SD-SPJ Accepting 2021 Contest Entries



The 2021 SPJ San Diego Area Journalism Competition will recognize outstanding work by San Diego-area student and professional journalists published or broadcast during the calendar year 2020. Contest entries will be accepted Thursday April 1 through Monday, May 3. Those submitted by 9 p.m. PST on Monday, April 26, 2021, will get $5 off their entry fees in every category but our top and special awards. Student rates do not change.

This year’s Distinguished Coverage Award will honor stories about the COVID-19 pandemic or calls for racial equality in 2020 (participants must choose one topic or the other, not both.) Did your outlet cover it best? Each outlet should submit its best story, series, or show, along with a 500-word essay on why the coverage merits recognition. This award is open to all outlets and the fee to enter is $50.

We are also accepting applications for five $1,000 San Diego SPJ scholarships and one $1,000 Agnes Diggs scholarship from the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation. We look forward to handing these scholarships out to eligible local journalism students.

This year, San Diego SPJ is proud to announce a new $1,000 scholarship award. 

The Bradley J. Fikes Scholarship honors the late reporter’s exemplary career, who wrote for the Daily Transcript, North County Times, and San Diego Union-Tribune. In recognition of Bradley’s contributions to science and technology journalism, preference will be given to applicants interested in these areas of reporting and can explain so on their application.

Winners of the awards and scholarships will be announced this summer during either a virtual or in-person event, depending on the pandemic restrictions.

Submit your entries using the BetterBNC Media Awards Platform. To register or enter the contest online now, open a new browser window or tab to Keep this window open to refer to as you submit your awards.

If you have entered other contests on this platform before, either for last year’s SD-SPJ competition or for the SD Press Club awards, you are already in the system, and you just have to ask to enter the 2021 SPJ awards contest.

Below are directions for preparing and submitting entries. If you have questions, please contact Terry Williams at 619-743-3669 or

All contest entries must be submitted online (except for entries in the College Media Best Newspaper category, which must be mailed and postmarked by the contest deadline to SPJ to P.O. Box 880482, San Diego, CA 92168-0482). All entries must be entered by or on behalf of the individuals who produced the work and must identify those individuals.

Best of luck to all of our applicants!

How to Enter

Contest Guidelines and Categories 2021

Scholarship Details

FAQs 2021


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