FSNE Journalism Contest

2022 Contest Rules and Information

Entry period has ended
Thank you for your submissions


Entry Period: 1/24/22 –   2/28/22
FINAL Deadline Extension: Wed, March 9 at 5:00 pm ET

Contest Rules & Information:

RULES

Rules

Entries this year will be submitted using a new online contest platform that can be accessed at https://portal.newspapercontest.com/florida/fsne/newspaper/login.php

GENERAL RULES

  • Contest opens: Monday, January 24, 2022
  • Deadline Extended for all entries (including Paul Hansell): Wednesday, March 9 at 5:00 pm ET
  • Except for page design categories, work may come from presentations in print or online. If online work is behind a paywall or meter, provide a username and password for the judges.
  • Divisions are based on average monthly unique visitors to the news organization’s website: Division A, more than 5,000,000; Division B, 1,000,000 to 5,000,000; Division C, under 1,000,000. (News organizations that would prefer to compete in a division above where this metric indicates may choose to do so. News organizations may not elect to move down a division). Other divisions include Spanish Language Publications and Student Journalism.
  • If the preset division in the entry platform is incorrect, please contact Devon Dunkle at ddunkle@flpress.com to request a change.
  • The General Contest and Spanish-language Contest are open to FSNE member news organizations that have paid their dues for 2022. The Student Contest is open to all Florida student-led news media and individuals enrolled as full-time students whose work appeared in student-led news media.
  • Material submitted must have appeared in a daily newspaper in Florida, a Spanish-language paper (daily or weekly) in Florida, or a daily Florida news organization’s website during the 2021 calendar year and must have been the work of staff members of the newspaper or Florida-based staff members of a news organization.
  • Work by more than two staff members will be treated as a “staff” entry for the purposes of identification on awards. Only one plaque or certificate will be given to each winning organization in a category. (For individual winners, additional plaques or certificates can be ordered directly through the vendor.) Editors must list all participating staff members to assist contest officials in notifying winners.
  • The entry fee is $30 per entry ($20 for student publications)

FSNE GOLD MEDAL FOR PUBLIC SERVICE: The FSNE Gold Medal for Public Service is awarded for work of meritorious public service by a newspaper through distinguished reporting, writing and presentation. The medals will be awarded in each of three divisions from among the First-Place winners in the four top categories: Breaking News Reporting, Enterprise Stories, Investigative Reporting, and Community Leadership. All the judges participate in selecting the Gold Medal winners. Each entry in those four categories must include a 1-page letter noting the public impact of the reporting. Attach the letter as a pdf. The names of the winners shall be kept confidential until they are announced at the conclusion of the Awards Ceremony. News organizations do not enter in this category separately.

SPANISH LANGUAGE CATEGORIES: The three Spanish-language categories will be judged in a single division. In addition, Spanish-language publications may enter categories for photography (Categories 12-15) and design (Category 11), and those will be judged in Division C.

PAUL HANSELL AWARD: The Paul Hansell Award for Distinguished Achievement in Florida Journalism is open to all individuals who write for a Florida daily (or more frequent) news organization. The winner receives $1,000. The late Paul Hansell was a long-time Associated Press bureau chief in Florida and a former member of FSNE.

The deadline to submit entries is Wednesday, March 9, 2022 at 5:00 pm ET

The rules for the Paul Hansell Award are:

  • The award is for overall excellence in reporting and writing, either news or editorials, by an individual writing for a Florida daily (or more frequent) news organization. Judges will pay particular attention to the sum of a writer’s work, its range and diversity.
  • For purposes of judging, each entry is limited to 5 articles. However, entries may include additional back-up materials to give judges an overview of the scope of the writer’s work.
  • If the entry includes links to a website, they must be free of paywall restrictions or instructions must be included on how to bypass the paywall.
  • The material submitted must have been published in a Florida daily (or more frequent) news organization during the 12 months ending Dec. 31, 2021. If the work has extended over a longer period, it must have included significant development during the last 12 months.
  • The entry fee is $50.
DIVISIONS

For this contest, entrant organizations are divided into three divisions based on average monthly unique visitors to its website. If the preset division in the entry platform is incorrect, please contact Devon Dunkle at ddunkle@flpress.com to request a change.

  • Division A, more than 5,000,000
  • Division B, 1,000,000 to 5,000,000
  • Division C, under 1,000,000

Other divisions include Spanish Language Publications and Student Journalism.

News organizations that would prefer to compete in a division above where this metric indicates may choose to do so. News organizations may not elect to move down a division.

HOW TO ENTER

On the contest site: https://portal.newspapercontest.com/florida/fsne/newspaper/login.php

Step 1: Register on the contest website using your email address. The required Association Code is FSNE. You will receive a confirmation email, which you will need to complete registration.

Step 2: Log in. You will see a page showing any entries you may have already submitted.

Step 3: Click on the “Add New Entry” link.

Step 4 :  On this page, select your publication name. If that publication entered the contest last year, last year’s division information will autofill. If that information is incorrect, please email ddunkle@flpress.com. Your entries will be judged in the division listed in the entry system. Fill in the preparer’s (the person inputting entries) name.

Step 5: Select the category type (General, Spanish, Student, or Paul Hansell). Then select the category you wish to enter. These are drop-down menus for your convenience. This field will clear each time you save an entry, so you must select a category for each new entry. When you select the category, the category description will appear below it.

Step 6: If necessary, provide an explanation of your entry. The explanation/cutline box is limited to 3,000 characters. It’s a good idea to write your explanation in another program, such as Word, and copy/paste into the explanation box. If URLs are required, fill in the URL box(es); there is no need to type “http://.” (If additional URLs are needed, please provide a pdf or word document with additional URLs.)

Step 7:  Include the name of the entry. If uploading full-page PDF files, it will be helpful if the entry name matches the headline on the page so the judges can find it easily.

Step 8: In the Contributor(s) field, include the name(s) of the person or people who should be credited for any award. This is generally the writer, reporter, photographer, graphic artist, cartoonist, etc. It is not necessarily the name of the person submitting the entry nor the person picking up the award at the conference.

Step 9: Add your file or files. You can drag and drop files or use the “Add files” button to navigate your files. Generally, files should be in PDF format except photos, which should be in high-resolution JPG format. Other files and URLs may be acceptable as noted in the special instructions. Upload as many files as are necessary to complete your entry but refer to the special instructions for any limitations.

Step 10: When you have completed your submission, click the “Save” button. If you click the “Back to list” button, you will lose the entry you just completed. After clicking “Save,” you will be directed back to the list of your entries.

Step 11: To submit another entry, click “Add New Entry.” As long as you have not logged out of the system, your publication name will still be in place and you can simply start at Step 6 again. You may log out and log back in later to continue adding entries. You will need to select your publication name each time you log in.

Step 12: If you are done submitting entries, please review the list. You may not edit an entry, but you may delete an entry and resubmit it. When done uploading all your entries, click the “Billing” button on the list page. This will take you to a page where the entry fee is automatically generated. Follow instructions on the Billing page for payment options.

CATEGORIES

PAUL HANSELL AWARD

  1. PAUL HANSELL AWARD: The award is for overall excellence in reporting and writing, either news or editorials, by an individual writing for a Florida daily (or more frequent) news organization. Judges will pay particular attention to the sum of a writer’s work, its range and diversity. For purposes of judging, each entry is limited to 5 articles. However, entries may include additional back-up materials to give judges an overview of the scope of the writer’s work. If the entry includes links to the paper’s website, they must be free of paywall restrictions or instructions must be included on how to bypass the paywall. The material submitted must have been published in a Florida daily (or more frequent) news organization during the 12 months ending Dec. 31, 2021. If the work has extended over a longer period, it must have included significant development during the last 12 months.

CATEGORIES

  1. BREAKING NEWS REPORTING: Reporting, by an individual or a team, of a single breaking news event across all available publishing platforms. Each entry is limited to coverage of the first 48 hours. Entries should include social, digital and print components. Entries should include URLs and/or screenshots for online components. Limit 15 URLs and/or attachments. To help judges decide the Public Service Gold Medal, each entry must include a 1-page letter noting the public impact of the reporting. [Limit: 5 entries per newsroom]
  2. ENTERPRISE STORIES: An explanatory or in-depth story or collection or series of not more than five stories, written by an individual or team reporting on compelling topics and not working on a daily deadline. The depth, impact and revelatory nature of the reporting will be a principal factor in the judging. The quality of writing, including a compelling narrative form and the use of telling details and color, will also be key factors in judging. Entries should include social, digital and multimedia components, which judges will consider as a key element. Entries should include URL and/or screenshots for online components. To help judges decide the Public Service Gold Medal, each entry must include a 1-page letter noting the public impact of the reporting. [Limit: 5 entries]
  3. INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING: A story, or collection of not more than 5 stories on the same subject, prepared by an individual or a team and based primarily on original reporting (as opposed to the findings of others). Stories may appear on a single day, in a consecutive series or in occasional reports reflecting continued investigation and new findings. Important factors will be the quality of the reporting and the importance of the findings to the public. Entries should include social, digital and multimedia components, which judges will consider as key elements. Entries should include URLs and/or screenshots for online components. To help judges decide the Public Service Gold Medal, each entry must include a 1-page letter noting the public impact of the reporting. [Limit: 5 entries]
  4. COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP: A story, or collection of not more than five stories, written by an individual or a team, that enhances public understanding of a significant and complex subject, demonstrating a mastery of the subject, lucid writing and clear presentation. Entries should include social, digital and multimedia components, which judges will consider as a key element. Entries should include URL and/or screenshots for online components. Community engagement forums and partnerships will also be considered. To help judges decide the Public Service Gold Medal, each entry must include a 1-page letter noting the public impact of the reporting and community engagement. [Limit: 5 entries]
  5. FEATURES WRITING: A single story written by an individual that illustrates excellence in storytelling, including a compelling narrative form and the use of telling details and color showing significant depth and understanding of a topic or person. In addition to the quality of writing, social and multimedia digital components will be considered. [Limit: 5 entries]
  6. BEAT REPORTING: Up to five stories, by an individual, that demonstrate mastery of a single beat, understanding the subject matter, the range of the work, enterprise reporting and good writing. Social, digital and multimedia components will be considered if entered. [Limit: 5 entries]
  7. SPORTS: A story, or collection or series of not more than three stories, written by an individual or a team reporting on sports. Entries may include trends, personalities and topics of human interest. Columns will not be considered in this category. Social, digital and multimedia components will be considered if entered. [Limit: 5 entries]
  8. BUSINESS: A story, or collection or series of not more than three stories, reported by an individual or a team reporting on business news. Social, digital and multimedia components will be considered if entered. [Limit: 5 entries]
  9. COLUMNS: Three general interest columns, other than criticism, expressing the views of the individual writer. Sports columns are allowed in this category. [Limit: 5 entries]
  10. EDITORIALS: Three examples of unsigned opinion reflecting the institutional position of the newspaper and prepared substantially by the same writer. [Limit: 5 entries]
  11. PAGE DESIGN: Any page of the newspaper. This includes special section covers and pages. One page constitutes an entry. Double trucks may be submitted, in broadsheet or tabloid format. Judging will be based upon use of art, design and typography, and appropriateness to the materials displayed. [Limit: 5 entries]
  12. SPOT NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY: A photograph or photographs taken by an individual in the course of coverage of a single, unplanned and unscheduled event. [Limit: 5 entries, Up to three photos per entry]
  13. FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHY: Up to three photographs taken by an individual on the same subject. Photographs must reflect superior storytelling quality. Respect for the dignity of the subject is important. [Limit: 5 entries, Up to three photos per entry]
  14. SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY: A photograph or photographs by an individual that increases understanding and appreciation for individual and team sports. Deadline or non-deadline. [Limit: 5 entries, Up to three photos per entry]
  15. PHOTO STORY: A series of up to 15 photographs presented in print together or as part of a series telling a single story, or presented online in a single article page, as a gallery or slideshow. [Limit: 5 entries]
  16. BREAKING NEWS VIDEO: Video presentations from an individual or a team on the Web site. Judges will look for innovative use of original content, storytelling, technical and journalistic quality, and value to the viewer. Entries should include URL. Entry may include supporting stories from the print or online publications for context. One video constitutes an entry; videos must not be longer than 10 minutes. [Limit: 5 entries]
  17. LIVE VIDEO: Live video from an individual or team covering a news story via any social media platform. Judges will look for impact, storytelling, technical and journalistic quality. Entry can include supporting material, including but not limited to print material. Entries should include URL and be no longer than 10 minutes. Entries can be edited for length. [Limit: 5 entries]
  18. FEATURES VIDEO: Video from an individual or team. Judges will look for innovative use of original content, storytelling, technical and journalistic quality, and value to the viewer. [Limit: 5 entries]
  19. MULTIMEDIA: Multimedia package can be breaking news or a non-deadline subject. Package may include a mix of video, audio, slideshows, music, text, etc. Award recognizes creative and effective use of the medium to tell a story. Judges will look for innovative use of original content in a variety of formats, reader interaction, ease of navigation, value to the audience. Entries should include URL. [Limit: 5 entries]
  20. NEWS INTERACTIVE: An entry consists of single interactive element, such as a map, slide show, explanatory graphic or other element that invites audience members to interact with story elements. Entries should include URL. [Limit: 5 entries]

CATEGORIES JUDGED AT LARGE AMONG ALL CIRCULATION DIVISIONS:

  1. NICHE SITE/APP: A website or mobile app separate from newspaper’s main site, or a “special channel” on the main site, that presents different content from the main site. Content/theme/topic can be from any field. Judges will look for creativity, reader interaction, attractiveness of the site, evidence of popularity, and ad support. Entries should include URL or link to app. [Limit: 5 entries]
  2. EDITORIAL CARTOON: Judged for artistic ability, originality, understanding of subject, creativity and overall editorial impact. Up to five cartoons constitute an entry. Independent or contracted (freelance) cartoonists based in the state of Florida may enter. [Limit: 5 entries]

SPANISH-LANGUAGE CATEGORIES:

The three Spanish-language categories below will be judged in a single division. In addition, Spanish-language publications may enter categories for photography (Categories 14-17, above) and design (Categories 11-12), and all will be judged in Division C.

S1. NEWS REPORTING: A selection of up to three news stories (or a single series), by an individual or team that shows exceptional reporting and writing and highlights a significant impact in the community. Entries should include social, digital and multimedia components, which judges will consider as key elements. [Limit: 5 entries per paper]

S2. SPORTS: A story, or collection or series of not more than three stories, written by an individual or team reporting on sports. Entries may include trends, personalities and topics of human interest. Entries should include social, digital and multimedia components, which judges will consider as key elements.  [Limit: 5 entries per paper]

S3. FEATURES & ENTERPRISE WRITING: A story, or collection or series of not more than three stories, written by an individual reporting on compelling topics, including, but not limited to trends, issues, personalities, travel, lifestyles, arts, criticism or topics of human interest and not working on a daily deadline. The quality of writing, including a compelling narrative form and the use of telling details and color, will be the principal factors in judging. Entries should include social, digital and multimedia components, which judges will consider as a key element. Entries should include URL and/or screenshots for online. [Limit: 5 entries per paper]


STUDENT CATEGORIES

C1. BREAKING NEWS REPORTING: Reporting, by an individual or a team, of a single breaking news event across all available publishing platforms. Each entry is limited to coverage from a single day. Entries should include social, digital and print components. Entries should include URL and/or screenshots for online components. [Limit: 5 entries per student publication]

C2. ENTERPRISE WRITING: A story, or collection or series of not more than three stories, written by an individual or team reporting on trends, personalities, travel, lifestyles, arts, or topics of human interest. Reviews and columns should not be entered in this category, however. The quality of writing, including a compelling narrative form and the use of telling details and color, will be the principal factors in judging. Entries should include URL and/or screenshots for digital components.

C3. INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING: A story, or collection of not more than 5 stories on the same subject, prepared by an individual or a team and based primarily on original reporting (as opposed to the findings of others). Stories may appear on a single day, in a consecutive series or in occasional reports reflecting continued investigation and new findings. Important factors will be the quality of the reporting and the importance of the findings to the public. Entries should include social, digital and multimedia components, which judges will consider as key elements. Entries should include URLs and/or screenshots for online components. To help judges decide the Public Service Gold Medal, each entry must include a 1-page letter noting the public impact of the reporting. [Limit: 5 entries]

C4. FEATURES WRITING: A single story written by an individual that illustrates excellence in storytelling, including a compelling narrative form and the use of telling details and color showing significant depth and understanding of a topic or person. In addition to the quality of writing, social and multimedia digital components will be considered. Word limit is 2,000 words.

C5. COMMENTARY: Individual or group column, blog or other commentary on a single theme that engages readers using information, commentary and multimedia effectively. (“Theme” is interpreted broadly: Campus life, books, politics, sports team, movie reviews, opinion, etc.) Entries must include PDFs, URLs and/or screenshots of up to three examples. [Limit: 5 entries per student media organization]

C6. SPORTS: A story, or collection or series of not more than three stories, reported by an individual or a team covering sports. Entries may include trends, personalities and topics of human interest. Columns will not be considered in this category. Submit PDFs, URLs and/or screenshots. [Limit: 5 entries per student media organization]

C7. MULTIMEDIA: Multimedia package can be breaking news, sports or a non-deadline subject. Package may include a mix of video, audio, slideshows, music, text, etc. Award recognizes creative and effective use of the medium to tell a story. Judges will look for innovative use of original content in a variety of formats, reader interaction, ease of navigation, value to the audience. Entries should include URL.

C8. PHOTOGRAPHY: Still images taken by an individual of a single event or news, features or sports topic. Up 10 images per entry. Include PDFs, JPGs or URLs.

C9. VIDEO STORYTELLING:  Video presentations from an individual or a team on the Web site. Judges will look for innovative use of original content, storytelling, technical and journalistic quality, and value to the viewer. Entries should include URL. Entry may include supporting stories from the print or online publications for context. One video constitutes an entry; videos must not be longer than 30 minutes. [Limit: 5 entries per individual or student media organization.]

C10. AUDIO: Audio package that relies strictly on sound. Topics can be breaking news, sports or a non-deadline subject. Award recognizes creative and effective use of the medium to tell a story. Judges will look for innovative use of original content and value to the audience. Entries should include URL.

PAYING FOR YOUR ENTRIES

Contest fee: $30 per entry ($20 per student entry). This fee is non-refundable. Full payment must be received by FSNE by the contest deadline or your entries may be disqualified.

Payment Instructions:

Important! Please do not pay until all your entries are complete!

  1. Log in to your ACES account at https://portal.newspapercontest.com/florida/fsne/newspaper/login.php
  2. On the left-hand side of the page, select “Entry Billing”
  3. Review your entries to ensure they are complete prior to payment
  4. To pay online, click the “Pay Now” button
  5. You may either log in to your PayPal account to complete your payment, OR you can select “Pay with Debit or Credit Card” in order to check out as a Guest (you do not need a PayPal account to pay online).
  6. You will receive a receipt to the email address you provide.

If paying by check and need an invoice in order to do so, please contact Virginia Lumpkin at vlumpkin@flpress.com.

Make checks payable to Florida Society of News Editors.

Send checks to:
FSNE Journalism Contest c/o Virginia Lumpkin
1025 Greenwood Blvd., Ste 121
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Deadline for receiving payment is Wednesday, March 9 at 5:00 pm ET

AWARDS

Awards will be presented during the 2022 Florida Media Conference being held August 4 & 5 at the Sawgrass Marriott in Ponte Vedra Beach.

Questions? Contact us at info@floridamediacontests.com.

Don’t miss out on any information about this year’s contest! Subscribe now to the FSNE Journalism Contest email list:

 

Past Contests

2021 – View winner’s list, reading gallery, and more
2020 – View winner’s list, reading gallery, and more.
2019 – View winner’s list, reading gallery, and more.
2018 – View winner’s list, reading gallery, and more.
2017 – View winner’s list, reading gallery, and more.