SPJ’s Florida Pro Chapter is pleased to announce the 25th annual Sunshine State Awards competition, open to all professional print, broadcast and online journalists in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Spanish-language division is presented in partnership with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists South Florida Chapter. We also offer a student division for students at Florida colleges and universities.

The Sunshine State Awards recognize quality journalism in the best tradition of our profession for the calendar year of 2016. Out-of-state journalists will judge all entries and may award first-, second- and third-place honors in each category. The finalist list will be emailed to all entrants in late May. Winners will be announced at the annual Sunshine State Awards ceremony this summer.

ENTRY GUIDELINES

All entries must be submitted online; no hard-copy entries are accepted. Read the category descriptions and follow all instructions carefully. WE ARE NO LONGER ACCEPTING ENTRIES. If you have questions, please contact Contest Administrator Tim Dodson at tim@timdodson.com or 305-756-6763.

Pro entries: $40 each – Student entries: $25 each

 

SPJ & NAHJ MEMBER BENEFIT: Get one entry FREE with your first paid entry.

Submit your paid entry first, then submit a single free entry. Any remaining entries must be paid in full. The free entry must list a current, dues-paying individual SPJ or NAHJ member as one of the entrants. If you have questions about individual membership status of your entrants, contact SPJ or NAHJ membership staff at their respective headquarters.


CATEGORIES

SPECIAL CATEGORIES DIVISION

  • Eligible: All professional print, television, radio, or online journalists working in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

James Batten Award for Public Service: Named in honor of late Knight-Ridder Chairman and CEO James Batten, a champion of “civic journalism.” Entries must contribute to the public good by correcting a wrong, bringing to light an issue or adding significantly to the public debate. Entries will be judged by the significance of the contribution, initiative in overcoming opposition and evidence of courage. Up to 10 items may be entered, including coverage, a required supporting statement of up to 400 words, and other supporting elements of your choice.

Gene Miller Award for Investigative Reporting: Named in honor of late Miami Herald reporter and editor Gene Miller. Investigative reporting in a single report or a series. Stories should expose a wrong or promote understanding of a problem, issue, or subject in the public interest. Optional: submit a supporting statement (up to 400 words).

Diversity Award: Supporting one of SPJ’s core missions to encourage diversity in journalism, this award honors a journalist of color or sexual minority. Submit up to five samples. Optional: submit a supporting statement (up to 400 words).

First Amendment Foundation Freedom of Information Award: Honors a journalist or news organization for outstanding use of public records in reporting or advocacy of rights such as press freedom and public access. Named after Florida’s First Amendment Foundation. Submit up to three samples. Optional: submit a supporting statement (up to 400 words).

Journalist of the Year: Honors a single journalist with the most outstanding body of print, broadcast or online work. Submit up to five samples. Optional: submit a supporting statement (up to 400 words).

Anchor of the Year: Honors an outstanding broadcast anchor. Submit up to five samples. Optional: submit a supporting statement (up to 400 words).

Photojournalist of the Year: Honors an outstanding photojournalist. Submit up to five samples. Optional: submit a supporting statement (up to 400 words).

Excellence in Disaster Reporting: Submit up to five samples. Optional: submit a supporting statement (up to 400 words).

Outstanding New Journalist: Honors a single journalist with three or fewer years of postgraduate experience with the most outstanding body of print, broadcast or digital work. Submit up to five samples. Recommended: submit a supporting statement (up to 400 words).

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NEWSPAPER DIVISION

  • Eligible: Journalists (staff and freelancers) working for newspapers produced and/or circulated in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; wire service bureaus in Florida; and Florida bureaus of national and out-of-state publications.
  • For many of these categories judges will consider originality of approach, the drama evoked, clarity, suitability of the writing to the subject, and writing quality.
  • See the Special Categories and Online divisions for additional writing categories open to print journalists.

Breaking News Reporting: Submit a single report or series (up to five). Judges will consider deadline pressures, complexity of subject and story length, interest, and importance.

Non-Deadline News Reporting (Large): For LARGE publications with circulation greater than 60,000, as well as all wire services. Enterprise reporting that digs deeper into a newsworthy topic or subject. Submit a single report or series (up to five).

Non-Deadline News Reporting (Small): For SMALL publications with circulation up to 60,000. Enterprise reporting that digs deeper into a newsworthy topic or subject. Submit a single report or series (up to five).

Feature Reporting (Large): For LARGE publications with circulation greater than 60,000, as well as all wire services. Narrative pieces, trend stories, enterprisers, and human-interest stories. Submit a single report only; no series.

Feature Reporting (Small): For SMALL publications with circulation up to 60,000. Narrative pieces, trend stories, enterprisers, and human-interest stories. Submit a single report only; no series.

Series: Submit up to five samples of a news or feature series on a single topic.

Commentary & Criticism – General: Analysis or interpretation of news events. Submit up to three samples.

Commentary & Criticism – Arts: Analysis or interpretation of arts/cultural events, including arts reviews. Submit up to three samples.

Profile Reporting: Profiles of people, which can include obituary writing. Submit up to three samples.

State and Local Election Reporting: Submit up to three samples.

Presidential Election Reporting: Submit up to three samples.

Data Reporting: A news or feature story driven by data, and/or uses data collection. Submit one single report or series on one topic.

Editorial Writing: Submit three samples on a single topic or multiple topics.

Editorial Cartoon: Submit three samples on any topic.

Headline Writing: Submit up to five of your best headlines.

Beat Reporting – Arts: Does not include criticism. Submit up to four samples. Optional: submit a supporting statement (up to 250 words) to provide additional context.

Beat Reporting – Business: Submit up to four samples. Optional: submit a supporting statement (up to 250 words) to provide additional context.

Beat Reporting – Community: Submit up to four samples. Optional: submit a supporting statement (up to 250 words) to provide additional context.

Beat Reporting – Consumer Issues: Submit up to four samples. Optional: submit a supporting statement (up to 250 words) to provide additional context.

Beat Reporting – Crime & Courts: Submit up to four samples. Optional: submit a supporting statement (up to 250 words) to provide additional context.

Beat Reporting – Education: Submit up to four samples. Optional: submit a supporting statement (up to 250 words) to provide additional context.

Beat Reporting – Environment, Health & Science: Submit up to four samples. Optional: submit a supporting statement (up to 250 words) to provide additional context.

Beat Reporting – Food & Travel: Submit up to four samples. Optional: submit a supporting statement (up to 250 words) to provide additional context.

Beat Reporting – Government & Politics: Submit up to four samples. Optional: submit a supporting statement (up to 250 words) to provide additional context.

Beat Reporting – Hardship Issues: Submit up to four samples. Optional: submit a supporting statement (up to 250 words) to provide additional context.

Beat Reporting – Minority Issues: Submit up to four samples. Optional: submit a supporting statement (up to 250 words) to provide additional context.

Beat Reporting – Religion: Submit up to four samples. Optional: submit a supporting statement (up to 250 words) to provide additional context.

Beat Reporting – Sports: Submit up to four samples. Optional: submit a supporting statement (up to 250 words) to provide additional context.

Special Publication or Section: Best overall quality, including news value, writing, design, story mix, etc., in a special, one-time-only or annual section of a publication. Must consist of editorial content produced by editorial staff.

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PHOTOGRAPHY & DESIGN DIVISION

Breaking News Photography: Submit a single photo or series.

Feature Photography: A single published photo, either stand-alone or part of a story.

Photography Story: A collection of photos printed together that tell a story – either news or feature in nature. Not for continuing coverage of a subject.

Art/Photo Illustration: Specially designed art and/or photos to illustrate a story. Submit up to three samples.

Infographic: Standalone infographic or part of a story. Submit up to three samples.

Front Page Design (Large): For LARGE publications with circulation greater than 60,000, as well as all wire services. Submit up to three samples, by one artist or team, representing the newspaper’s front page or section front.

Front Page Design (Small): For SMALL publications with circulation up to 60,000. Submit up to three samples, by one artist or team, representing the newspaper’s front page or section front.

Photographer of the Year: (see Special Categories)

Enter here

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MAGAZINE DIVISION

Public Service Reporting: Entries should contribute to the public good by correcting a wrong, bringing to light an issue or adding significantly to the public debate. Submit up to three samples on one issue. Optional: submit a supporting statement (up to 400 words).

Investigative Reporting: Entries should expose a wrong or promote an understanding of a problem, issue, or subject. Submit a single report or series. Optional: submit a supporting statement (up to 400 words) to provide additional context.

Feature Story: Submit a single report.

Profile Story: Submit a single report that showcases a person.

Commentary & Criticism: Analysis or interpretation of news or cultural events, including art reviews. Submit up to three samples.

Food and Travel Writing: Submit up to three samples.

Trade or Special Interest Publication: Best overall quality, including news value, in a publication focusing on a specialized audience. Submit two complete issues.

Cover Design: Submit up to three samples.

Inside Design: Submit up to three samples of a spread or story design.

Best Single Issue: Submit a sample of your best issue. Judges will consider content, design and overall layout.

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TELEVISION DIVISION

Anchor of the Year: (See Special Categories)

Best Newscast: Submit a single newscast. Max. length: 30:00.

Investigative Reporting – Single Report: Max. length 5:00.

Investigative Reporting – Series: Include up to five segments. Max. total length: 20:00.

Spot News Reporting: Coverage of an unexpected hard-news event. May include live or taped segments illustrating coverage. Include up to five segments. Max. total length: 20:00.

Breaking News: Live-driven reporting that shows how reporters, photographers, and station staff on all levels handle the story as it is happening. Include up to five segments. Max. total length: 20:00.

General Assignment Report: A single story developed, shot, written and aired in a regular newscast within a 24-hour period. Max. length: 5:00.

Special Reporting: Reporting that covers specialized topics such as education, medical, transportation, etc. Include up to five segments. Max. total length: 20:00.

Political Reporting: Include a single report. Max. length: 5:00.

Light Feature Reporting: Include a single report. Max. length: 5:00.

Serious Feature Reporting: Include a single report. Max. length: 5:00.

Sports Reporting: Include a single report. Max. length: 5:00.

Weather Reporting: A compilation that may include in-studio weather delivery and out-of-studio weather reporting. Max. length: 20:00

Best Non-Newscast Program: Special reports of 30-60 minutes in length, airing outside of a regular newscast, that addresses issues of community concern or covers popular community events. Max. length: 60:00 (edit out commercials).

Enter here

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RADIO DIVISION

Anchor of the Year: (See Special Categories)

Best Newscast: Best overall news and feature quality, including news value, writing, production, story mix, etc. Submit one complete broadcast of your choice.

General Coverage: Coverage of an issue of local interest. Submit up to five pieces.

Investigative Reporting: Submit a single report or a series. Should be exposes a wrong or promotes understanding of a problem, issue, or subject in the public interest.

Government & Politics Reporting: Submit a single report or a series (up to three samples).

Feature Reporting: Profiles, trend pieces and human interest stories. Submit a single report or a series (up to three samples).

Public Affairs: Submit a single public affairs program. Entries may be documentaries or regular programming. Entries must be the original work of the station. Town hall meetings are not eligible.

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DIGITAL DIVISION

  • See the Newspaper Division for additional categories open to digital journalists.

Blog: Best blog of any type, whether independent or associated with a print or broadcast news organization. Optional: submit a supporting statement (up to 250 words).

News Web Site: Can be stand alone or  sponsored by print or broadcast media. Judges will evaluate the following: SSite’s overall value to user; Depth and originality of news content; variety of content presentation methods (text, video, audio, etc.); writing quality; usability (including navigation and accessibility); layout. Submit the URL of the home page as well as the URLs of two additional pages.

Online Breaking News: Submit a single report or series (up to three samples).

Multimedia Feature: A feature story utilizing two or more media, not including photography (video, audio, social media, interactive infographic, etc.). Submit a single report or a series (up to three samples) on a single topic.

Package: A special, one-time project that includes writing (print or web), video, audio, social media or any combination of them. One-time projects may include multiple pieces of all media.

Infographics and Data Visualization: Graphics or data may be standalone pieces or part of a story. Submit up to three samples.

Online Video – up to three minutes: Either standalone videos or videos supplementing a story. Submit up to three samples.

Online Video – three minutes or longer: Either standalone videos or videos supplementing a story. Submit up to three samples.

Podcast: Submit up to three segments.

Blog Writing: Submit up to three samples.

Social Media Package: Submit up to three samples of a story or series that utilized two or more social media platforms.

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SPANISH-LANGUAGE DIVISION

  • Estos premios son presentados en conjunto con la Asociación Nacional de Periodistas Hispanos – capítulo del Sur de la Florida/National Association of Hispanic Journalists South Florida Chapter.
  • Los premios están abiertos a periodistas (empleados por el medio o independientes/freelancers) cuyos trabajos en español hayan aparecido en la edición digital o impresa de periódicos publicados o distribuídos en la Florida, en medios audiovisuales en la Florida y corresponsales de agencias noticiosas y periódicos de circulación nacional en la Florida.

Mejor trabajo de investigación en televisión/radio: Esta categoría premia al mejor reportaje de investigación de interés público para el sur de la Florida. Puede ser un solo reportaje o una serie publicada en televisión o en radio. Los artículos deben ser originales, exponer irregularidades y/o promover el entendimiento de un asunto de interés público.

Mejor trabajo de investigación en prensa escrita/digital: Esta categoría premia al mejor reportaje de investigación de interés público para el sur de la Florida. Puede ser un solo reportaje o una serie publicada en un medio digital o de prensa escrita. Los artículos deben ser originales, exponer irregularidades y/o promover el entendimiento de un asunto de interés público.

Mejor reportaje especial (features) en televisión: Se considerarán reportajes sobre las últimas tendencias o temas de interés humano. Aspirantes deben someter un solo reportaje; las series no serán aceptadas. Los jueces tomarán en cuenta la originalidad del autor a la hora de contar la historia y la calidad técnica del trabajo.

Mejor reportaje especial en radio/podcast: Se considerarán reportajes sobre las últimas tendencias o temas de interés humano. Aspirantes deben someter un solo reportaje; las series no serán aceptadas. Los jueces tomarán en cuenta la originalidad del autor a la hora de contar la historia y la calidad técnica del trabajo.

Mejor reportaje especial en prensa escrita/medio digital: Se considerarán artículos narrativos y crónicas sobre las últimas tendencias o temas de interés humano. Aspirantes deben someter un solo reportaje; las series no serán aceptadas. Los jueces tomarán en cuenta la originalidad del autor a la hora de contar la historia, así como la claridad y calidad del texto.

Mejor cobertura de noticias de última hora (breaking news) en televisión/radio/digital: Esta categoría abarca coberturas de noticias de última hora y el seguimiento apropiado al tema. Puede ser un solo reportaje o una serie. Los jueces considerarán en su decisión las presiones de tiempo y dificultades que enfrentó el medio en su cobertura, así como la complejidad del tema, interés e importancia.

Periodista del año en televisión/radio: Esta categoría premia al periodista más sobresaliente del año en los medios hispanos del sur de la Florida. Participantes deben enviar seis muestras de su trabajo como máximo.

Periodista del año en prensa escrita/digital: Esta categoría premia al periodista más sobresaliente del año en los medios hispanos del sur de la Florida. Participantes deben enviar seis muestras de su trabajo como máximo.

Mejor infografía y/o visualización de dato del año: Esta categoría premia la mejor infografía o historia contada con visualización de datos publicada en un medio de prensa escrita, digital o televisivo. Se valorará la originalidad y claridad de la historia, así como la calidad de su diseño y valor informativo.

Mejor cobertura de desastres naturales en televisión/radio: Presentar hasta cinco muestras. Opcional: envíe una declaración de apoyo (hasta 400 palabras).

Mejor cobertura de desastres naturales en prensa escrita/digital: Presentar hasta cinco muestras. Opcional: envíe una declaración de apoyo (hasta 400 palabras).

Mejor trabajo estudiantil (todo tipo de medios): Premia a la mejor historia periodística hecha por un estudiante en la Florida. Candidatos pueden someter una historia individual o una serie. La historia debe ser original, exponer irregularidades o promover el entendimiento de un problema de interés público.

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STUDENT DIVISION

  • Eligible: Students whose work was published in in Florida in the previous calendar year. This may include work submitted to professional publications as well as long as the student produced it.

College Journalist of the Year: Honors the college journalist displaying the most promise through published or broadcast stories. Submit five of your best stories published in the previous calendar year and a signed recommendation letter from an adviser or teacher.

Best Student Publication: Submit any three print issues from the previous calendar year. Every page will be judged on writing, photography, and design.

Best Website: Submit the homepage URL and two other URLs to other pages of your choice.

Best News Story: Submit a single report.

Best News Photo: Any single photo that is not posed or sports.

Best Feature Story: Submit a single report.

Best Profile: Submit a single report. Judges will favor profiles of people on campus or national pieces with a unique student angle.

Best Review: Submit a review of a movie, concert, art exhibit book, play, etc. Judges will favor reviews of either campus or local arts, or national pieces with a unique student angle.

Best Sports Story: Can be a gamer, a profile, analysis, or anything else. Submit a single report.

Best Sports Photo: A single photo capturing a moment in college sports.

Best Opinion Column: A single column on anything but sports, expressing an opinion, slant or viewpoint.

Best Page Design: Can include a front page, a magazine cover, or a photo page. Judges look for creativity but also expect adherence to basic design principles.

Best Video: Can be news, feature, sports, or anything else that covered in your campus community. Five-minute time limit; shorter is better.

Best Multimedia Feature: A feature story utilizing two or more media, not including photography (video, audio, social media, interactive infographic, etc.). Submit a single report or a series on a single topic.

Best Coverage of LGBT Issues: Submit up to three stories, columns, and photos. This award is co-sponsored by SFGN, Florida’s largest gay publication, and the South Florida chapter of the Association of LGBT Journalists.

Best Coverage of Race and Minorities: Submit up to three stories, columns, and photos. This award is co-sponsored by the South Florida chapters of the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

Best Disaster Reporting: Submit a single report.

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