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Contest judging in February? You betcha.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

We’re judging North Dakota’s newspaper contest this year, which means we need volunteers to sign up now to review entries in February.

What we need

Just shoot me an email now. Include your name, address, phone number, email address and indication of your area of interest/expertise.

This should be instructive and intriguing, as I don’t recall the last time we had the opportunity to judge North Dakota newspapers. (We swapped with South Dakota in 2008.) North Dakota has a lot of newspapers — 80-some weeklies and 10 dailies — so there will be plenty of entries to read. We were planning to swap with Wyoming, but North Dakota needed help so we’re in a three-way exchange this year. Wyoming will be judging our entries, and North Dakota will judge Wyoming.

In all, in order to not overburden anybody, we’re looking to recruit about 60 judges — 30 to 35 for editorial, about 15 for advertising, six to eight for the photo categories and one for websites. All those categories are judged online, the same system we use in Nevada. Once the judging starts in early February, you’ll have about three weeks to review the entries and make your judgments.

In addition, at least a couple of Nevada newsrooms are needed to judge the General Excellence and Overall Design Excellence categories. They’ll get hard copies of those entries to review.

Have you judged?

If you’ve judged before, you know what to expect. It’s a rewarding and educational experience, and a reciprocal effort for the time spent by other state associations critiquing Nevada’s work. You get story ideas, ad ideas and a fresh perspective on your own work.

If you haven’t judged before, this is your chance to get involved. Editors, reporters, photographers, designers, advertising reps — we need your talents and experience to recognize the best work being done by your colleagues. These are called “better newspaper contests” for a good reason. The whole idea is to improve our work and our industry, and to show our readers the level of quality we expect from ourselves.

If you want to know more about being a judge, check out this FAQ.

Our contest

In case you’re wondering, information on the Nevada Press Association contest will be updated in early April. Our deadline for entries is June 1, and the convention and awards banquet will be in Las Vegas in September.


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