2014 Better Newspaper Contest

 
 

You may visit the Better Newspaper Contest site to view a tutorial of the entry process.


  1. Using the current version of Firefox or Chrome, visit betterbnc.com

  2. Click on Contest Login (circled in red, at right). Log in as Contest Manager.

  3. Choose the 2014 Nevada Press Better Newspaper Contest from the drop-down menu.

  4. Choose your publication.

  5. Open Call.

    We allow entries from contestants who are published in NPA-member publications. Select ‘Open Call’ on the BNC page and create an account, if you have not previously entered.

    (Click on ‘Contestant Login,’ then ‘open call contestant.’

    LOGIN: When logging in for the first time, use the default password contained in the instructions mailed to your newspaper. The first person to log in should be the Contest Manager, who will coordinate entries for your publication. Change the password, which will be used by your entire publication. The email address should also be for the Contest Manager, as that enables him or her to retrieve the password if it is lost or forgotten.
  6. The default password for logging in the first time is contained in the instructions mailed to your newspaper. If you don’t have it, email us at nevadapress@att.net.

  7. On the Manage Entries page, click ‘Submit Entry.’

  8. Select the Division and the Category. Complete the Headline/Title field. Make sure it is clear which item on the page is to be judged.

  9. Upload the content by clicking ‘Choose File’ and navigating to the desired file. Select Open and then Upload. Please keep file sizes under 3 MB.

  10. Click ‘Next’ to add Credits and Comments.

  11. Click Submit. Continue to the next entry. DON’T FORGET TO CLICK SUBMIT


• Complete the tally sheet that was mailed to your newspaper (or use this one) and send payment to the Nevada Press Foundation.

The system will keep track of how many entries you have submitted. When you have finished submitting all entries, please email us at nevadapress@att.net so we can begin to confirm your entries.


#1 General Excellence (mail in only)

This represents the highest award given. Entries should reflect the best of our industry. Newspapers will be judged on:

• Local, general/departmental news

• Editorial comment/page

• Thoroughness of local coverage

• General appearance, style, design, photo use and graphics

• Advertising enterprise

All entries must be complete copies without preprint ad inserts.


DAILY PAPERS

Send four issues total as follows: any Tuesday issue published April 1-June 30 this year; any Wednesday issue published July 1-Sept. 30 last year; any Thursday issue published Oct. 1-Dec. 31 last year; and any issue Jan. 1-March 31 this year.


NONDAILY PAPERS:

Send four issues total as follows: any issue published April 1-June 30 last year; any issue published July 1-Sept. 30 last year; any issue published Oct. 1-Dec. 31 last year; and any issue published Jan. 1-March 31 this year.


#2 OUTSTANDING JOURNALIST

This category recognizes outstanding service and performance to the profession of journalism during the contest year. Entrants may come from any segment of the newsroom.

Two awards will be given:

   ● For a journalist at an urban paper or magazine (classes 1, 4 and magazines)

   ● For a journalist at a community paper (classes 2 and 3)


Limit of two entries per newspaper.

Submit written statements of the nominee’s journalistic achievements and a brief resume of the nominee.

Each nomination should be accompanied by at least four examples of the nominee’s work during the contest year.


#3 JOURNALIST OF MERIT

This category is designed to encourage journalists of any age with less than five years experience in newspaper work to stay in the newspaper industry. It’s our way of saying, “You have a future in this profession.”

Entrants may come from any segment of the newsroom.

Submit written statements of the nominee’s journalistic achievements and a brief resume of the nominee.  Each nomination should be accompanied by at least four examples of the nominee’s work during the contest year.

Awards will be given in all circulation classes. 

Limit of two entries per newspaper.


#4 COMMUNITY SERVICE

Service to the community in one or more ways as demonstrated through a series of stories, marketing/advertising materials, editorial crusade, photos, etc.

Materials should be related to a single project, drive or campaign. Entries should reflect results, community impact, and extra time and involvement by the staff. Proof of results contained in stories published after the end of the contest year (March 31) may be included.

A letter of explanation may be helpful to judges but isn’t required.

Limit of two entries per newspaper.


#5 STORY OF THE YEAR

Any piece that tells a compelling story and holds the reader’s interest. These stories may be entered in other categories as well.

One category for all newspapers.

Criteria:

• Quality of reporting

• Clarity and quality of writing

  1. Impact of story


#6 BEST SPOT NEWS STORY

Story or stories written from a breaking news event published in one issue. Entry may be a single story or a main story with sidebars on a single event. No series.

Criteria:

• Quality of reporting on deadline

• Clarity of writing                   

• Timeliness, importance to readers

• Impact of story


#7 BEST FEATURE STORY

Entry may be a single story or a main story with sidebars published in one issue. No series. Entries should have a human-interest focus. Stories about entertainment, lifestyle and health or general-interest feature stories are included in this category.

Criteria:

• Quality of writing

• Depth of reporting

• Local relevance/appeal


#8 Best nonstaff story

Story or series written by someone not part of the regular staff. Entries may be news or feature-oriented, but may not be opinion columns. (See #15 for nonstaff columns.)

Criteria:

• Quality of writing

• Depth of reporting

  1. Local relevance/appeal


#9 BEST BUSINESS NEWS STORY

Story or stories written from a breaking business news event. Entry may be a single story or a main story with sidebars on a single event published in one issue.

Criteria:

• Clarity of writing

• Timeliness, importance to readers

  1. Impact of story

#10 BEST BUSINESS FEATURE

Entry may be a single story or a main story with sidebars published in one issue. Entries should explore the people, issues and/or events behind business news. The story may be a profile.

Criteria:

• Quality of writing

• Depth of reporting

  1. Local relevance/appeal


#11 BEST EXPLANATORY JOURNALISM

Entry may be a single story, a main story with sidebars or a series. Entries must clearly explain an issue of importance to the community in a way that helps readers understand a significant subject.

Criteria:

• Quality of writing

• Depth of reporting

• Local relevance/appeal


#12 BEST NEWS FEATURE STORY

Entry may be a single story or a main story with sidebars published on a single day. Entries should explore the people, issues and/or events behind the news. The story can be a profile.

Criteria:

• Quality of writing

• Depth of reporting

• Local relevance/appeal


#13 BEST INVESTIGATIVE OR IN-DEPTH STORY OR SERIES

May be a single story, a main story and sidebars or a series of stories. Each subject constitutes an entry. Entries should reflect an investigative enterprise. If the story leads to further developments or impacts, you may submit stories, even if published after the end of the contest year (March 31). A letter of clarification may be submitted.

Criteria:

• Importance to readers

• Quality of reporting, research

• Quality of writing


#14 BEST LOCAL COLUMN

Single entry consists of four columns written by the same columnist. One column must have been published during June last year, another published during January this year, and the remaining two columns published any time during the contest year. The column must appear regularly in the newspaper and be written by a regular staff member.

Limit of one entry per columnist.

Criteria:

• Quality of writing

  1. Style, originality and impact

#15  BEST LOCAL NON-STAFF COLUMN

Single entry consists of three representative columns from a columnist during the contest year. The columnist must reside in Nevada (or California for newspapers in that state). Column must appear at least monthly in an identified newspaper and be written by a nonstaff writer. Three columns constitute one entry.

Limit of one entry per columnist.

Criteria:

  1. Quality of writing

  2. Style, originality and impact

#16 BEST SPORTS STORY

Entry may be a single story or a main story with sidebars. No series. Entries should reflect timeliness in coverage and be written by a staff member.

Criteria:

• Quality of reporting

• Quality of writing

  1. Local appeal


#17 BEST SPORTS FEATURE

May be a series done by a regular staff member, a single story, or a main story with sidebars. Emphasis is on non-deadline writing and reporting.

Criteria:

• Quality of reporting

• Quality of writing

• Local appeal


#18 BEST SPORTS COLUMN

Must be a sports column that appears regularly within the sports pages and is written by a regular staff member. Submit tearsheets of three representative columns.  Three columns equal one entry.

Limit of one entry (three columns) per writer.

Criteria:

• Quality and clarity of writing

  1. Imagination, originality, impact  and news value


#19 BEST ENTERTAINMENT WRITING

Single entry consists of three samples by the same writer on entertainment subjects and/or events and may be reviews, advances, columns, news stories or features.

Limit of one entry per writer.

Criteria:

• Quality and clarity of writing

  1. Impact  and news value


#20 CRITICAL WRITING

Single entry consists of three examples of criticism or review, not including editorials.

Limit of one entry per writer.

Criteria:

• Clarity of argument

• Quality of writing

  1. Impact of story

#21 FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

An award for upholding the principles of the First Amendment and protecting the public’s right to know.  Submit stories, editorials and/or columns, along with a description of actions taken and results accomplished. Award will be given to the newspaper, not an individual.

Two awards will be given: 

   ● One for urban newspapers (classes 1 and 4)

   ● One for community newspapers (classes 2 and 3)


#22 EDITORIAL OF THE YEAR

The category awards a house editorial (not a personal column) expressing the newspaper’s opinion.  One editorial makes up one entry.  Please indicate on the entry who wrote the editorial.

Criteria:

  1. Impact and importance to readers

  2. Clarity and strength of argument

• Reporting and writing


#23 BEST EDITORIAL WRITING

Single entry consists of three samples of editorial writing by the same writer. No personal columns, only editorials expressing the newspaper’s opinion. Please indicate on the entry who wrote the editorials.

Limit of one entry per writer 

Criteria:

• Quality of writing, call to action

• Reporting/research

• Community impact/importance to reader                           


#24 BEST EDITORIAL PAGE

Submit complete editorial page or pages. You may Indicate in the notes the content that is generated locally.

Submit four samples: from any issue published from April 1 through June 30 last year;  from any issue published from July 1, through Sept. 30 last year; from any issue published from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 last year; and from any issue published from Jan. 1 through March 31 this year.

Limit of one entry per newspaper.

Criteria:

• Local issues, variety of content

• Layout, readability

• Letters to the editor


#25 OUTSTANDING VISUAL JOURNALIST

For photographers, designers, artists and others who tell the news in ways other than the written word.

Limit of two entries per paper.

Criteria:

  1. Storytelling ability through visual media such as photos, design, graphics

  2. News value and impact on readers


#26 BEST OVERALL DESIGN (mail in only)

Entries will be judged on design and makeup, use of graphics, typefaces, headlines, photo and color use, if applicable.

Submit four complete issues (minus advertising inserts): Any issue published in June last year; any issue from September last year; any issue from November last year; and any issue from this year prior to March 31.

Limit one entry per newspaper.


#27 BEST PAGE ONE DESIGN

For excellence in design, including use of photos, graphics, headlines and type faces with an emphasis on drawing the reader into the newspaper.

Each entry consists of five separate examples of the front page published at any time during the contest year.

Limit one entry per newspaper.


#28  BEST PAGE DESIGNER(S)

Each entry consists of five separate pages designed by an individual or team of two individuals during the contest  year.

Criteria:

• General design/layout

  1. Effective use of photos, graphics


#29 BEST INFORMATION GRAPHIC

Includes charts, maps and other ways to deliver information graphically.  If possible, please include the full page.

Limit of two entries per artist.

Criteria:

• Clarity and ease of readability

• News value


#30 BEST ILLUSTRATION

Can be drawn traditionally or computer-generated. No photos. If possible, please include the full page

Limit of two entries per artist.

Awards will be given in two classifications:

   ● One for urban newspapers (classes 1 and 4)

   ● One for community newspapers (classes 2 and 3)


#31 BEST HEADLINE WRITING

Awards will be given in two classifications:

   ● One for urban newspapers (classes 1 and 4)

   ● One for community newspapers (classes 2 and 3)

Submit full page with headlines indicated.  Each entry consists of three separate headlines written by the same writer.

Limit of five entries per newspaper.


Photo Contest

instructions

    For each photo entry, you may submit either 1) a complete page pdf with the photo clearly indicated, or 2) a .jpeg of the photo labeled with the date it was published.

    All photos must have been originally published between April 1 last year and March 31 this year. No file photos.

    Photo categories, except Best News Photo Coverage, have a limit of four entries per photographer.

#32 PHOTO OF THE YEAR

Any photo that tells a compelling story and holds the reader’s interest. These photos may be entered in other categories as well.

One category for all newspapers.

Criteria:

• Technical quality

• Originality/imagination

• Impact or draw on the viewer


#33 BEST NEWS PHOTO COVERAGE

For a photo or photos of breaking or general news events. This may include more than one photo from the same event, which constitutes one entry, even if the photos were taken by different photographers.

No limit on entries.

Criteria:

• News value

• Technical quality

• Originality/creativity


#34 BEST FEATURE PHOTO

For photos that are not directly related to a specific breaking news event. Photos should have a story-telling quality or unusual elements. No portraits (see #36).

Criteria:

  1. Originality/creativity

  2. Human interest

  3. Technical quality

#35 BEST MULTIPLE PHOTO ESSAY

Single subject told through two or more photos, with or without accompanying text. Photos may appear in more than one edition, such as a series or project. Photos are not directly related to a breaking news event. Photos may be by more than one photographer.

  1. News value

  2. Variety of photos in essay

  3. Technical quality

#36 BEST PORTRAIT

A portrait of a person or a small group of people.

Criteria:

  1. Storytelling quality

• Technical quality

• Photo editing


#37 BEST ILLUSTRATED PHOTO

Artistic photos posed and designed to illustrate a specific article, feature or theme. No commercial photos.

Criteria:

  1. Achievement of purpose

  2. Originality/creativity

  3. Technical quality

#38 BEST SPORTS PHOTO

May be action or feature of a sports-related event or individual.

Criteria:

• News value

• Technical quality

  1. Originality/creativity


#39 BEST EDITORIAL CARTOON

Original opinion-oriented cartoon created for the newspaper by a staff member or freelancer.

Criteria:

  1. Originality

  2. Clarity of opinion

  3. Quality of artwork

One category for all newspapers.

Limit six entries per cartoonist.


#40 BEST SPECIAL SECTION (Editorial) (mail in only)

Special edition or section generated and distributed by the newspaper with emphasis on the editorial content. A special section does not include regular weekly publications such as TV books, real-estate sections, entertainment magazines, etc. Submit complete copy of section.

Limit of two entries per newspaper.


Advertising categories

instructions

    All ads must have been published between April 1 last year and March 31 this year.

    If you include the entire page, clearly indicate which ad is to be judged.

    Explanatory material may be submitted with any entry. Such material may include merchant or customer reactions to the ad, the ad’s impact on the merchant’s sales, etc. Please keep the explanatory material to one page.

    The judging criteria for these categories are:

     •   Design/creativity — what’s new and fresh about it

     •   Appropriateness of message from advertiser to customer.


    For ad categories 40-44 and 47, the entry label should contain the names of the people who were directly responsible for creating the ad or promotion, including ads reps and artists, if applicable. An ad rep should not be listed if he/she merely sold the ad and did not have any involvement in actually creating the ad.

    No agency or national ads may be entered. Ads containing clip art are fine. You just can’t submit ads that were prepared by someone outside your publication.



#41 BEST LARGE-SPACE AD

The ad must be 1/4 page or larger and must be for a single business. The ad must be created and produced locally.


#42 BEST BLACK & WHITE AD

The ad may be of any size for any single advertiser. It may fit into any category: sale, promotional, institutional, etc.


#43 BEST ADVERTISING INNOVATION

New ideas in advertising, which could be stickers, flyers, gatefolds or other nontraditional placements, including online advertising.


#44 BEST MULTI-COLOR AD

The ad may be of any size for any single advertiser. It may fit into any category: sale, promotional, institutional, etc. This category now includes spot-color ads.


#45 BEST SPECIAL SECTION OR CAMPAIGN (ADVERTISING) (mail in only)

Featuring multiple advertisers, it may include a page, section, supplement or insert. Emphasis is on uniqueness of product and quality of design.


#46 BEST IN-HOUSE ADVERTISING PROMOTION FOR CIRCULATION, ADVERTISING OR EDITORIAL

May be a single ad, campaign, or include rack cards, radio, TV, flyers, etc. Include an explanation of promotion, purpose and results.

                                                    

#47 AD OF THE YEAR

Any type of ad is eligible. These ads may be entered in other categories as well.

One category for all newspapers.


#48 ADVERTISING GENERAL EXCELLENCE (mail in only)

Submit four complete issues: any issue published from April 1, 2011, through June 30, 2011; any issue from July 1, 2011, through Sept. 30, 2011; any issue from Oct. 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2011; and any issue published from Jan. 1, 2012, through March 31, 2012.


Silver Star


#49 SILVER STAR AWARD

For outstanding performers in advertising, circulation, business office, pressroom, etc. outside the newsroom.

Limit of two entries per paper.

Criteria:

• We recognize that a better newspaper can’t be built without superior contributions from all departments. For the first time, we want to recognize those who shine in your organization and are worthy of a Silver Star.


 

instructions


contest dates

All entry material must have been originally published between April 1 last year and March 31 this year. Entries are limited to associate and regular NPA members in good standing.

deadline

Entries (including mail-in) must be posted by Monday, June 3.


ADDRESS

Nevada Press Foundation,
102 N. Curry St.,
Carson City, NV 89703

Questions?

Ask Barry Smith, 775-885-0866 or nevadapress@att.net

Fees

The fee is $8 per entry.  Payment must be received before entries will be judged. Please make checks payable to Nevada Press Foundation.


Awards banquet

Las Vegas


CLASSIFICATIONS

Class 1:  Urban dailies

Dailies 15,000 or more

Class 2: Intermediate

More than one edition a week, circulation less than 15,000

Class 3: Community

Weekly or monthly, less than 10,000

Class 4: Urban weeklies

Weekly, 10,000 or more

Magazines (see separate rules)


What are you looking for?

  1. Magazine contest rules.

  2. 2014 BNC tally sheet.pdf

  3. More about the convention, or previous year’s winners.

  4. Contest rules.pdf

  5. Judges’ instructions

Entry Preparation

WEB CATEGORIES


For all web categories, provide a link to  the page. If your site requires registration, create an account and password for judges and list both on the entry form.


#W1 BEST WEB SITE

An overall examination of the publication’s web site. Include the URL on the entry.


Criteria:

  1. Timeliness of news content                     • Interaction with readers

  2. Ease of navigation
    • Attractiveness of design


#W2 Multimedia story

Video, slideshow, audio, interactive graphic or other components that enhance readers’ understanding of an online story. On the entry form, provide a link to the story/project.

Criteria:

  1. Creativity and originality

  2. Impact on readers

  3. Design and ease of use


#W3 online writing

Previously this category was for blogs. It’s now open to any form of news or commentary posted by a staff member on a publication’s web site or affiliated site. Judges will be reading entries posted during the contest year.

Criteria:

  1. Quality of writing

  2. Timeliness and local appeal

  3. Originality

2013 results

The results were announced at the awards banquet on in Elko.

Get the results here.

Until 2014 entries are due:

Online entry


The Nevada Press Association uses an online entry and judging system through SmallTownPapers.

The main contest page is betternewspapercontest.com.

We moved to the system in 2011, and it is used by 19 other state press associations.

In essence, rather than clipping stories, ads and photos, you upload files to a web site. A few categories, such as general excellence, still require the hard copy.

You can see a tutorial on the process by clicking on this link.

The deadline for entries is June 2, 2014.

MAIL-IN CATEGORIES

Fill out the entry information online.

• After pressing ‘submit,’ print the entry label and attach it to your mail-in entry.

Want to judge?

We’re judging Montana’s contest this year, and it’s already under way. But we always need volunteers for future years,  so just send us an email.

Generally, we need:

  1. 30-35 news editors and reporters, plus a few in sports.

  2. A handful of photographers.

  3. 12-15 advertising judges.


It’s online judging, and you usually have about three weeks to read and judge entries. We’ll try to match you up to categories for which you’re most suited.

Contest changes

  Do you have suggestions for changes that would improve the annual Better Newspaper Contest?

  1. Send us an email with your ideas.

  2. nevadapress@att.net