Page One Awards Now Accepting Entries — Deadline Feb. 8

The Minnesota Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (MNSPJ) recognizes the best in Minnesota journalism each year with its annual Page One Awards.

Contest entries can be submitted between now and Friday, Feb. 8. Finalists will be notified in the spring, with winners named at the annual Page One Awards banquet later this year.

In hopes of improving the contest, MNSPJ last year issued a survey to contest entrants seeking feedback on the awards We also conducted a review of six other journalism contests across the country. In response, we’ve made several rule changes, expanded several category descriptions and added/changed several categories.

New category options include:

  1. Newspaper Sports Columns (Up to three columns by one writer whose work regularly appears in the sports section) 
  2. Best Online Infographic/Data Visualization (Outstanding data presentation that showcases unique online capabilities) 
  3. Freedom of Information Award (This award recognizes efforts by news organizations to further the cause of First Amendment freedoms and freedom of information. Entries can includes news stories, columns, editorials and other public advocacy actions, including requests for advisory opinions and court cases. Each news organization may submit one entry that includes up to five examples that highlight the effort.)

In addition, we have re-named the “Meeting/Planned Event” category to “Deadline News” in the Newspaper division and expanded the category descriptions to distinguish the award from “Breaking News” (formerly “Spot News”). In the Television, Radio and Online divisions, we’ve dropped “Meeting/Planned Event” and replaced the category with awards for sports reporting. In several categories, journalists can now enter up to three works. Other changes can be found in the complete list of contest categories at the link below.

On rules, we’re opening the large newspaper division to submissions that appear in online-only publications in hopes of promoting more competition. With that goal in mind, we’re also clarifying that journalists at smaller news organizations can opt to compete against larger organizations by submitting their work in the larger circulation/employee divisions (although the same can’t also be submitted in the smaller category).  Finally, we’re clarifying that photography entries are intended to showcase the work of one photographer.

This year, MNSPJ has elected to hold the price of a contest entry steady at $22 — the same as last year.

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Journalists working for all print, broadcast and online news outlets in Minnesota (or news outlets in neighboring states that cover Minnesota) are eligible to enter. All work published or broadcast during the 2017 calendar year is eligible. Entries must be submitted by Friday, February 8. 

The date and location for the awards banquet will be announced later.

Important Links:

Please contact MNSPJ with any questionsminnesota.spj@gmail.com

2019 Page One Awards Contest Categories

1. NEWSPAPER/NEWS WRITING

MANY REVISED CATEGORIES AND DESCRIPTIONS IN NEWSPAPER / NEWS WRITING DIVISION

a. Breaking News Coverage (Up to three stories showing excellence in coverage of a single news event that’s breaking/was not expected. Examples include but aren’t limited to crime stories, public safety emergencies, deaths/resignations involving prominent news figures and sudden layoffs/shutdowns. The goal is to showcase depth of coverage from a journalist or journalists working on a tight deadline on news that was not expected. Entries should be focused on first day coverage and quick follow-ups.)

b. Deadline News Coverage (Up to three stories showing excellence in coverage of a single news event where journalists could plan for the event without knowing the news. Examples include but aren’t limited to election results, court cases, study/data releases and debates at the Legislature, city/county council or school board. The goal is to showcase coverage from a journalist or journalists that’s distinguished by smart context and/or unique explanatory approaches while fairly representing a variety of perspectives. Entries should be focused on first day coverage and quick follow-ups.)

c. Feature Writing (Up to three stories showing one feature writer’s ability to command attention through profiles or trend pieces with unique characters, rich scenes and/or unexpected angles.)

d. Enterprise/In-Depth Story (One story that reflects a journalist’s or team of journalists’ ingenuity, use of sources and/or special research to dig deeper and/or capture more complexity than a typical news story.)

e. Enterprise/In-Depth Series (Multiple stories that reflect a journalist’s or team of journalists’ ingenuity, use of sources and/or special research to dig deeper and/or capture more complexity than a typical news story.)

f. Investigative (One or more stories a single topic or news event containing information not readily available to the news media or public and obtained through reporter initiative)

g. Business News Coverage (Up to three distinct stories, or a series of up to three stories, that’s focused on business-related news)

h. Sports News Coverage (Up to three distinct stories, or a series of up to three stories, on sports-related news)

i. Sports Feature Writing (Up to three stories showing one feature writer’s ability to command attention to subjects in professional and amateur sports through profiles or trend pieces with unique characters, rich scenes and/or unexpected angles)

j. — Sports Columns (Up to three columns by one writer whose work regularly appears in the sports section)  NEW CATEGORY

k. Arts & Entertainment Coverage (Up to three distinct stories, or a series of up to three stories focusing on arts & entertainment-related news)

l. Arts Criticism/Reviews (One to three stories that illustrate a journalist’s competence in criticizing or reviewing performance, musical groups, restaurants or other similar entities/events)

m. Columns (Up to three columns by one writer written for any section)

n. Editorials (Up to three single editorials)

o. Graphics/Art and illustration (Original artwork, graphs, diagrams, maps or other visual elements that illustrate a story)

p. Page Design (A single page design: taking into account layout and page composition, use of headlines, art, graphics etc.)

q. Headlines (A collection of up to three (3) headlines, submitted along with the accompanying stories)

r. Best issue (Based on reporting, writing, photography, graphics/illustration, layout, copyhandling, etc.)

2. MAGAZINE

a. Best Profile Story (A single profile story)

b. Best Feature Story (A single feature story)

c. Best Department (A magazine component appearing under the same heading and possibly, but not always, written by different writers); send 3 unique examples

d. Best Column (A magazine component appearing under the same heading and always written by the same author); send 3 unique examples

e. Best Cover (A single magazine cover)

f. Best Page Design (A full story or feature layout, single page, two-page or double-truck design)

g. Graphics/Art and illustration (Original artwork, graphs, diagrams, maps or other visual elements that illustrate a story)

h. Best issue (Based on writing, photography, graphics/illustration, layout)

3. TELEVISION

a. Spot/Breaking news (coverage of an unscheduled event broadcast within 24 hours; may be a single story or compilation of coverage on a single event)

b. Hard News report (best coverage of a news-related topic; may include in-depth, planned coverage of a single event, or enterprise reporting)

c. Feature (single story done for some other factor than timeliness–may include profile, human interest, or trend stories)

d. Special Project/In-Depth series (a single report or series of reports going in-depth on a particular subject, helping the viewer understand a situation beyond information in a typical news story)

e. Investigative (One or more stories containing information not readily available to the news media or public and obtained through reporter initiative)

f. Newscast (One regularly-scheduled newscast airing on any day in the contest year. The entry should represent the station’s best work in news content, execution, and overall presentation)

g.  Sports News Coverage (Up to three distinct stories, or a series of up to three stories, that’s focused on sports-related news.)  NEW CATEGORY

4. RADIO

a. Spot/Breaking news (coverage of an unscheduled event broadcast within 24 hours; may be a single story or compilation of coverage on a single event)

b. Hard News report (best coverage of a news-related topic; may include in-depth, planned coverage of a single event, or enterprise reporting)

c. Feature (single story done for some other factor than timeliness–may include profile, human interest, or trend stories)

d. Special Project/In-Depth series (a single report or series of reports going in-depth on a particular subject, helping the viewer understand a situation beyond information in a typical news story)

e. Investigative (One or more stories containing information not readily available to the news media or public and obtained through reporter initiative)

f. Newscast (One regularly-scheduled newscast airing on any day in the contest year. The entry should represent the station’s best work in news content, execution, and overall presentation)

g. Sports News Coverage (Up to three distinct stories, or a series of up to three stories, that’s focused on sports-related news)  NEW CATEGORY

5. ONLINE

a. Best Website (Best use of a website for providing news to an online audience. Judges will look at areas such as ease of navigation, creative design concepts, good organization and degree to which online resources enhance reporting.)

b. Best single news story (Best online coverage of a single news story or event)

c. Best continuing coverage (Two or more online reports demonstrating ongoing coverage of a news event; including original or web-only content)

d. Best single feature story/package (Best online presentation of a single feature story, with emphasis on how online attributes enhance storytelling. Arts & Entertainment coverage is eligible)  REVISED CATEGORY

e. Best single sports story/package (Best online presentation of a single sports story, with emphasis on how online attributes enhance storytelling)  NEW CATEGORY

f. Best use of multimedia (Demonstrates outstanding use of photos, galleries, video and/or audio to enhance original story)

g. Best social media account – Individual (For a social media account on any platform run by one journalist that best demonstrates an understanding of audience, an appreciation for the strengths and weaknesses of the platform, while showing a commitment to innovation and an adherence to SPJ’s Code of Ethics)

h. Best social media account – Institutional (For a social media account run by multiple journalists that best demonstrates an understanding of audience, an appreciation for the strengths and weaknesses of the platform, while showing a commitment to innovation and an adherence to SPJ’s Code of Ethics)

i. Best news video (Single video, or series of videos on the same subject, produced to appear online-only)

j. Best newsroom blog (submit URL for blog, judged on overall excellence in news coverage, affiliated with a newspaper, magazine, TV or radio station)

k. Best independent news blog (submit URL for blog, judged on overall excellence in news coverage, not affiliated with a newspaper, magazine, TV or radio station)

l. Best infographic/data visualization (Outstanding data presentation that showcases unique online capabilities)  NEW CATEGORY

 

6. PHOTOGRAPHY

NEW RULE: This year we’re specifying the collection of photos must come from the same photographer.

a. Best News Photography (Best use of photography in news stories. Submit a collection of up to three (3) news photos from the same photographer.)

b. Best Feature Photography (Best use of photography in feature stories. Submit a collection of up to three (3) feature photos from the same photographer.)

c. Best Portrait Photography (Best use of portrait photography. Submit a collection of up to three (3) portrait photos from the same photographer.)

d. Best Sports Photography (Best use of photography in sports stories. Submit a collection of up to three (3) sports photos from the same photographer.)

7. SPECIAL AWARDS

a. Young Journalist of the Year (Award given to outstanding journalist in any medium with less than 10 years experience; submit three examples of work and letter of nomination)

b. Journalist of the Year (Award given to outstanding journalist in any medium with 10 or more years of experience; submit three examples of work and letter of nomination)

c. Story of the Year (Award for general excellence in any medium, covering a single story or news event submit up to three examples of work and letter of nomination)

d. Best Use of Public Records (Award for excellence in any medium covering a story or news event where use of public records played a role in getting and telling the story; submit up three examples of work and a narrative letter explaining work and its use of public records)

e. Best Beat Reporting (Award recognizing an enterprising reporter in any medium who follows a single subject or topic throughout the year. Entries should include three examples of reporting and a narrative letter explaining any other relevant facts a judge may use to determine the state’s top beat reporter.)

f. Freedom of Information Award (This award recognizes efforts by news organizations to further the cause of First Amendment freedoms and freedom of information. Entries can includes news stories, columns, editorials and other public advocacy actions, including requests for advisory opinions and court cases. Each news organization may submit one entry that includes up to five examples that highlight the effort.)  NEW CATEGORY

Entry Tiers

  • Newspaper/News Writing [50,000+ circulation; NEW: stories only published online, such as in an online-only publication, are eligible]
  • Newspaper [LESS than 50,000 circulation]
  • Magazine
  • Television [50+ newsroom employees]
  • Television [Fewer than 50 newsroom employees]
  • For television and newspaper, contestants may enter tiers higher than their circulation/employee class, but not lower. If you enter a higher tier, you may not enter your own tier.
  • Radio
  • Online
  • Photography [All photo entries will be judged against each other regardless of publication size]

CLICK HERE to access the contest submission form

 

2019 Page One Awards Contest Guidelines

GENERAL GUIDELINES

  • The fee is $22 per entry.
  • Entries must be submitted no later than midnight, Friday, Feb. 8, 2019.
  • All work published or broadcast during the 2018 calendar year is eligible.
  • Journalists (including freelancers and contract employees) working for all print, broadcast and online news outlets in Minnesota (or news outlets in neighboring states that cover Minnesota) are eligible to enter.
  • An individual may submit only one entry per category. Exceptions: 1) if a second entry is a multiple-byline entry; or 2) if it is submitted by his/her employer because they could not agree on a single entry. 
  • An individual may enter in a tier above their news outlet’s division (circulation/employee count), but then may not also enter their own division.
  • Entries will be judged by journalism professionals outside Minnesota.
  • Judges may move an entry from one category to another.
  • Up to three winners may be chosen for each category. Judges may choose not to name a winner in any category.
  • Entries will not be returned.
  • Awards Presentation: Winners will be announced in the spring of 2019 and honored during MN SPJ’s annual Page One Awards Banquet. Date and location, TBD.

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

  • NEWSPAPER, ONLINE & PHOTOGRAPHY ENTRIES must be submitted online.
  • FOR PRINT ENTRIES (Newspaper and Magazine): Entrants should submit a link to the online article or a PDF of the news/magazine page on which the story appeared. The date of publication should be visible.
  • FOR NEWSPAPER AND MAGAZINE “BEST ISSUE” CATEGORIES: entries may be submitted by mail. TWO COPIES of each issue must be submitted in an 8 1/2-by-11-inch folder or envelope. Please write category name on outside of folder.
  • FOR GRAPHICS/PHOTOGRAPHY CATEGORIES: Entrants should submit a PDF of the news/magazine page on which the art appeared, or a link to the art published on an online news site. The date of publication should be visible.
  • FOR TV ENTRIES: Entrants should submit a URL where video can be viewed (preferred) or entries may be submitted on a DVD (please include TWO COPIES).
  • FOR RADIO ENTRIES: Entrants should submit a link to the work online (preferred) or entries may be submitted by mail on a CD (please include TWO COPIES).

CLICK HERE to access the contest submission form

 

MNSPJ and U of M Journalism Center offer seminar for journalists

Click here to sign up

MNSPJ calls on St. Louis County to release emails in accordance with law

The Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists calls on St. Louis County to release to the public county-based emails and campaign communications by county commissioner and Congressional candidate Pete Stauber in accordance with Minnesota law and a recent ruling by the Minnesota Department of Administration.

MNSPJ supports the Star Tribune in its quest for emails between Stauber and the Republican National Congressional Committee where the county email system was apparently used, despite Minnesota law prohibiting such uses for campaigns.

The Data Practices Office of the Minnesota Department of Administration has ruled in an advisory opinion that St. Louis County should have released the emails, yet the county denies that the public has a right to know in this case.

St. Louis County determined the political campaign emails are not public because the RNCC is an “individual,” relying on an unreasonable interpretation of state statute.  As the Data Practice Office correctly stated, this interpretation of the law would make all emails by public officials secret. It ignores the purpose and meaning of the governing section of the Minnesota Data Practices Act, where the paramount principle favors the public’s right to know.

It is troubling that St. Louis County not only denied the Star Tribune’s request to seek truth and report it, but also doubled down on the denial even after the state’s authoritative body on public information called for its release.

St. Louis County is engaging in an egregious violation of the Data Practices Act and MNSPJ calls on it to immediately reverse its decision.

 

Contact

Joe Spear, president, MNSPJ

507-317-8073

Seven elected to MNSPJ board

Four new board members and three officers have been elected to the Minnesota Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for the 2018-2019 year.

Briana Bierschbach, Amy Forliti, Reed Fischer and Emma Nelson joined the board as directors for two-year terms. Board member Fred Melo was re-elected board secretary, and board member Chris Snowbeck was voted president-elect. Anna Pratt was voted treasurer.

Bierschbach is a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio News and has covered the State Capitol for eight years. She also worked for the Associated Press, MinnPost, and Politics in Minnesota.

Forliti is a reporter at The Associated Press in Minneapolis, where she has focused on top national breaking news stories, law enforcement and courts. She has also worked at the AP in Indiana, managed the AP’s Rhode Island bureau and worked for the Star Tribune.

Fischer is the senior editor at Minnesota Monthly and also worked at GoMN as the editorial director and was the music editor for City Pages. He has done freelance work for Rolling Stone, Village Voice and other national publications.

Emma Nelson began working as a reporter at the Star Tribune shortly after graduating from the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She has covered various government beats and now covers the city of St. Paul.

Chris Snowbeck has been a business reporter for the Star Tribune since 2014 and worked at the St. Paul Pioneer Press for eight years before that.
Fred Melo has worked at the Pioneer Press since 2005 and is currently the St. Paul City Hall bureau chief.