2020 Page One Awards Contest Categories

1. NEWSPAPER/NEWS WRITING

aBreaking 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 (Up to three 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 (Up to three stories on 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)

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 (Up 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, but not the op-ed page)

n. Editorials and Commentary (Up to three single editorials and/or commentary pieces or columns published on the op-ed page)

o. Graphics/Art and illustration (Up to three examples of 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 headlines, submitted along with the accompanying stories)

r. Best issue (Based on reporting, writing, photography, graphics/illustration, layout, copy-handling, 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 (Up to three examples of 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.) 

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)

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) 

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

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) 

6. PHOTOGRAPHY

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.)

Entry Tiers

  • Newspaper/News Writing [50,000+ circulation; stories only published online, such as in an online-only publication, are eligible to compete in this category]
  • 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

2020 Page One Awards Contest Guidelines

GENERAL GUIDELINES

  • The fee is $22 per entry.
  • Entries must be submitted no later than midnight, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020.
  • All work published or broadcast during the 2019 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 and/or contest organizers 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/summer of 2020 and honored during MNSPJ’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).
  • LINKS or PDFs: The contest entry form provides space for up to three links and three PDF attachments. Please contact MNSPJ if you are having trouble fitting entries into these spaces.

CLICK HERE to access the contest submission form

Save the Date! Annual “Off The Record” Holiday Party Set For Thursday, Dec. 5

Join MNSPJ, AAJA, and TCBJ for our annual “Off The Record” holiday party on Thursday, Dec. 5.

Enjoy free food, good beer and friendly conversation in the cozy event room at Pizza Luce in downtown Minneapolis. And considering bringing some toys, since the annual TCJB Toy Drive will be collecting donations at the party.

Swing by Pizza Luce at 119th N. 4th Street in downtown Minneapolis between 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 5. Appetizers provided. Cash bar. Please RSVP here to let us know that you can make it!

MNSPJ seeks the return of emergency dispatches, radio traffic for journalists

The Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (MNSPJ) is troubled by a recent decision to encrypt law enforcement emergency dispatches and other radio traffic by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and agencies that use the county’s service.
MNSPJ urges Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson to drop this new practice, or let journalists continue using this information, which helps news organizations inform readers and viewers about public safety incidents while ensuring accountability and transparency from the police and fire departments that respond.
For decades, journalists have used scanners to monitor radio transmissions from public safety agencies, and respond in real time to breaking news. These radio transmissions are typically a starting point for journalists, who go on to investigate and evaluate whether the incident rises to the level of general public interest.  Reporters know to contact the agencies for more information. They can get to the scene to talk with witnesses. The information helps journalists assess how quickly they must react and with what degree of resources.
All this improves the quality of reporting at the time of an incident, so community members can understand if there’s a broader threat.  Later, it helps ensure that final news reports provide detailed information on a timely basis about the substance of incident — whether it’s a crime, a fire or an accident — and the response by public safety agencies.  Particularly with incidents that involve a police response, this transparency helps hold authorities accountable if something should go wrong — an essential part of building trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. It also can help readers and viewers better understand the actions of law enforcement.
In September, radio transmissions in the shooting death of Ronald Davis in St. Paul provided important context, as journalists listening to scanner traffic heard a police officer yell: “Drop the knife! Drop the knife!”  The detail helped readers and viewers understand the story, and also helped journalists evaluate accusations from activists that Davis had been shot down by police in the street in cold blood.
In September 2018, when a teen stole an SUV and raced down Cedar Ave. in Minneapolis at high speeds before crashing and killing three people, journalists listening to police radio could quickly address a key question via scanner traffic: “Our guys were not in pursuit; they were not in pursuit,” a member of the State Patrol said immediately after the incident. The accident came a few months after the State Patrol faced criticism for pursuing at high-speeds a vehicle that crashed into a playground and hit three children.
These are just two examples of why MNSPJ is asking Sheriff Hutchinson to consider alternatives. When a similar change was made in Lincoln, Neb., police decided to publish an unedited online feed that was delayed by 10 minutes. A spokesman for the sheriff has suggested that news organizations might be able to use devices to decode scanner traffic.  We’re encouraged by this, but hope the sheriff will simply revert to the old practice.
Public safety personnel already use alternate, confidential communication channels when needed for tactical reasons.  Other public safety agencies aren’t following Hennepin County’s lead. As a spokesman for the Minneapolis Police Department told a Star Tribune editorial writer: “We have no intention of going to encryption. … We haven’t seen the need.”

 

MNSPJ Intern Night, Oct. 24, at WCCO Studios

ARE YOU A COLLEGE STUDENT OR YOUNG PERSON LOOKING FOR A NEWS MEDIA INTERNSHIP, OR AN INTERN LOOKING TO GET HIRED? FIND OUT HOW HERE!

About this Event

The 2019 Minnesota SPJ Intern Night is a great opportunity to learn about journalism internships throughout the state, network with media professionals and meet fellow journalism students from local colleges.

No previous internship experience is required to attend!

Panelists will include media professionals and intern managers from WCCO, the Star Tribune, Minnesota Monthly, the St. Paul Pioneer Press and other major media outlets. Afterward, tour WCCO studios as time allows!

Details:

Thursday, October 24

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

WCCO-TV

90 S. 11th St.

Minneapolis, MN 55403

Space is limited at this free event: Only 60 spots are available. If you register and cannot attend, you must notify MN SPJ immediately so we can open available spots to those who can attend. Limited to two tickets per person.

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2019-minnesota-spj-intern-night-at-wcco-studios-tickets-74377752861?ref=estw

Parking is available at metered spots on the street or in nearby parking ramps. Please give yourself time to find a parking spot and arrive on time to the event! Enter by the back door. Please contact minnesota.spj@gmail.com with any questions.

Journalists shine light on their role

ThreeSixty Journalism student Safiya Mohamed found time during St. Paul Central High School’s spring break to interview three Twin Cities journalists about their profession. Safiya asked them to describe what they do, explain why their job is important and share advice they would give to a young, aspiring journalist.

The interviews with Star Tribune reporter Nicole Norfleet, Minnesota Public Radio reporter Brian Bakst and Fox 9 reporter Iris Perez were recorded at the studios of the St. Paul Neighborhood Network, a cable access station. Funding was provided by the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists.

Brian Bakst, Minnesota Public Radio political reporter

Nicole Norfleet, Star Tribune business reporter

Iris Perez, KMSP/Fox 9 general assignment reporter, fill-in anchor