The 2017 SPJ San Diego Area Journalism Competition recognizes outstanding achievement by individual professionals and students located in and around San Diego County and covers work first published or broadcast during calendar year 2016.
Mark of Excellence Award, for outlet (not individual) of the year: Outlets shall submit their best story, series or show with an overview of up to 500 words that explains why the report is worthy of the SPJ San Diego Pro Chapter’s top award. Open to all outlets; $100 entry fee.
Wildcard Award: Outlets shall submit their best work related to a subject chosen each year by the SPJ San Diego Pro Chapter. This year, that subject is “Homelessness Across San Diego County” and outlets must submit their best story, series or show along with an essay of up to 500 words that explains why the coverage merits recognition. Open to all outlets; $50 entry fee.
SPJ San Diego presents Special Awards, which include cash prizes, in five categories. Entries for these categories are submitted separately from other categories and may include print, broadcast or online work. Entries submitted in these categories also may be submitted in a category in one of the nine regular divisions.
Gloria Penner Award for Political Affairs Reporting ($250 Prize): Gloria Penner was a San Diego broadcasting pioneer whose five decades of work at KPBS earned her seven Emmys, five Golden Mikes and an excellent reputation as an enthusiastic and even-handed journalist, especially at election time. KPBS General Manager Tom Karlo once said, “She knew local politics better than the politicians themselves.” She died of cancer at 81 in 2012.
This award goes to a journalist who shows political skill and savvy and a deep knowledge and understanding of civic issues, whose story or series can clearly be called the best political journalism of the year in San Diego County. Open to all media; $30 entry fee.
Neil Morgan Community Impact Award ($250 Prize): Neil Morgan was a journalism giant who helped shape U-T San Diego, Voice of San Diego and San Diego itself. When the San Diego Rotary Club named him “Mr. San Diego 1999,” former California Gov. Pete Wilson said “he has been San Diego’s chief cheerleader, the very halcyon of optimism; he has also been the critic of San Diego, who insists that we still do better.” He died at 89 in 2014.
This award goes to a reporter whose story or series achieved the greatest community impact. Entrants must submit their work as well as an essay of up to 500 words describing what it accomplished and what impact it had on the community. Open to all media; $30 entry fee.
Sol Price Prize for Responsible Journalism ($250 Prize): Former attorney, philanthropist, and humanitarian Sol Price left a legacy in public policy and helping low-income neighborhoods. He was the founder of FedMart and the Price Club. In 2011, The Price Family Charitable Fund endowed the University of Southern California with a “$50 million dollar naming gift” resulting in the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. Even with his New York upbringing, Price had San Diego roots dating as far back as the 1920s.
This award goes to a journalist whose work not only meets ethical standards but also shows uncommon sensitivity to issues. He or she pursued truth in the face of such obstacles as unpopularity, economic retribution or physical harm. Entrants must submit the article or broadcast as well as an essay of up to 500 words describing the challenges they faced in pursuit of the story and how the challenges were overcome. Open to all media; $30 entry fee.
First Amendment Award ($100 Prize): This award honors the story, series or commentary that best spotlights First Amendment issues. Open to all media; $30 entry fee.
Herbert Lockwood “Woody” Award ($100 Prize): Former Veteran San Diego Journalist, Editor, Humorist, Author, and Historian Herbert “Woody” Lockwood was known for his “wit and wisdom” and as a “superb interviewer” by colleagues. Lockwood worked at The Daily Transcript, The Independent, and the old Pacific Beach Sentinel (1950s). His book, San Diego’s Historical History: Fallout from the Skeleton’s Closet, was published in early 2000. This award honors the best humor writing. Open to all media; $30 entry fee.
Diversity Prize ($100 Prize): This award honors a story or series that provides outstanding coverage of communities not usually represented in local media, or an organization that deserves praise for its outstanding inclusion of diverse voices in everyday news coverage. Entrants must submit the article or broadcast as well as an essay of up to 500 words describing their efforts to provide coverage of underrepresented communities. Entrants seeking consideration of their organization based on its diversity must submit an essay of up to 500 words describing their efforts to improve diversity within their organization. Open to all media; $30 entry fee.
James Julian Memorial Award ($100 Prize) – The development of scholarships for journalists was spearheaded by San Diego State University (SDSU) emeritus James L. Julian who passed away at the age of 72 in May of 1986. The James Julian Memorial Award was established for his dedication to the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi. He had influenced careers of San Diego journalists for two generations. This award goes to the best community service story or series. Open to those whose work appeared in newspapers with circulation less than 65,000; $30 entry fee.
Entrants can submit their work in the following nine divisions. Entrants must select the proper division for each entry submitted, not based on the entrant’s employer. For example, a reporter who works for a daily newspaper must enter work published in that newspaper in the Daily Reporting & Writing division, but must enter freelance work published in a local magazine in the Magazines division.
Daily Reporting & Writing: This division includes print and online reporting and writing. A publication is considered “daily” if a new issue is published five times or more a week. An online publication is considered “daily” if at least some new information is published online five times or more a week. If a daily publication has associated non-daily publications and the entry originated in the daily publication, the entry must be submitted in the Daily Division.
Non-Daily Reporting & Writing: This division includes print and online reporting and writing. A publication is considered non-daily if a new issue is published four or fewer times a week. If a non-daily print publication has an online version, and at least some new information is published online five times or more a week, work published in the online edition must be submitted in the Daily Division.
Online: This division is open to work published online, whether associated with a print publication, television station, radio station, or online-only publication. This division covers categories specific to online work. Reporting and writing that is published online should be entered in the appropriate category in the Daily or Non-Daily Reporting & Writing Divisions.
Newspaper or Magazine Design, Photography & Headlines: This division is open to work published in daily and non-daily newspapers and magazines.
Newspaper Special Sections: This division is open to special sections published in daily and non-daily newspapers only. Special sections and supplements must be submitted in their entirety. Special sections and supplements should indicate clearly that they are part of a larger publication.
Video: This division is open to video work, whether broadcast on television or online.
Audio: This division is open to audio work, whether broadcast on the radio or online.
College Media: This division is limited to entries published in print or online college publications or broadcast on college television or radio stations. Students who wish to enter work that was published in professional publications must do so in the appropriate professional divisions. Students may NOT enter work that was published in college media in the professional divisions.
CATEGORIES & DEFINITIONS
Entrants can submit their work in approximately 130 categories covered by the eight divisions. Entrants should select the proper category for each entry submitted. Entrants must use their best judgment to determine the proper category and may need to choose which of multiple, potentially applicable categories is the best category to enter.
—Investigative/Enterprise story or series categories – all Divisions
—Photo Essay category – Newspaper Design, Photography & Headlines Division
—Community service program or series – Television/Video and Radio/Audio Divisions
SUBMISSION OF ENTRIES
For detailed instructions on submitting entries, see the How to Enter link on the Journalism Contest page. Clarifications may be added to the Help tab throughout the contest based on questions received from entrants, so check back frequently if you have questions.
All entries must be submitted online, except as noted below for the College Media Best Newspaper category.
All print and online entries must be submitted by providing working URL addresses (preferred) or by uploading PDFs. Word documents are not permitted.
All Television/Video and Radio/Audio entries must be submitted by providing working URL addresses (preferred) or by uploading the appropriate video and audio files.
All photography entries must be submitted by providing working URL addresses (preferred) or by uploading PDFs of the published photos, but also may include optional copies of the photos in .jpg format.
For each entry, you may submit up to six PDFs (or other file types) and/or six URLs, including the PDF of the optional one-page essay where applicable.
Please ensure that your PDFs are completely legible.
Please note that entries submitted by providing URL addresses must be accessible online through June 30, 2017.
Because of their size, entries in the College Media Best Newspaper category must be mailed to SPJ San Diego Journalism Competition, P.O. Box 880482, San Diego, CA 92168. Entries in this category must include copies of three issues and must be accompanied by two copies of the completed contest entry form, printed out after following online entry instructions. Entries in this category must be postmarked by the contest deadline.
Please note that some categories require submission of three examples. For these categories – Column (N-19, ND-19, M-13, C-10), Blog (O-7), Regular Beat (R-8), and Best College Newspaper (C-1) – you must submit three examples together as one entry. You may submit them as separate PDFs or in one PDF, or by posting the applicable URLs.
Entries in certain categories may be accompanied by an optional one-page essay, explaining the entrant’s role in preparing the coverage, the chronology of events, current status of the issue covered, and any unusual circumstances or difficulties encountered in preparation of the story or series. These categories include: Investigative/Enterprise story or series – all Divisions; Photo Essay – Newspaper Design, Photography & Headlines Division; and Community service program or series – Television/Video and Radio/Audio Divisions. Upload your optional essay as a PDF when you upload your entry.
Professional journalists outside California will judge all submissions. First and second place and honorable mention awards may be selected in each category, although judges may award fewer or no winners in a category. Winners will be honored at SD-SPJ’s annual awards banquet in the summer. One plaque will be awarded to each first-place entry, including team entries.
Winners who wish to order additional plaques, at their own expense, may contact SPJ following the awards banquet.
Certificates will be awarded to each second-place and honorable-mention entry, including team entries.
Winners who wish to request additional certificates, at no charge, may contact SPJ following the awards banquet.
Many of your questions about the contest can be answered on the Help and Rules tabs on the contest website and on the Journalism Contest page of our website at www.spjsandiego.org.
Please review the contest information, including Guidelines, How to Enter, Categories, and FAQs there. If you still have questions regarding the contest, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org We will reply within one business day of your request, sooner whenever possible.