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A CALL FOR ENTRIES . . .

Nominations invited for 2020 Excellence in Journalism, Journalist of the Year Awards

Through the Excellence in Journalism competition, Detroit SPJ will honor outstanding achievements during 2019 by print,
broadcast, photo and online journalists in southeastern Michigan. Our chapter also will select a Journalist of the Year, a
Young Journalist of the Year and scholarship awardees.
Judges for the Excellence in Journalism competition are working journalists from other SPJ chapters. Proceeds from the
awards banquet and the competition are applied to the Detroit chapter’s Larry Laurain scholarship fund.
Deadline for all entries will be Friday, February 7, 2020. That includes Excellence in Journalism, Journalist of the Year
and Young Journalist nominations, as well as Laurain Scholarship applications.
Winners in all categories will be honored at the awards banquet in late April or early May at the San Marino Club, 1685
East Big Beaver Road, Troy.

General Information
1. All entries will be submitted online through Omni contests. 8. Entries must include the text of any correction or
Mailed tearsheets or other materials will not be accepted. clarifications made in connection with that entry. Include a
summary of written challenges concerning the accuracy or
2. Entries must have been published or broadcast in Southeast
fairness of the entry (including letters to the editor, whether
Michigan between Jan. 1, 2019, and Dec. 31, 2019.
published or not), or any notice of legal action. As an aid to
Questions on geographic eligibility may be directed to:
judges who might not be familiar with this coverage area,
spjdetroit@gmail.com. include an explanation or refutation of any objections.
3. An entry may be submitted in only one contest category. 9. Judges may declare “no winner” in any category at their
4. Entrants do not need to be members of the Society of discretion. All decisions by the judges, including interpretation
Professional Journalists. of these rules, are final. Judges reserve the right to disqualify
any entry. In the case of disputes, the Detroit chapter’s board
5. All contest entries must be the product of original writing,
of directors will make final determinations.
reporting or production by the entrant(s). This contest is
intended to reward individual achievement. In most cases, the 10. Entry fee is $30 for each entry. Payment must be received
name of the entrant(s) should be that of an individual or by the entry deadline and is non-refundable.
individuals and the news organization they represent should be 11. Fee for one, single entry is $10 if accompanied by a
listed under media affiliation. News organizations should be completed, new membership form and annual dues payment
listed as “entrant” only for categories which require for national and local chapter membership. Membership
comprehensive team effort involving more than four applications are available at www.spjdetroit.org.
individuals.
12. Entries must be received no later than midnight, Friday,
6. All entries must be in the correct presentation format. See February 7, 2020. See specific attachment requirements for
information provided with each class. Both broadcast and each class, inside.
print entries may contain online elements.
7. Judges will take into consideration the SPJ Code of Ethics
in evaluating all entries.
Deadline: Friday, February 7, 2020
This is the deadline for broadcast, print and online journalism entries.
Journalist of the Year and Young Journalist of the Year nominations.
Laurain Scholarship application deadline is Friday, February 28, 2020
Questions? Call (313) 288-9546 or e-mail spjdetroit@gmail.com.

BROADCAST
Deadline: Friday, February 7, 2020
Radio: Upload audio files. Television: Entries should include studio lead-in
Categories:
Spot or breaking news reporting: Single-day coverage of Best videography: Best visual storytelling in a story or
breaking or developing news produced under deadline newscast. The winning entry will demonstrate excellence in
pressure. the use of videography and sound.
General news reporting: A story or series of stories resulting Best news editing: Best editing techniques used to tell a story.
from a journalist’s initiative, but excluding coverage of This can be a single story or series including outboarded
breaking or developing news. elements and graphics.
Feature reporting: A report or series not considered "hard Consumer/watchdog/investigative reporting: Provides an
news" that includes profiles, human interest stories, etc. example of looking out for citizens’ interests such as saving a
Submit up to 3 examples on a single topic. family from losing a home or helping correct an injustice.
Sports reporting: A report or series of reports within a Community/Local News Reporting: A single or series of
regular newscast or of a sporting event. report(s) covering the effects of a situation on specific
Automotive reporting: Includes coverage of OEMs, suppliers communities or neighborhoods.
or dealers. Entries will be judged on quality, timeliness and Racial Justice Reporting: A single or series of report(s) that
exclusiveness. If being first was important, provide have helped end racial injustice and instead promote equality
documentation of how others followed. on the basis of race.
Newscast: One single complete, regularly scheduled news Environment Reporting: A single or series of report(s) on a
program. broad range of environmental topics.
News special and documentary: A program 15 minutes or Education Reporting: A single or series of report(s) on a
longer broadcast outside of a regular newscast and prompted broad range of educational topics.
by breaking news or a major issue of community concern. Health Reporting: A single or series of report(s) on a broad
This may be a live or taped original broadcast. range of health topics.
Open-government reporting: To individuals or news
organizations for significant, effective coverage promoting
open government in Michigan.

PRINT
Deadline: Friday, February 7, 2020
Class A: Stories/photos published in any newspaper of greater than 100,000 circulation; by wire services; or in
magazines, trade publications and non-daily entertainment/alternative newspapers of greater than 50,000 circulation.
Class B: Stories/photos published in daily newspapers of less than 100,000 circulation. Publications in Class B may
choose to compete in Class A.
Class C: Stories/photos published in any non-daily newspaper, magazine or trade publication of less than 50,000
circulation. Publications in Class C may choose to compete in Class A or Class B.
Class D: This class is for in-house and custom publications such as those produced by universities, membership
organizations or other nonprofits and businesses.
NOTE: Determine an entry’s circulation classification by its publication use. For chains and group publications sharing
editorial or photographic copy across several publications or nameplates, the largest circulation of any single publication
within the group should be used; if the story or photo was used only in one publication, use that publication’s circulation.
Categories:
Spot or breaking news reporting: Single-day coverage of Sports column writing: Sports commentary appearing on a
breaking or developing news written on deadline. regular basis by a single writer. Submit 3 columns. No blogs.
General news reporting: A story or series resulting from a Sports reporting: A single game, news or feature story
journalist’s initiative, but excluding coverage of breaking or related to sports. No columns.
developing news. Submit up to 3 examples on a single topic. Editorial writing: An individual editorial that appears on the
Feature reporting: A report or series not considered "hard editorial or op-ed page. No columns.
news" that includes profiles, human interest stories, etc. Headline writing: An individual (not team) award. Submit 5
Submit up to 3 examples on a single topic. headlines by one headline writer. Include stories.
Investigative reporting: A story or series covering a News photography: A single, compelling photo of a
significant problem or issue. Entries must show enterprise, breaking-news event.
initiative, depth and research by a reporter or team. Submit up Feature photography: A single, compelling photo not of a
to 5 examples on a single topic. breaking-news event.
Consumer/watchdog/investigative reporting: A story or Community/Local News Reporting: A single or series of
series of stories that looks out for citizens' interests, such as report(s) covering the effects of a situation on specific
saving a family's home, helping correct injustice or exposing communities or neighborhoods.
corruption. Print and online resources may be used. Submit up Racial Justice Reporting: A single or series of report(s) that
to 3 examples on a single topic. have helped end racial injustice and instead promote equality
Best explanatory story: Helps readers make sense of a on the basis of race.
complex topic. Print and online resources may be used. Environment Reporting: A single or series of report(s) on a
Submit up to 3 related stories. broad range of environmental topics.
Open-government reporting: To individuals or news Education Reporting: A single or series of report(s) on a
organizations for significant, effective coverage promoting broad range of educational topics.
open government in Michigan. Submit up to 3 examples on a Health Reporting: A single or series of report(s) on a broad
single topic. range of health topics.
General column writing: Regularly appearing viewpoint,
business, features or news columns by a single writer. Submit
3 columns. No blogs.

Print, newspapers only


Sports photography: A single, compelling photo featuring Inside news page design: Newspapers only. Submit a 1-page
sports. or a two-page layout.
Page one design: Newspapers only. Submit a 1-page layout. Sports page design: Newspapers only. Submit a 1-page or a
Feature page design: Newspapers only. Submit a 1-page or a two-page layout.
two-page layout.

Print, non-daily publications only


Cover design: Magazines and some tabloid newspapers. Magazine spread design: Magazines and some tabloid
(Depending on the format, tabloid newspapers have the option newspapers. (Depending on the format, tabloid newspapers
of entering as page one newspaper or magazine cover, but not have the option of entering as a newspaper feature or
both.) Submit a 1-page layout. magazine spread, but not both.) Submit a 1- or 2-page layout.

Open print categories


Automotive reporting: Includes coverage of OEMs, suppliers Criticism: Includes art, music, film, book, theatre and
or dealers. Entries will be judged on quality, timeliness and restaurant reviews or recurring cultural commentary. Submit 3
exclusiveness. If being first was important, provide examples.
documentation of how others followed. Editorial cartoon: Submit 3 cartoons.
Car review: Submit 3 reviews from a single writer. Informational graphics: A storytelling graphic that illustrates
an aspect of a news or feature story.

In-house/custom publications only


Feature reporting: A report or series of reports on a subject Feature design: Submit a 1- or 2-page layout on a single
not considered “hard news.” This includes profiles and human subject in JPG or PDF format.
interest pieces. Submit up to 3 examples on one topic. Photo: A single, compelling photo on any topic.
Cover design: Submit a 1-page layout. Use of photos/graphics: Submit up to 6 samples in JPG or
PDF format.
ONLINE
Deadline: Friday, February 7, 2020
All news websites, whether independent or affiliated with print or broadcast news organizations, may enter. But an entry
is eligible in only one class: print, broadcast or online.
How to submit: The website address and directions on how to access the site, including passwords, must be on the
entry form. Include the URL and passwords needed to access the site. Entries that do not supply this information will be
disqualified.
Categories:
Spot or breaking news reporting: Single-day coverage of Community/Local News Reporting: A single or series of
breaking or developing news written on deadline. report(s) covering the effects of a situation on specific
General news reporting: A story or series of stories resulting communities or neighborhoods.
from a journalist’s initiative, but excluding coverage of Racial Justice Reporting: A single or series of report(s) that
breaking or developing news. have helped end racial injustice and instead promote equality
Feature reporting: A report or series not considered "hard on the basis of race.
news" that includes profiles, human interest stories, etc. Environment Reporting: A single or series of report(s) on a
Submit up to 3 examples on a single topic. broad range of environmental topics.
Consumer/watchdog/investigative reporting: A story or Education Reporting: A single or series of report(s) on a
series of stories that looks out for citizens' interests, such as broad range of educational topics.
saving a family's home, helping correct injustice or exposing Health Reporting: A single or series of report(s) on a broad
corruption. Print and online resources may be used. Submit up range of health topics.
to 3 examples on a single topic.
Digital-media presentation: A single entry demonstrating
excellence in blending multiple media into a single online
presentation.
SPJ Detroit Journalist, Young Journalist of the Year
Nomination deadline: Friday, February 28, 2020
SPJ Detroit’s Journalist and Young Journalist of the Year paid, full-time work experience (or equivalent experience if
competition is open to all journalists (reporters, editors, freelance). Internships do not qualify.
producers, anchors, photojournalists, etc.) in southeastern
Each nomination must include the following:
Michigan. Nominees will be judged on the overall quality of
their body of work during 2019. Nominations for JoY and 1. Nomination letter from a supervisor stating why the
YJoY must be received by Friday, February 28, 2020. individual should be considered as the SPJ Detroit Journalist or
Young Journalist of the Year. Freelance nominations must
No entry fee is required. include letters from two (2) supervisors.
Judges will consider the nominee’s impact on the practice of 2. A resume/work history.
journalism through outstanding work or exemplary service to
or leadership in the profession. Entry must be for journalist’s 3. Work samples. For Journalist of the Year, submit minimum
original work. 5 and maximum 10 samples. For Young Journalist, submit
minimum 3 and maximum 5 samples. Include a brief
For Young Journalist of the Year: Nominees must be 30 explanation of each. Include context for judges unfamiliar with
years old or younger. Nominees may have turned 31 in 2019 the market. Freelancers must submit 10 samples.
and still be eligible. Nominees must have at least 1 year of

SCHOLARSHIPS
Application deadline: Friday, February 28, 2020
The Detroit chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists Daily, United Press International and finally as city editor of the
annually awards a $2,500 grant to a Michigan resident who is or Oakland Press.
will be a sophomore, junior or senior with a demonstrated
interest in journalism. The chapter’s board of directors Call for Entries (no entry fee required)
maintains the right to offer more scholarships as permitted. Applicants must intend to practice journalism, as evidenced by
enrollment in journalism classes and by work from those
This award may be used at any institution of higher education. classes, or clips published in student or professional
publications. Financial need is considered.
The award honors the late Lawrence (Larry) A. Laurain, who
was serving as president of the Detroit chapter of the Society of Scholarship winners will be honored at the chapter’s annual
Professional Journalists at the time of his death in August 1985 awards banquet.
of esophageal cancer. His journalism career spanned 17 years,
including stints at the Royal Oak Daily Tribune, the Macomb

All applications must include:


1. A portfolio containing at least three clips of any published or classroom-produced samples of the applicant’s writing or other
news-related reporting.
2. A letter of recommendation from a teacher, dean or adviser who has reviewed the applicant’s work or can affirm the
applicant’s enrollment in a journalism class, academic status or purported interest in journalism.
3. A personal narrative/essay that addresses any of the issues cited in the section below.

An applicant’s personal narrative can address any of the following points:


• Why do you want to be a journalist?
• What are your career goals after graduation?
• Describe your journalism-related activities.
• List your educational, campus and social activities. Briefly, tell of their influence on you.
• Describe what you believe is the most important challenge facing journalists today.
• Which person in journalism would you most like to emulate and why?
• What does winning this award mean to you?

Questions? Call (313) 288-9546 or e-mail spjdetroit@gmail.com