NJ-SPJ 2021 Excellence in Journalism Awards

The NJ-SPJ contest is comprised of the following awards:

  • Community-Oriented Journalism (Weekly or hyperlocal) - The Stuart and Beverly Awbrey Award
  • Outstanding “Rookie” Journalist of the Year - The Wilson Barto Award
  • Reporter of the Year - The David Carr Award
  • Outstanding Journalism Educator of the Year - The Ron Miskoff Award
  • Best Audio News Story - The Herbert Morrison Award
  • Best Use of Public Records in a Story - The Tim O’Brien Award
  • Best Video News Story - The Gabe Pressman Award
  • Best Grassroots Journalism Award (Weekly or Hyperlocal) - The Barbara Reed Award
  • Best Investigative Journalism (Daily)
  • Best Investigative Journalism (Weekly or Hyperlocal)

The contest opens Jan. 2, 2021 and closes at 11:59 p.m. Feb. 15, 2021. All entries will be judged by SPJ members from chapters in other states. Winners will be announced online in early May. An awards brunch will be held in June.

What work can be submitted: The 2021 competition recognizes work that was published, broadcast or posted online during the 2020 calendar year.

Eligibility: Any journalist who lives or works in New Jersey or who reports about New Jersey or the region. We also welcome submissions from people who live and work in New York City and Philadelphia, as long as the story affects New Jersey or New Jerseyans, or is about regional issues like transportation, the cleanliness of our beaches or the economic vitality of our region. We will accept stories on national and international issues if the authors live in New Jersey, or if the story has a strong NJ angle or if the publication, video channel or website is primarily situated in New Jersey.

Fee: All entries must be submitted using the forms linked below; entries without payment will not be considered. The entry fee is $25. It is the same in every category.   There is a discount, however for SPJ members, who will pay only $20 per category (see instructions below).  This can add up, if you submit multiple entries, so you may wish to consider joining at https://www.spj.org/join.asp. Entry fees are non-refundable. Money generated from the contest is used to fund NJ-SPJ programs, including training and the legal defense of journalists.


Select the award competition(s) you are entering from the list below, one at a time. As you chose an award, it will open in a new tab in your browser.

Complete the entry form and upload any required supporting documents, then click "ADD TO CART" to add the entry submission to your order. When you have finished with each entry, return to the browser tab containing this entry page to submit any additional entries. When finished, use the Checkout button to complete your entry submission and pay your entry fees.

To get member pricing, SPJ Members should type SPJ in the Coupon Code field in the shopping cart page, and click "APPLY." The coupon will deduct the member discount from all your entries.

Note: All submissions should include any corrections, clarifications or retractions made after initial publishing or broadcast. Also, copies of any written challenges to the report’s accuracy sent to the entrant or the news organization by or on behalf of those mentioned — including but not limited to letters, e-mails or legal papers — must be included with the entry. Any responses by the news organization should also be included.

For past winners, see our contest archives (sidebar on njspj.org's contest page).

Questions? Contact our contest coordinators Alyssa Lidman at alyssa.nancy.lidman@gmail.com  or Christine Paige Diers at cpaigediers@gmail.com, or 605-490-3033.

Thank you for participating in NJ-SPJ's annual contest and supporting NJ-SPJ!

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