2020 DIAMOND JOURNALISM AWARDS

CONTEST RULES AND CATEGORIES

2020 RULES

ALL entrants should log in as “open call contestant.” A contest administrator will confirm your eligibility.

All professional and student journalists, including freelancers, residing in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas can submit entries or have entries submitted on their behalf by news organizations that published or broadcast their work.

Work published or broadcast by outlets outside of the contest area is eligible for entry as long as the author is based in one of the contest sates.

You DON’T have to be a member of the Society of Professional Journalists to enter.

Entries may be submitted in more than one category, but a separate entry fee is required for each category.

Any significant challenges or corrections to an entry must be provided with the entry. If not noted, an entry will be disqualified.

A cover letter is generally not required, but if included, should be no more than one page.

Letters and supportive material are required only in conjunction with nominations for the Robert McCord FOI Award, Community Service Award, Outstanding New Journalist Award and Diamond Journalist of the Year Award.

Please ensure URLs will remain valid through June 30, 2020, to accommodate judging.

FEES

SPJ members: $10 per entry.

To claim the member fee, you must supply your personal SPJ member number (in the entry platform comments box). A team entry may claim the fee if at least one team member is an SPJ member. That person’s name and SPJ member number must be listed.

Nonmembers: $20 per entry.

Student SPJ members: $5 per entry. Provide your member number.

Student nonmembers: $10 per entry.

No fees will be refunded.

To pay entry fees, go here.

CONTEST CATEGORIES

ANY PLATFORM

  1. Video – For excellence in video presentations. Maximum running time: 5 minutes.
  2. Slideshow – For excellence in slideshow presentations. May be stand-alone or accompanied by a story. One example is one entry.
  3. Multimedia – For excellence in storytelling that makes use of online tools such as video, animation, slideshows, graphics and text. Entry may be a single presentation or a series of up to 10 parts.
  4. Podcast-News – For excellence in audio presentation of a breaking or non-breaking news story regardless of platform. Maximum running time: 15 minutes.
  5. Podcast-Feature – For excellence in audio presentation of lifestyle, human-interest or profile segments regardless of platform. Maximum running time: 15 minutes.
  6. Podcast-Investigative – For excellence in audio presentation of reporting that demonstrates journalistic initiative on an important issue. Entry can be one segment or a series of no more than 5 parts by an individual or team. Cover letter required. Maximum running time: 30 minutes.
  7. Specialized Site – For excellence in reporting or commentary on a site devoted to a single topic. Entry limited to 5 samples.

PRINT

(BE SURE TO ENTER THE CORRECT DIVISION)
DIVISION I: DAILY NEWSPAPERS
DIVISION II: NON-DAILY NEWSPAPERS
DIVISION III : MAGAZINES
  1. Editorials-Daily – For excellence in opinion writing that represents a publication’s position on a topic or issue. Judging emphasis will be on importance, writing style, reasoning, originality and reader interest. Three editorials constitute one entry.
  2. Editorials-Non-daily – Same criteria as daily newspapers.
  3. Editorials-Magazine – Same criteria as daily newspapers.
  4. Columns-Daily – For excellence in commentary by an individual. Three samples constitute one entry.
  5. ColumnsNon-daily – Same criteria as daily newspapers.
  6. Columns-Magazine – Same criteria as daily newspapers.
  7. NewsDaily – For excellence in reporting on events or issues of significance on deadline. Entry can be a single article or group of related articles (no more than 7) on the same topic.
  8. NewsNon-daily – For excellence in reporting on events or issues of significance. Entry can be a single article or group of related articles (no more than 7) on the same topic.
  9. News-Magazine – Same criteria as non-daily newspapers.
  10. Feature-Daily – For individual writing excellence about people, places, events or interesting topics. Judging emphasis on style, originality and reader interest. Entry can be a single article or a series of no more than 5 parts.
  11. Feature-Non-daily – Same criteria as daily newspapers.
  12. Feature-Magazine Same criteria as daily newspapers.
  13. Investigative Reporting-Daily – For excellence in a single article, package or series by an individual or team that demonstrates initiative and enterprise on a topic of broad public interest or significance. Cover letter explaining reporting process and impact or results required.
  14. Investigative Reporting-Non-daily – Same criteria as daily newspapers.
  15. Investigative Reporting-Magazine – Same criteria as daily newspapers.
  16. Sports-Daily – For excellence in any single article or continuing coverage (no more than 5 articles) with sports as the central theme.
  17. Sports-Non-daily – Same criteria as daily newspapers.
  18. Sports-Magazine – Same criteria as daily newspapers.
  19. Politics-Daily –For excellence in coverage of campaigns, candidates or issues. Three articles constitute one entry.
  20. Politics-Non-daily – Same criteria as daily newspapers.
  21. Politics-Magazines – Same criteria as daily newspapers.
  22. Arts & Culture-Daily – For excellence in writing with style and originality about any topic related to arts and culture, including performances, literature, arts and food. A sample of no more than three articles constitutes an entry.
  23. Arts & Culture-Non-daily – Same criteria as daily newspapers.
  24. Arts & Culture-Magazine – Same criteria as daily newspapers.
  25. Health-Daily – For excellence in writing with style and clarity about any health topic. A sample of no more than three articles constitutes an entry.
  26. Health-Non-daily – Same criteria as daily newspapers.
  27. Health-Magazine – Same criteria as daily newspapers.
  28. STEM-Daily – For excellence in writing with style and clarity about any topic related to science, technology, engineering or mathematics. A sample of no more than three articles constitutes an entry.
  29. STEM-Non-daily – Same criteria as daily newspapers.
  30. STEM-Magazine – Same criteria as daily newspapers.
  31. Design-Newspapers – For excellence in design in daily and non-daily newspapers. Three samples constitute one entry.
  32. Design-Magazine – For excellence in design in magazines. Three samples constitute one entry.
  33. DesignWebsite – For excellence in website design.

VISUAL JOURNALISM

  1. Photography – For excellence in a single photograph regardless of subject. One picture is one entry.
  2. Photo Package/Spread – Group of photos on a single theme published as part of a single story or layout. Maximum of 10 photographs.
  3. Photo Portfolio – For excellence in photography that shows the work of a single photographer. One entry = maximum of 5 photographs.
  4. Graphics/Illustrations – For excellence in graphics presentations or illustrations either stand-alone or accompanying text in print or online. One entry = 3 examples.

TELEVISION

  1. News – For excellence in reporting within a single broadcast. Entries can be one segment from one broadcast or no more than five segments on the same topic from subsequent broadcasts.
  2. Feature – For excellence in reporting about a topic or persons, such as a personality profile, trend story, human-interest story or anything not hard news. One segment is one entry.
  3. Documentary/Investigative Reporting – For excellence in any in-depth reporting that shows initiative and enterprise on one subject within one program or in a series over several programs.
  4. Sports – For excellence in coverage of any sport or athletic activity. One segment is one entry.
  5. Politics – For excellence in coverage of campaigns, candidates or issues. Entries can be one segment from one broadcast or no more than five segments on the same topic from subsequent broadcasts.
  6. Arts & Culture – For excellence in coverage about any topic related to arts and culture, including performances, literature, arts and food. One segment is one entry.
  7. Health – For excellence in coverage about any health topic. One segment is one entry.
  8. STEM – For excellence in coverage about any topic related science, technology, engineering or mathematics. One segment is one entry.

RADIO

  1. News – For excellence in reporting within a single broadcast. Entries can include an initial report and no more than five follow-up reports.
  2. Feature – For excellence in reporting about a topic or persons, such as a personality profile, trend story, human-interest story or anything not hard news. One report is one entry.
  3. Documentary/Investigative Reporting – For excellence in any in-depth reporting that shows initiative and enterprise on one subject within one program or in a series over several programs.
  4. Sports – For excellence in coverage of any sport or athletic activity.
  5. Politics – For excellence in coverage of campaigns, candidates or issues. Entries can be one segment from one broadcast or no more than five segments on the same topic from subsequent broadcasts.
  6. Arts & Culture – For excellence in coverage about any topic related to arts and culture, including performances, literature, arts and food. One segment is one entry.
  7. Health – For excellence in coverage about any health topic. One segment is one entry.
  8. STEM – For excellence in coverage about any topic related science, technology, engineering or mathematics. One segment is one entry.

SPECIAL AWARDS

  1. The Robert McCord FOI Award – For excellence in any article, continuing coverage or series that focuses on the public’s right to know. The award is named for the late Robert McCord, considered the father of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. McCord also was a former national SPJ president. Cover letter supporting the nomination is required.
  2. Outstanding New Journalist – For reporting excellence demonstrated by an individual who has worked five years or fewer in any medium. The winner will be chosen on the basis of a nominating letter and supporting documents, including a portfolio of three to five pieces by the nominee.
  3. Diamond Journalist of the Year – For reporting excellence by a journalist in any medium. A portfolio of five to seven pieces by the nominee and a nominating letter constitutes an entry.
  4. Community Service – For journalism excellence in any medium that renders public service through extensive coverage of an issue facing a community. Entries may include articles, editorials or opinion columns or a combination of news and opinion, but the entire entry package should contain no more than 10 items. Entry must also include a nominating letter that provides background on the issue and results, if any.

STUDENT JOURNALISM

  1. News (Print) – For excellence in reporting on an event or situation of local, regional or statewide significance. One entry can be one article or no more than five articles showing continuing coverage of the same topic.
  2. News (TV) – For excellence in reporting on an event or situation of local, regional or statewide significance within a single broadcast. Entries can be one segment from one broadcast or no more than five segments on the same topic from subsequent broadcasts.
  3. News (Audio) – For excellence in reporting on an event or situation of local, regional or statewide significance within a single broadcast. Entries can include an initial report and no more than five follow-up reports.
  4. Feature (Print) – For excellence by an individual in writing with style and originality about the human condition regardless of platform. An entry can be a single article or broadcast segment or a series of no more than five parts.
  5. Feature (TV) – For excellence in reporting about a topic or people, such as a personality profile, trend story, human interest story or anything not hard news. One segment is one entry.
  6. Feature (Audio) – For excellence in reporting about a topic or people, such as a personality profile, trend story, human interest story or anything not hard news. One report is one entry.
  7. Sports (Print) – For excellence in reporting about any athletic activity. One article is one entry.
  8. Sports (TV) – For excellence in coverage about any athletic activity. One segment is one entry.
  9. Sports (Audio) – For excellence in coverage about any athletic activity. One report is one entry.
  10. Editorials – For excellence in opinion representing the position of the news outlet/editorial board – print, online or broadcast. Three articles/broadcasts constitute one entry.
  11. Columns – For excellence in commentary on any subject by an individual in print or online. Three articles constitute one entry.
  12. Photography Portfolio – For excellence in photography on any topic that best exemplifies the skills of an individual. Three photographs constitute one entry.
  13. Photography – For excellence in a single photograph regardless of subject. One picture is one entry.
  14. Photo package/spread – For excellence in a group of photos on a single theme published as part of a single story or layout. Maximum of 10 photographs.
  15. Video Portfolio – For excellence in short videos designed for online or mobile viewing that highlight the skill of an individual or team. Maximum length: 3 minutes.
  16. Design Portfolio – For excellence in newspaper or magazine design, or for web design of an online publication. Three samples constitute one entry.