2017 Better Newspaper Contest Categories

CATEGORIES 1-9

Categories 1 through 9 are limited to one entry per newspaper and awards are presented to the newspaper. Categories 1 through 8 award points for the Sequoyah Award.

1. NEWS CONTENT
    Mail three full issues from anytime within the contest period to OPA, 3601 N. Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK  73105 with a printed entry form. Limit one entry per newspaper.
    Judges will consider the extent and quality of the overall news product that is representative of the community. Criteria include: local coverage, balance, government coverage, headlines, organization, photos, graphics and writing.

2. LAYOUT & DESIGN
    Mail three full issues from anytime within the contest period to OPA, 3601 N. Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK  73105 with a printed entry form. Limit one entry per newspaper.
    Judges will consider selection and effective use of typefaces, photos and graphic elements; headlines; general makeup; organization and advertising display.

3. ADVERTISING
    Mail three full issues from anytime within the contest period to OPA, 3601 N. Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma City, OK  73105 with a printed entry form. Remove any pre-printed inserts, unless composed at the newspaper. Limit one entry per newspaper.
    For display advertising, judges will consider the advertising enterprise of the paper (wide variety of merchants), headlines, copy and layout, imaginative use of illustrations, apparent effectiveness and creativity.
    For classified advertising, judges will consider the ease of finding classifications, display (use of type and attractiveness), enterprise and neatness.

4. EDITORIAL WRITING
    Submit THREE different editorials as one entry. Upload full-page digital tearsheets and list the headline(s) in the Title field for identification purposes when submitting your entry. Limit one entry per newspaper.
    DEFINITION OF AN EDITORIAL: An article that persuades, informs and/or expresses an opinion of those in control of the publication on a matter of current interest. Personal columns may be entered if each is limited to one subject and fulfill the other qualifications of an editorial.
    Judges will consider quality of writing, originality, logical construction, strong lead and conclusion.

5.  PHOTOGRAPHY
    Submit SIX photos comprised of: two news photos, two sports photos and two feature photos. Upload full-page digital tearsheets and identify the photos to be judged in the Title field (and Comments field if needed) when submitting the entry. Photos may be black and white or color. A picture page or related photos of the same subject matter published in the same issue may be considered as one photo selection. Limit one entry per newspaper. The six photos will be judged as a package and not individual photographs.
    Judges will consider subject composition, originality, technical skill demonstrated, and use of photographs.

6. SPORTS COVERAGE
    Submit THREE separate full sports pages or sections from the following dates: one from January through June 2017, one from July through December 2017, and one from anytime within the contest period. Upload full-page digital tearsheets. Limit one entry per newspaper. Judges will consider newsworthiness, overall coverage, writing skill, creativity, headlines, photography and organization of the sports page(s) or section.

7. SALES PROMOTION
    Submit one revenue-producing promotion published and delivered in your newspaper anytime within the contest period. Upload a digital file of the entire section. A letter (in PDF, TXT or other format) must accompany this entry explaining the promotion and amount of revenue produced. Include all sales support materials such as pre-publicity ads, and news stories, direct mail, flyers and point of purchase materials used relating to the event. Limit one entry per newspaper.
    Judges will consider originality, organization, design and writing.

8. COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP
    Submit one project, over and above the normal duties of a newspaper, that is aimed at service to the community rather than revenue. A letter (in PDF, TXT or other format) must accompany this entry explaining the project.
    Upload digital tearsheets of any articles and ads related to the project. List article and ad headlines in the Title field for identification purposes when submitting your entry. Limit one entry per newspaper.
    Newspaper staffs recognize and act upon specific issues or needs within their communities. This event seeks to recognize these efforts and promote newspapers’ commitment to civic responsibility. Projects should be developed through the newspaper’s own efforts, and should be completed or have significant progress made during the contest period. Include all relevant information (i.e., news stories, editorials, advertising, reports of events).
    Judges will consider relative importance of the topic, quality of effort, depth of research, degree of involvement and results.

9. DIGITAL MEDIA
    Submit the following: (A) your website address and any passwords required to access protected content and (B) your social media addresses to be considered. A letter (in PDF, TXT or other format) explaining your media’s unique and valuable aspects is allowed. Place your website address in the Title field and all other information in the Comments field. Limit one entry per newspaper.
    No points will be awarded in this category.
    All daily newspaper participants will compete together in one division. All weekly and semi-weekly newspapers will compete together in one division.
    Judges will consider news content, navigation, advertising, community, design and visuals.

CATEGORIES 10-20

Categories 10 through 20 allow for more than one entry per newspaper and awards are presented to the individual unless otherwise indicated on the online entry form. Each category description includes the number of entries allowed per person and/or per newspaper.

10. NEWS STORY
Upload digital tearsheet(s) of one story and jump, if applicable. Indicate the story to be judged by entering the headline in the Title field when submitting your entry. Entries may include a related sidebar in the same issue. One story per entry. Limit four entries per newspaper. Judges will consider importance to the community, organization, writing skill, and impact of lead and headline.

11. FEATURE STORY
Upload digital tearsheet(s) of one story and jump, if applicable. Indicate the story to be judged by entering the headline in the Title field when submitting your entry. One story per entry. Limit four entries per newspaper.
DEFINITION OF A FEATURE  STORY: A story of human interest. It may or may not be of a timely nature and it may or may not be news related. It is not a regular feature, i.e., personal column, and may or may not carry a byline and it may or may not have supportive pictures.
Judges will consider writing skill,  clarity, a creative lead, human interest and organization of story.

12. SPORTS STORY
An entry may include a game story, general news, feature or profile. Upload digital tearsheet(s) of one story and jump, if applicable. Indicate the story to be judged by entering the headline in the Title field when submitting your entry. One story per entry. Limit four entries per newspaper.
Judges will consider originality, style, organization and reader interest.

13. IN-DEPTH REPORTING 
May include a single story or series of stories on the same topic beyond routine news coverage. An entry may include a written summary to explain the topic and coverage. A series of stories (no more than 10) comprises one entry. Upload full-page digital tearsheet(s). List the topic in the Title field with publication dates and headlines in the Comments field for identification purposes. Limit two entries per newspaper.
DEFINITION OF IN-DEPTH  REPORTING: A story or series of  stories that explores a significant topic in-depth with multiple sources.
Judges will consider completeness, thoroughness of research, excellence of writing, community-wide interest, execution and commitment of the newspaper to the project.

14. COLUMN WRITING

Submit three different columns by the same writer. The three columns comprise one entry. Upload full-page digital tearsheets and list the dates and titles in the Title field for identification purposes when submitting your entry. Limit one entry per person as this category will recognize the best column writer, not the best column. Limit four entries per newspaper.
Judges will consider originality, writing, effective humor when appropriate, reader interest, organization, strong lead and conclusion.

15. SMALL SPACE AD
Any one advertisement at a size SMALLER THAN one-quarter (1/4) page. May be color or black and white. Entry must be a paid ad created by the newspaper staff for a single advertiser, not a house ad. Indicate the ad to be judged by entering the business name or ad headline in the Title field when submitting your entry. Limit four entries per newspaper.
Judges will consider layout, typography, copy and originality.

16. LARGE SPACE AD
    Any one advertisement at a size EQUAL TO OR LARGER THAN one-quarter (1/4) page. May be color or black and white. Entry must be a paid ad created by the newspaper staff for a single advertiser, not a house ad. Indicate the ad to be judged by entering the business name or ad headline in the Title field when submitting your entry. Limit four entries per newspaper.
Judges will consider layout, typography, copy and originality.

17. NEWS PHOTOGRAPH

May be black and white or color. A photograph entered in the News category cannot be entered in the Feature or Sports Photograph categories. Indicate the photo to be judged by entering the subject, headline or first few words of the photo caption. One photo per entry. Limit four entries per person. No limit per newspaper.
Judges will consider newsworthiness, reader interest, originality and quality of photo.

18. FEATURE PHOTOGRAPH
May be black and white or color. A photograph entered in the Feature category cannot be entered in the News or Sports Photograph categories. Indicate the photo to be judged by entering the subject, headline or first few words of the photo caption. One photo per entry. Limit four entries per person. No limit per newspaper.
Judges will consider quality of photo, originality and reader interest.

19. SPORTS PHOTOGRAPH
May be black and white or color. A photograph entered in the Sports category cannot be entered in the Feature or News Photograph categories. Indicate the photo to be judged by entering the subject, headline or first few words of the photo caption. One photo per entry. Limit four entries per person. No limit per newspaper.
Judges will consider newsworthiness, reader interest, originality and quality of photo.

20. FRONT PAGE DESIGN
Upload digital tearsheet of one front page per entry. Limit three entries per newspaper. Judges will consider use of photographs and graphics, headlines and body types, organization and overall appearance.