2010 Better Newspaper Contest rules

2010WinnersCircle

Deadline Friday, March 12

Entry postmark deadline Friday, March 12, 2010. Newspapers are urged not the crowd the official deadline.

Contest Labels (PDF please affix with a glue stick; do not staple, tape or clip)

Web Site Entry Form (PDF; for Best Newspaper Web site category)

2010 Rules (Download as PDF)

Credit card form (PDF; option to pay entry fee)

Questions?
Contact 1-800-749-4793.  Lolly Denk

Eligibility
Preparation of entries
Division Requirements
Rule Clarifications
Fees
Judging and Judges
Disposition of Entries

Circulation Divisions

Categories
General Excellence
Advertising
Column Writing
Editorials
Feature Story
Headline Writing
Page Design
News Writing
Sports Coverage
Feature Photo
News Photo
Sports Photo
Routine Special Sections
Blue Moon Special Sections
Community Service
Best Newspaper Web Site
Sweepstakes

Contest period
Calendar year 2009. All entries must have been originally published during calendar year 2009, and specifically from March or September, where indicated.

Eligibility

The 2010 Texas Better Newspaper Contest is open to all newspapers that were members of Texas Press Association during the calendar year 2009.

· Large dailies (circulation 100,000 or more) may submit an entry in the general excellence category only. At least three newspapers must enter before the division will be judged. The award will go to the best entry.

· Semiweeklies (newspapers carrying only one name, but published more than once a week yet less than four days a week) must enter the appropriate semiweekly circulation division.

· Twin weeklies (newspapers bearing different names but published in the same plant and distributed in the same community during different days of the week) will be treated as semiweeklies and entered in the largest circulation division applicable.

· Weeklies will be divided equally into five divisions based on the total number of entries rather than fixed circulation breaks (for example, 25 newspapers in Division 6; 25 newspapers in Division 7, etc.)

Preparation of Entries

· Only one set of entries may be submitted in each category, except Column Writing in which two columnists may submit separate sets of entries. Columnists must be regular employees of your newspaper.

· Each entry must be identified with a contest label provided by Texas Press Association. Use glue or glue stick to securely affix labels to upper right-hand corner of each entry, above folio line. Do not use staples or tape. Use Arabic numerals to indicate division (weeklies must not write a division number). Do not use Roman numerals.

· Entries must be submitted flat and folded either in half or quarter-page size. Do not roll entries. Note: Community Service entries must be securely bound in a binder, report folder or scrapbook.

· Letters of explanation may accompany only Editorial, Community Service & Routine Special Sections entries and must accompany Blue Moon Special Sections & Web Site.

· The same photo may not be entered in more than one photo category.

· TPA will mail postcards confirming receipt of entries to entrants.

Division Requirements

A newspaper must compete in its circulation division based on the October 2008 U.S. Postal Service statement of total paid circulation (PS Form 3526, line 15C). Note: An entry or site published in or for more than one newspaper must be entered in the largest division category.

Rule Clarifications

For rule clarifications, call Ed Sterling, member services director or Lolly Denk, mail services specialist, at 1-800-749-4793 or e-mail Lolly Denk. Failure to follow rules may result in disqualification.

Fees

Member newspapers pay a $25 overall fee per newspaper to enter the contest, regardless of the number of categories entered.

Judging and Judges

Georgia Press Association will assemble a team of newspaper professionals to serve as contest judges. Judges will award first, second, third and fourth place in each category. In the event that a category does not draw at least four entries the judge has the discretion to award only a first place. No ties will be allowed. Judges' decisions are final.

Disposition of Entries

Entries become the property of Texas Press Association. Winning entries and all community service entries may be claimed after the closing of the winning newspaper display at summer convention. Winners are requested to leave their entries in the display area for at least 30 minutes. Non-placing entries will be discarded by the judges. Judging forms will be mailed to all contestants after the convention.


Categories

Advertising

Submit full-page tearsheets of your top three advertisements originally published in calendar year 2009, one from the months of March or September and two from any 2009 month(s) of your choice. The ads must be composed entirely by your staff. You are required to submit three advertisements and bracket each ad in heavy red marker. Judging will be based on selling power of copy, originality/creativity, layout/design, use of photos, graphics and typography. Judges will consider all three ads as one entry.

Column Writing

Submit full-page tearsheets of staff-written columns originally written and published in calendar year 2009, one from the months of March or September and one column from any 2009 month of your choice. (Two columnists may submit separate entries.) Each set of columns will be judged as one entry. They may be written by your staff on any subject in any style. Columnists must be regular employees of your newspaper. Columns must be bracketed in heavy red marker. Judging will be based on lead, subject matter and quality and style of writing.

Editorials

Submit full-page tearsheets of staff-written editorials originally written and published in calendar year 2009, one from the months of March or September and one from any 2009 month of your choice. Editorials must be bracketed in heavy red marker. Judging will be based on quality or style of writing, lead, subject matter and local significance. Judges will consider both editorials as one entry.

Feature Photo

Submit full-page tearsheets of two feature photographs originally photographed and published in calendar year 2009, one from the months of March or September and one from any 2009 month of your choice. Submit only photos taken by members of your regular staff. The same photo may not be entered in more than one photo category. Use heavy red marker to bracket photos and cutlines. Judging will be based on reader interest, composition, quality of cutline, enterprise and innovation, and reproduction. Judges will consider both photos as one entry.

Feature Story

Submit full-page tearsheets of staff-written features originally written and published in calendar year 2009, one from the months of March or September and one from any 2009 month of your choice. Feature stories must be bracketed in heavy red marker. Judging will be based on content/subject matter, quality, style and lead, and presentation, including layout, design, heads, typography, photos and use of color. Judges will consider both feature stories as one entry.

General Excellence

Submit one complete issue published in calendar year 2009 during the months of March or September and one complete issue from any 2009 month of your choice. Wire copy and non-staff produced copy will not be considered. Judging will be based on news coverage, quality of writing, composition/display, headlines, use of photos and art work, front page and specialty pages, such as editorial page, family life, social page, sports page. Judges will consider both issues as one entry.

Headline Writing

Submit full-page tearsheets of your three best headlines from any issues published in calendar year 2009. The headlines must have been written by a regular staff member for a locally produced staff story. Headline entries can come from any section of a regular edition and each must be bracketed in heavy red marker. Judging will be based on accuracy, cleverness, creativity, impact and originality. Judges will consider all three headlines as one entry.

News Photo

Submit full-page tearsheets of two news photographs originally photographed and published in calendar year 2009, one from the months of March or September and one from any 2009 month of your choice. Submit only photos taken by members of your regular staff. The same photo may not be entered in more than one photo category. Use heavy red marker to bracket photos and cutlines. Judging will be based on timeliness, composition, quality of cutline, enterprise and innovation, and reproduction. Judges will consider both photos as one entry.

News Writing

Submit full-page tearsheets of two complete staff-written news stories originally published in calendar year 2009, one from the months of March or September and one from any 2009 month of your choice. Bracket the stories in heavy red marker. Judging will be based on quality of writing, lead, news value and enterprise. Judges will consider both news stories as one entry.

Page Design

Submit full-page tearsheets of each of the following: one front page, one editorial, one sports and one family/lifestyle page from any editions published during one month of the newspaper's choice in 2009. All pages must have been published in the same month. Judging will be based on readability, innovation, color, graphics, design features, typography, photos and other artwork. Judges will consider all four pages as one entry.

Sports Coverage

Submit full-page tearsheets of sports pages originally published in calendar year 2009 from one issue published during the months of March or September and one issue from any 2009 month of your choice. Use heavy red marker to cross out any sports writing or photos not locally produced. Judging will be based on quality of writing, range of coverage, photos, layout/design and suitability of headlines. Judges will consider both issues as one entry.

Sports Photo

Submit full-page tearsheets of two sports photos originally photographed and published in calendar year 2009, one from the months of March or September and one from any 2009 month of your choice. Submit only photos taken by members of your regular staff. The same photo may not be entered in more than one category. Use heavy red marker to bracket photos and cutlines. Judging will be based on action, composition, quality of cutline, enterprise and innovation, and reproduction. Judges will consider both photos as one entry.

Routine Special Section

Daily Division
Semiweekly Division
3 Weekly Divisions (based on total entrants)

Submit one complete special section produced by your staff on a regular basis that consists of a complete and cohesive package of locally produced pictures, news stories and advertisements emphasizing a central theme of special local interest. Routine sections include newcomers, sports, back to school, progress, chamber, visitors, festival. Can be slick or newsprint product. Section must have been originally published in calendar year 2009. Judging will be based on theme and content, and layout/design/presentation. Entries may include a letter of explanation.

Blue Moon Special Sections

Daily Division
Semiweekly Division
2 Weekly Divisions (based on total entrants)

Submit one complete staff produced special section or edition built around a unique local subject matter, such as anniversary, collector’s edition, disaster, tribute or any once-in-a-lifetime theme, that goes above and beyond routine coverage. A letter of explanation on why the section qualifies as Blue Moon may accompany entry. Can be slick or newsprint product. Section must have been originally published in calendar year 2009. Judging will be based on theme and content, and layout/design/presentation

Community Service

Daily Division
Semiweekly Division
Weekly Division

Submit in a scrapbook all evidence (for example: news, photos, editorials, letters, programs) of your newspaper's support of one community project conducted during calendar year 2009. Material must be securely bound in a binder, folder or scrapbook. Entries must have been published during calendar year 2009. Attach a letter describing the background and results of the project.

Best Newspaper Web Site

Daily Division
Semiweekly Division
2 Weekly Divisions (based on total entrants)

Submit on the  entry form (PDF)  the newspaper name, Web address and any passwords required to access all pages within the site. Entries must include a brief description of the site’s unique aspects, how frequently it is updated and what makes the site vital to your readers. Judging will be based on content, ease of use and navigation, page design, advertising, timeliness and consistency. Entries will be judged online at an unannounced date set by the judges. NOTE: At least four entries must be received in a division for the category to be judged.

Sweepstakes

The Texas Better Newspaper Contest includes one Sweepstakes award for each of the circulation divisions, except Division 1.

Awards are earned by point accumulation in contest categories (excluding Community Service, Special Sections & Web site).

Points shall be computed on the following scale:

· 1st Place: 100 points (plaque)
· 2nd Place: 75 points (certificate)
· 3rd Place: 50 points (certificate)
· 4th Place: 25 points (certificate)

In case of a tie, the newspaper with the most points in the General Excellence category will be declared the winner.

If neither newspaper has won a General Excellence award, the newspaper with the most first place awards overall will be declared the winner.

If the score remains tied, the newspaper with the most second place awards will be declared the winner.

If the score remains tied, the newspaper with the most third place awards will be declared the winner.

If the score remains tied, the newspaper with the most fourth place awards will be declared the winner.


Circulation Divisions

Daily Divisions

Division 1
Dailies 100,000 or more (compete in General Excellence only)

Division 2
Dailies 7,000 to 99,999

Division 3
Dailies less than 7,000

Semiweekly Divisions

Division 4
Semiweeklies 4,001 or more

Division 5
Semiweeklies 4,000 or less

Weekly Divisions

Divisions 6-10
Weeklies will be divided equally into five divisions based on the total number of entries rather than fixed circulation breaks (for example: 25 newspapers in Division 6; 25 newspapers in Division 7, etc.)

If the total number of weekly newspapers that enter is not equally divisible by five, the remainders will be added into the higher circulation divisions.

Weekly entrants MUST NOT write a division number on the contest gum label! The TPA staff will assign the appropriate division number.

Special Sections Divisions

• Daily Division
• Semiweekly Division
• Weeklies divided into 3 dvisions in Routine and 2 divisions in Blue Moon based on total number of entrants

Community Service Divisions
Daily Division
Semiweekly Division
Weekly Division

Web Site Divisions

Daily Division
Semiweekly Division
Weeklies divided into 2 divisions based on total number of entrants


Deadline
Postmark entries no later than Friday, March 12 and mail or ship to:
Lolly Denk
Texas Press Association
718 W. Fifth St., Ste. 100
Austin, TX 78701-2786

Entrants are urged not to crowd the official deadline.

Awards
Awards will be announced Saturday, June 19 during the Texas Press Association 131st annual Summer Convention, June 17-19, 2010, at the Westin Riverwalk Hotel in San Antonio.

First-place winners will come forward to receive plaques. Certificates will be distributed to second-, third- and fourth-place winners after the awards ceremony.

Copies of the Winners' Circle will be available at the conclusion of the awards breakfast. Winning entries will be displayed at the close of the convention. Winners are requested to leave their entries in the display area for at least 30 minutes.


Contest Committee

Chairman Russel Skiles, Lamesa Press-Reporter

Terry Collier, Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post / Bob Brincefield, Brownwood Bulletin / Chad Ferguson, The Banner Press Newspaper, Columbus / Roy G. Robinson, The Graham Leader / Sue Brown Elizondo, Pleasanton Express /  Ken Esten Cooke, Rockdale Reporter / Randy Keck, The Community News, Aledo / Roger Estlack, The Clarendon Enterprise / Tania French, Port Lavaca Wave / Bill Crist, The Cameron Herald / Mark Gwin, Smithville Times / Roger Palmer, Whitewright Sun / Micheal Hodges, Texas Press Association

Judging
Georgia Press Association