However, because of technical issues, after March 8, all Awbrey submissions need to be sent to newjerseyspj.feedback@gmail.com. Just be sure to put “Awbrey awards” in the subject line.

Submitting your work is easy. Click here to see all of our contest categories. Click here to enter. All entries must have been published, broadcast or placed online in 2015.…

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IMPORTANT! Contest changes

Contest_Feedback_graphicTO OUR CONSTITUENTS:
We are proposing some significant changes to our annual New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists contest this year, and we would like your input. We intend to make two major changes to the contest categories.
Here’s the summary:

1) WE INTEND TO COMBINE THE DAILY NEWSPAPER AND ONLINE-ONLY AND STATEWIDE WEEKLY SECTIONS INTO ONE SECTION, SO THEY WILL ALL COMPETE AGAINST ONE ANOTHER. This means there will now be two master categories — Local and Non-local — for the written-word portion of our contest. Whether you write for a primarily print publication or an electronic one will be rendered meaningless.
2) WE INTEND TO ELIMINATE ALL CATEGORIES THAT DO NOT INVOLVE THE TELLING OF STORIES. This means we will no longer make awards for headline-writing, page or website design, or cartooning. This is intended to streamline the awards, reduce their number, and with hope, increase the value of those awards we do make.
The complete list of proposed categories can be found by clicking here.  Do take a look. We really do want your feedback, so please email your reactions to  newjerseyspj.feedback@gmail.com.
* * *


Under this category, entries from the Star-Ledger and Record and Gannett dailies will compete against the New Jersey Law JournalNew Jersey Jewish News, NJBIZ, New Jersey Newsroom and NJ Politicker, and the like. Our thinking is that the traditional dividing line between print dailies and their digital counterparts now has almost no meaning, and as time moves on and electronic devices become more and more the primary way of receiving news, that old distinction will fade away completely. A few years ago, we eliminated the distinction between print weekly newspapers and locally oriented websites, and this has worked out well.


Your category will be determined by your publication, and not the focus of your story. That means if the outlet that published your intended entry covers the entire state, a large region of the state, or goes beyond the state, your entry will be considered under a NON-LOCAL category.

If your publication is a local print weekly or website that covers only a single town, a cluster of towns, or a county, then your entry will be considered under a LOCAL JOURNALISM category. For example, if you cover a homicide or a gas explosion in a town for that town’s hyperlocal website, or a blog that concentrates on that town and a few other adjacent ones, that’s a LOCAL JOURNALISM entry. The same story, in the Star-Ledger, the Asbury Park Press or NJ Spotlight, is a NON-LOCAL entry.


1) COURAGE UNDER FIRE:  In honor of journalists who exhibit strength in defending the principals of a free press, open records, open meetings and transparent examination of public servants doing their jobs.
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Contest deadline extended until 11:59 p.m. EST March 10

Attention procrastinators: You’ve been granted a reprieve. The contest deadline has been extended to 11:59 p.m. March 10.  Cost is is $20 per entry for SPJ members and $25 per entry for non-SPJ members. The only exception is the O’Brien award, which is $25 for everybody. You can pay using PayPal or by check.  For information about contest submissions and payment, go to  the Enter Now page. Entries that are submitted without payment are automatically disqualified.…

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