2013 Illinois Associated Press Editors Association
AP member newspapers may enter a maximum of three times per editorial category. All entries in that category may be subject to disqualification without reimbursement of entry fees. Photos categories may be entered a maximum of five times per category.
An individual story or a series may be entered in only one category. Violation may subject the entry to disqualification in all submitted categories without reimbursement of entry fees.
When using links, if your website is password protected, please provide a username and password in the comment block. Judges may disqualify your entry if work samples are inaccessible.
DIVISIONS: Newspapers enter in one of three divisions. The newspaper Division has been preset into the contest program. Please double check that your paper has been placed in the correct division. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Below are directions for preparing and submitting entries. If you have questions, please contact Susan Yount at (312) 781-0500, or email@example.com.
IMPORTANT: Please make sure to use a recent version of Mozilla Firefox (3.0 or higher) or Internet Explorer, and that you have an updated Adobe Flash Player for the browser you will use to make entries.
PHOTOS should be uploaded by the member as digital images saved as JPG files, RGB, sized to 100 dpi, 8x10. Caption information is MANDATORY, and should be placed in the CAPTION BLOCK on the contest website. Photo entries CANNOT be entered as Web links, except for multimedia and photo story categories.
NEWSWRITING attachment entries should be uploaded by the member as PDF, DOC or TXT. Newswriting entries may also be entered as Web links.
Entries can have been published in the newspaper or online or a combination of both (unless a category specifies only one format).
Any Web components entered MUST include a direct online link and provide a password, if necessary, in the COMMENTS box.
All entries will be digital except for complete print editions required for the General Excellence category.
To Enter the contest site:
Audio: www.kiwi6.com, www.tindeck.com
CATEGORIES AND JUDGING CRITERIA:
DIVISIONS: Newspapers enter in one of three divisions. The newspaper Division has been preset into the contest program.
GROUP OR JOINT PROJECTS: When two or more newspapers share news gathering staff on a story, photo or project, those papers must enter the category under the newspaper with the highestcirculation. Stories, photos or joint projects produced by staff from more than one newspaper will be entered under the name of ONE member newspaper, the paper listed in the largest division.
NEWS INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD
The award recognizes innovation in print, digital, management or processes that demonstrate a bold, creative effort to improve a news and information product and increase audience while maintaining journalistic ethics and obligations. Emphasis is on the innovation and creative thinking involved, not the amount of resources devoted to the effort. As such, this is one award that takes in all circulation categories. Since risk and failure often are necessary components of ultimate success, demonstrable success is not essential but could improve the entry's standing.
Eligibility: The competition is open to any editor, staff member or team from an Illinois AP-member newspaper or to any Illinois AP-member newspaper as a whole. Collaborative efforts that include at least one AP-member newspaper also would be considered provided that that newspaper (or newspapers) played a significant role in the innovation.
Entry: As many as 20 links or attachments and any variation thereof may be uploaded with each entry. This can include a combination of documents, published papers and multimedia files, if necessary. For print innovation, submit electronic files. For digital innovation, the entrant is responsible for making the site or application available to judges through a Web link or clearly identified app title. The app must be free and readily available for judges to review. Instructions should be provided in the comments box. For management or process innovation, explain the innovation thoroughly and how it improved or increased efficiency, effectiveness, coordination and audience or enhanced the newspaper's competitiveness or ability to improve content. Provide examples as appropriate. Entries combining print, digital, management and process innovation are welcome and should be submitted following the rules for each. Entrants should be prepared to make a presentation at the IAPEA meeting if their entry is recognized.
THE AP EDITORIAL CONTEST assesses news value, reporting and writing. Judges are asked to weigh the enterprise required to gather information and the skill shown in writing the article(s), including creativity, clarity, organization and narrative flow. Judges are to award at least three places in each category.
Relatively greater weight will be given to reporting skills in the Investigative, Public Service and Enterprise categories. More weight is given to writing skill in such categories as columns and features. Judges will be an impartial panel of editors from out-of-state AP member newspapers.
PRINT NEWSPAPER GENERAL EXCELLENCE: Entries consist of complete newspapers published on random, non-consecutive weekdays. This year’s contest dates: Wednesday, April 18, 2012, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012 and Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. If your newspaper does not publish a Sunday edition, the weekend paper may be substituted. Judges evaluate entries by the following criteria: Content and packaging, 40 percent; writing quality 40 percent; layout and appearance, 10 percent; reader service and appeal, 10 percent. You will need to mail this entry to The Associated Press/Susan Yount, 10 S Wacker Dr. #2500, Chicago IL 60606 postmarked no later than March 1, 2013.
NEWSPAPER WEBSITE: Judges will consider a newspaper's primary Website on three current dates. Dates will be selected by the judges, who will review the site a minimum of three times on each of the three dates. Judging will be weighted as follows: 30 percent on local appeal including breadth of coverage; 30 percent on timeliness in a 24/7 environment; 20 percent on interactivity; 20 percent on multimedia presentation, overall quality, usefulness of design and ease of navigation. Entry is limited to one online site per newspaper. If your site is password-protected, please provide a username and password for the judges in the comments field.
PUBLIC SERVICE: A story or stories that show the newspaper's ability to fulfill its public service role by providing information that helps readers make informed decisions or conclusions. Emphasis will be placed on evidence of public benefit. Limit of three entries per newspaper. A single entry is limited to no more than 10 stories, including sidebars and related editorials.
INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING: A story or stories that clearly demonstrate the newspaper’s ability to obtain hard-to-get information, facts and pertinent detail and put them into compelling story form. Side letters explaining use of FOI requests or other such tools are encouraged. Limit of three entries per newspaper. A single entry is limited to no more than 10 stories, including sidebars.
ENTERPRISE STORY: For pre-planned, issue-oriented reporting in a single story that shows creative initiative and originality in subject matter and approach. Sidebars will be considered a part of the main story. Limit of three entries per newspaper. Category is inclusive of all sections, including sports. (Story may not simultaneously be submitted as part of an Enterprise Series entry.)
ENTERPRISE SERIES: A pre-planned, issue-oriented, non-deadline series which shows creative initiative and originality in subject matter and approach. Limit of three entries per newspaper. A single entry is limited to no more than 10 stories, including sidebars and related editorials. Category is inclusive of all sections, including sports. (Series may not include stories simultaneously submitted in the Enterprise Story category.)
BREAKING NEWS: Spot coverage of an unexpected news event. Entry should include a notation of the time and date the event occurred, plus publication time(s) online and/or press time in print. Emphasis is placed on deadline reporting and how well the newspaper presents information as it unfolds online and how well it was tied together for print publication. Online entries should include examples of how the story first broke, was subsequently updated, and how multiple platforms were used to interact with and inform readers. Give times, headline changes and versions of the story as it was updated online, any use of social media. Explain in the Comments box any extenuating circumstances or innovative reporting techniques. Limit three entries per newspaper.
COLUMN OR BLOG: Commentary, personal columns, humor or critical reviews, online blogs, other than sports. Emphasis is on the quality of writing. Limit of three entries per newspaper. An entry may consist of just one work sample, or as many as three work samples. A column that is associated with a blog may combine the two forms in an entry, but the total of work samples still may not exceed three. All work samples in an entry must be by the same author.
FEATURE: For a single story, series or package on a topic or person. Emphasis will be placed on subject matter, writing and originality. Limit of three entries per newspaper. If entry is a series or package, it is limited to no more than five stories including sidebars.
SPORTS BREAKING NEWS: Spot coverage of games, matches and other breaking sports news. Entry should include a notation of the time and date the event occurred, and publication time(s) online and/or press time in print. Emphasis is placed on deadline reporting and how well the newspaper presents information as it unfolds online and how well it was tied together for print publication. Online entries should include examples of how the story first broke, was subsequently updated, and how multiple platforms were used to interact with and inform readers. Give times, headline changes and versions of the story as it was updated online, any use of social media. Include cover letter or Comments box to explain any extenuating circumstances or innovative reporting techniques. Limit three entries per newspaper.
SPORTS COLUMN OR BLOG: An entry is up to three work samples on sports topics by the same author. A column that is associated with a blog may combine the two forms in an entry, but the total of work samples still may not exceed three. Limit of three entries per newspaper.
SPORTS FEATURE: For a single story or series on a topic or person. Emphasis will be placed on subject matter, writing and originality. Limit of three entries per newspaper.
BUSINESS: For outstanding writing and reporting on a business topic, with special emphasis on relevance for the non-business reader. The entry may be a single story or column or a series.
ENTERTAINMENT: A column, story or review featured as part of the newspaper about entertainment. Limit of three entries per newspaper.
HEADLINES: A collection of five headlines which demonstrate the editor's skill in capturing the essence of a story and the reader's attention. Headlines need to be reflective of the mood of the story. Each entry is considered a body of work by an individual. Headlines may come from any section, including sports. Limit of three entries per newspaper.
INFORMATIONAL GRAPHIC: A single informational graphic which demonstrates the creator's ability to effectively convey information to the reader. Creativity and artistic ability will be taken into consideration. If the graphic has an accompanying story, please submit the story with the graphic for clarification purposes. Limit of three entries per newspaper.
PRINT NEWSPAPER PAGE DESIGN: Entries may include any page from any section of the newspaper. Entries will be judged on how well type, photography and other visual elements work together; how pleasing the page as a whole looks; how well headlines sell the stories; originality and effectiveness. Entries: Submit one full page for each entry. Facing-page or double-truck designs are eligible as a single page. Two or more pages may be submitted if a story jumps and the jump pages are to be judged. Electronic submissions only.
IN THE AP PHOTO CONTEST, newspapers should submit digital file attachments of their photographer's work. No prints or slides will be accepted. There are 10 categories.
SPOT NEWS PHOTO - Best spot photo covering an unexpected news event within the publication cycle of the newspaper.
GENERAL NEWS PHOTO - Best photograph capturing a general news event.
FEATURE PHOTO - Best feature photograph.
PICTORIAL PHOTO – Best pictorial photo.
PORTRAIT/PERSONALITY - Best photo portrait capturing character and personality.
SPORTS ACTION PHOTO - Best sports action photo.
SPORTS FEATURE PHOTO - Best sports feature photo.
ILLUSTRATION – Best use of an illustration.
PICTURE STORY: There is a limit of 12 images per picture story. All images in a photo story count as one entry. Each picture story entry MUST have an introductory paragraph in an attachment (does not count as one of the 12 photos.) Judges will be allowed to recategorize entries.
MULTIMEDIA STORYTELLING : This category recognizes powerful and informative multimedia storytelling that uses video, slideshows, audio, flash interactive, text or any combination of the techniques. This category is intended to recognize an outstanding single multimedia project, not a series of related projects; however, projects are eligible if they are broken into chapters to respond to audience attention spans. Entrants must include a direct online link to the project, with a password if necessary.
SWEEPSTAKES AWARDS: A Sweepstakes Award will be selected in each division from among the first-place winners of the PHOTOGRAPHY and the EDITORIAL reporting/writing categories. General Excellence, Headlines, Informational Graphic and Page Design will not be considered for the Sweepstakes Awards.
If you have questions, please contact:
Susan Yount at (312) 781-0500, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Associated Press