Texas Associated Press Managing Editors

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Texas Associated Press Managing Editors

2018 Texas APME contest rules

September 25th, 2017

Texas APME/Headliners Excellence in Journalism Contest

CONTEST PERIOD: Entries published by AP member newspapers in Texas between Jan. 1, 2017, and Dec. 31, 2017, are eligible. Continuous series or projects that began in 2017 and conclude by the Jan. 21, 2018, entry deadline are allowed.

DEADLINE:  Entries must be uploaded electronically no later than 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. The mailed Newspaper of the Year entries must be received by 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. 

HOW TO ENTER: We require electronic filing for contest entries, except for Newspaper of the Year. (See details for Newspaper of the Year entries with that category’s description below.) New for 2018: Except as specified in the category descriptions, entries may consist of the digital and/or print version of a story; both versions may be submitted. List staff members’ names as they should appear on awards.

Click here to enter the contest entry site

Click here for detailed instructions for uploading entries

DIVISIONS: The contest consists of four divisions and four circulation classifications:

Division 1 is for newspapers that circulate in Texas, are regular members of the Associated Press and subscribe to AP’s Texas state service. Division I consists of four circulation classifications based on weekly print circulation and digital audience numbers reported to AP. Classifications are unchanged for 2018. For questions about classifications, contact the contest coordinators listed below. Click here for classifications for each newspaper.

Division 2 is for college and university newspapers.

Division 3 is for the AP staff.

Division 4 is for Spanish-language newspapers that circulate in Texas and are AP members or affiliated with newspapers that are AP members. There are no circulation classifications for Spanish-language newspapers. A Spanish-language newspaper may also choose to enter any category.

DOUBLE BYLINES and TEAM ENTRIES: Allowed in all categories except where specifically noted.

FREELANCE WORK: Qualifies as long as the work is exclusive to an individual paper.

JOINT PROJECTS: Joint projects that use the resources of a paper in a larger classification must be entered in the larger classification.

ENTRANTS WHO WORK FOR MORE THAN ONE PAPER: In cases in which a single entry would qualify for submission by newspapers in different classifications, the entry must be made only in the largest eligible classification. No individual can enter more than three times in a single category if he/she works for multiple papers.

CONTEST FEES (per newspaper): Entry fees must be received by the contest entry deadline. Payment may be made online or send checks, payable to Texas APME, to Chief of Bureau, The Associated Press, 4851 LBJ Freeway, Suite 300, Dallas, Texas 75244. Do not send checks to contest coordinators.

Class A: $110

Class AA: $275

Class AAA: $440

Class AAAA: $880

Exceptions: There is no fee for college entries. Non-dailies that have a parent paper will be assessed at 50 percent of the parent paper and must compete in the parent paper’s classification.

JUDGES: Out-of-state newspaper journalists will judge all divisions except Division 2, which will be judged by journalism instructors or newspaper advisers. Judges for the Charles E. Green Star Awards will be chosen by the Headliners Foundation. Bilingual out-of-state newspaper editors and other prominent out-of-state journalists will judge the Spanish-language division.

SPANISH-LANGUAGE NEWSPAPERS:  Entries in the Spanish-language division must be original content produced for the Spanish-language newspaper. Material that originally appeared in another publication and was subsequently translated for the Spanish publication is not eligible. Entries to the APME Division 1 contest are permitted in categories for which there is no Spanish-language equivalent. Where possible, Spanish-language writing entries outside the Spanish-language division should be translated; Spanish-fluent judges may not be available in every Division 1 category, though contest coordinators will make every effort to find such judges.

NAMING OF WINNERS: Division winners will be announced at the annual Texas Associated Press Managing Editors convention, April 13-15, 2018, in Corpus Christi. First-place winners will receive plaques. Second-place, third-place and honorable mention  winners  will  receive  certificates  at  the  awards  ceremonies.  

NUMBER OF ENTRIES: Categories in Division 1 allow differing numbers of entries. An individual may enter one category more than once as long as the category’s entry maximum is observed. An entry may be entered in more than one category. Individuals who work for more than one paper may enter up to three times in a single category.

DIVISION 1 CONTEST CATEGORIES

  1. NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR: This award recognizes overall excellence in reporting, writing, photography and design. All sections of the newspaper, including editorial and opinion pages, excluding advertising or any clearly marked advertorial, will be evaluated. Judges will give special attention to original enterprise, depth and breadth of coverage and ease of navigation. An entry consists of three complete editions — one edition from any 2017 date chosen by the publication and two mandatory 2017 dates. The mandatory dates will be chosen after Jan. 1. In cases in which a newspaper did not publish on a mandatory date, the newspaper must pick the next closest date of publication. Upload a PDF of each of the three front pages to the contest website, and send print versions of the chosen editions to the contest coordinators listed below:

Division I Classes A and AAA: Darren Benson, managing editor, The Eagle, 1729 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan, TX 77802; darren.benson@theeagle.com or 979-731-4653.

Division I Classes AA and AAAA: Mary Ann Cavazos Beckett, The Caller-Times, 820 N. Lower Broadway, Corpus Christi, TX, 78401; maryann.beckett@caller.com or 361-886-3623.

Division 2: Darren Benson, managing editor, The Eagle, 1729 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan, TX 77802; darren.benson@theeagle.com or 979-731-4653.

Divisions 3 and 4: Dino Chiecchi, professor of practice, the University of Texas at El Paso, 500 W. University, Cotton Memorial, Room 201, El Paso, TX 79968; dchiecchi@sbcglobal.net.

  1. ONLINE NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR: Online newspaper of the year will be judged on quality of content, ease of use, design, interactivity and innovation. Judges may consider multiple URLs for a newspaper in order to get a full picture of a newspaper’s online offerings. Please make a screenshot of your newspaper’s home page(s) and include any URLs to your home page and any passwords judges need to access paid sites.
  2. COMMUNITY SERVICE: Covers any community project by a newspaper, such as a fund drive, editorial crusade or reporting effort with community impact. Include a cover letter (one page maximum) describing results. Up to 10 stories may be submitted per entry. Limit one entry per newspaper in Classes A through AAA and two per newspaper in Class AAAA.
  3. TEAM EFFORT: Recognizes outstanding team effort in covering a single subject. Comprehensiveness of coverage and initiatives in getting the full story to the reader will be emphasized. Up to 10 stories may be submitted, and they may come from more than one edition of the paper. Include a cover letter (one page maximum). Limit one entry per newspaper in Classes A through AAA and two per newspaper in Class AAAA.
  4. FREEDOM OF INFORMATION: Recognizes persistence and tenacity in fighting for FOI. Include a cover letter (one page maximum). Maximum of five stories per entry. Limit three entries per newspaper in all classes.
  5. ONLINE LIVE COVERAGE: Recognizes live coverage of a single news, sports or entertainment event, planned or unplanned. Entry may include an online news report and/or links to other elements that contributed to the overall storytelling as the event unfolded in real time, such as videos, tweets, photos, livestream or Facebook Live video, community engagement efforts and comments. Cover letter (one page maximum) is required. Maximum of 10 links/elements per entry. Limit one entry per newspaper.
  6.  VIDEO SHORTER THAN TWO MINUTES: Recognizes short video that stands alone or enhances other multimedia aspects of an online package or news or features story. Limit three entries per newspaper organization in all classes.
  7. VIDEO LONGER THAN TWO MINUTES: Recognizes long video that stands alone or enhances other multimedia aspects of an online package or news or features story. Limit two entries per newspaper organization in all classes.
  8. DEADLINE WRITING: Recognizes a single news story covering the events of the day. Judges will give less weight to entries that include elements that could have been produced or planned before the news broke. A single story constitutes an entry (sidebars not accepted). Cover letter (one page maximum) is optional. Limit three entries per newspaper in all classes.
  9. FEATURE WRITING: Includes news features, profiles and features from any section of the paper. A single story constitutes an entry (sidebars not accepted). Limit five entries per newspaper in all classes.
  10. FEATURE SERIES: Entries may include no more than 10 stories identified as part of a series or package. This category is not designed for hard news or investigative content. Limit three entries per newspaper in all classes.
  11. SHORT FEATURE: One story of 600 words or fewer constitutes an entry. Double bylines not permitted. Limit three entries per newspaper in all classes.
  12. SPORTS FEATURE: One story constitutes an entry. Limit five entries per newspaper in all classes.
  13. SPORTS COLUMN WRITING: Three columns per person constitute an entry. Double bylines not permitted. Limit three entries per newspaper in all classes.
  14. GENERAL COLUMN WRITING: Includes opinion, personal and feature columns. Three columns per person constitute an entry. Double bylines not permitted. Limit three entries per newspaper in all classes.
  15. EDITORIAL WRITING: Five editorials constitute an entry. A series of editorials is ineligible, but one editorial from the series can be entered. Entries must be the official position of the newspaper, not a personal column. Emphasis is on the persuasiveness of the writing. Limit three entries per newspaper in all classes.
  16. COMMENT AND CRITICISM: Reviews and criticisms of entertainment, arts, movies, books, etc. In Classes A and AA, one story constitutes an entry. In Classes AAA and AAAA, three stories constitute an entry. Limit three entries per newspaper in all classes.
  17. BUSINESS REPORTING: One story constitutes an entry. Story may be columns, spot news, features or enterprise. Limit three entries per newspaper in all classes.
  18. SPECIALTY REPORTING: Recognizes an individual reporter’s work in a single subject or beat. Up to three stories constitute an entry and must be from the same general content subject or issue. Double bylines not permitted. Limit three entries per newspaper in all classes. Cover letter (one page maximum) is optional.
  19. NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY: A single photo from a breaking or planned news event constitutes an entry, although sequence shots or photo strips are allowed as single entries. If the photo ran online only, include a screenshot or URL of the photo and a jpg. Limit five entries per newspaper in all classes.
  20. FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHY: A single photo constitutes an entry, although sequence shots or photo strips are allowed as single entries. If the photo ran online only, include a screenshot or URL of the photo and a jpg. Limit five entries per newspaper in all classes.
  21. SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY: A single photo constitutes an entry, although sequence shots or photo strips are allowed as single entries. If the photo ran online only, include a screenshot or URL of the photo and a jpg. Limit five entries per newspaper in all classes.
  22. PHOTOJOURNALISM: Recognizes effective telling of a single story in pictures, including online slide shows. An entry may be a picture strip, feature page or any other combination of photography and text. Limit three entries per newspaper in Classes A through AAA or five per newspaper in Class AAAA.
  23. PHOTO GALLERY: Recognizes a collection of staff photographs. Provide a URL to the online gallery. If the entry has been archived or taken off the site, provide a digital disc containing the photo gallery as it appeared online and the date the entries debuted on the web. Limit three entries per newspaper in all classes.
  24. HEADLINE WRITING: Five headlines by the same person constitute an entry. Entry may consist of print headlines, digital headlines or a combination of both. Limit three entries per newspaper in Classes A through AAA or five per newspaper in Class AAAA. Individual entrants who work for multiple papers may submit a maximum of three entries combined for all the papers for which he or she works. Entry should make it clear which headline on a page is being entered.
  25. INFOGRAPHICS: Recognizes effective print graphics, digital graphics, digital interactives and data visualizations. A single graphic or several graphics in one package constitute an entry. Limit three entries per newspaper in Classes A through AAA or five per newspaper in Class AAAA.

CATEGORIES FOR STAR AWARDS AND CHARLES E. GREEN AWARDS

The Headliners Foundation of Texas and the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors have combined forces for six Star Awards. Winners of Star Awards in each classification will receive $500. From those classification winners, an overall winner for each category will be awarded a Charles E. Green Award from the Headliners Foundation of Texas. This overall winner for each category will receive a crystal award, a cash prize of $1,000 and an invitation to attend the Mike Quinn Awards luncheon in Austin at the Headliners Club to be recognized and accept their award.

  1. STAR REPORTER OF THE YEAR: Five stories (sidebars to submissions do not count toward the five total stories) by a single reporter constitute an entry. No double bylines allowed. Work may be on a single beat or cover a variety of topics and can include news and feature stories. Newspapers may submit only one entry in this category. A cover letter (one page maximum) is required. Classification winner advances to consideration for Charles E. Green Award.
  2. STAR PHOTOJOURNALIST OF THE YEAR: Twelve photos by one photographer constitute an entry. Electronic tearsheets of photos or online-only photos with a screenshot of the web page and a jpg may be submitted. Newspapers may submit only one entry in this category. A cover letter (one page maximum) is required. Classification winner advances to consideration for Charles E. Green Award.
  3. STAR OPINION WRITER OF THE YEAR: Five columns, editorials or blog posts designed to influence public opinion and/or effect change that are published in print or on a digital platform by a single writer constitute an entry. Emphasis is on the persuasiveness of the writing and on change effected by the writing. A series can be submitted, but each separate column/editorial/blog post counts as one toward the limit of five. No double bylines allowed. Newspapers and digital-only publications may submit only one entry in this category. A cover letter, maximum of one page, is required. Classification winner advances to consideration for Charles E. Green Award.
  4. STAR INVESTIGATIVE REPORT OF THE YEAR: Entries in this category can include a story, series or special section, but an entry may include no more than 10 stories. Newspapers may submit three entries in this category. A cover letter (one page maximum) must be submitted with each entry. Classification winner advances to consideration for Charles E. Green Award.
  5. STAR BREAKING NEWS REPORT OF THE YEAR: Recognizes one day’s cover- age of a breaking news story. Entry may include multiple stories and graphics from one news cycle. Entry also can include the online portion as the story broke throughout the day. Newspapers may submit three entries in this category. A cover letter (one page maximum) is required. First, second and third place will be awarded. Classification winner advances to consideration for Charles E. Green Award.
  6. STAR ONLINE PACKAGE OF THE YEAR: Recognizes excellence in online content by Texas-based media. Entry should represent a robust multimedia approach to storytelling and/or utility in covering a major news event, investigative project or feature subject. Entry should demonstrate a creative and effective use of range of appropriate multimedia tools such as text, graphics, audio, video, still photography and interactivity that combine to produce a smart, high-impact package. Entries should provide a URL taking judges directly to the entry. If the entry has been archived or does not appear in one place on the site, editors should provide a digital disc containing the package as it appeared online. Editors are encouraged to note in a cover letter innovative aspects of their multimedia entry and impact the package had on the audience or in the community. Classification winner advances to consideration for Charles E. Green Award. We request you keep the entries live on the site for a year as reference and learning tools for member papers.

TEXAS APME STAR AWARD

One additional Star Award, for page design, is funded by the Texas APME. Winners from each classification will receive $500 and will be judged against one another, and the overall winner will receive $1,000.

  1. STAR DESIGNER OF THE YEAR: Five pages by one designer constitute an entry. Submissions may include news pages, feature pages or a combination of both and may consist of single pages or include multiple pages for stories that jump. Examples should show a good use of photos and illustrations, color, entry points and typography and have an impact that make readers take notice. Newspapers may submit only one entry in this category. A cover letter (one page maximum) is required. First, second and third place will be awarded. First-place winners in each category will advance to the second level of competition.

TEXAS APME MEMORIAL AWARDS

  1. CELESTE WILLIAMS STAR SPORTSWRITER OF THE YEAR: The award is named in memory of the late Fort Worth Star-Telegram sports editor and Texas APME board member Celeste Williams, and it recognizes excellence in sportswriting. Five articles by an individual constitute an entry. Articles may reflect all types of sports stories, including columns, features, news stories and game reports. One overall winner will be named and will receive $1,000 provided by Texas APME.
  2. MICHAEL BRICK STORYTELLING AWARD: Given each year to the writer of an elegant, insightful, closely observed story or stories about an everyday person or people. The award is named for the late journalist and author Michael Brick, who lived in Austin and wrote for The Houston Chronicle, The Dallas Morning News, The San Antonio Express-News, The New York Times and other papers. Entries may consist of one to five stories. Stories may be about one person or multiple people. Story or stories must be by one writer (no double bylines or contributing taglines) about an everyday person​/​people. Judges will look for fine writing, detailed reporting, voice, empathy and surprise. The prize for the winner is $1,000, sponsored by The Houston Chronicle and The Dallas Morning News.

DIVISION 2: UNIVERSITY AND COLLEGE NEWSPAPERS:

All college or university newspapers published in Texas are eligible. A newspaper’s three best issues during the contest year constitute an entry. There are no circulation classes. The two categories are Daily (published at least four times weekly) and Non-daily (published fewer than four times weekly). A sponsor may write a cover letter (one page maximum) explaining special circumstances the newspaper faced. It should be glued or stapled inside the cover of a manila folder containing the entry. Judging is on quality of the writing and news coverage, editing, layout, graphics and photos. On the outside of the folder, write: newspaper name, school and location, date of publication, Division 2, University and College Newspapers, category (specify daily or non-daily). Send entries to: Darren Benson, managing editor, The Eagle, 1729 Briarcrest Drive, Bryan, TX 77802; darren.benson@theeagle.com or 979-731-4653.

DIVISION 3: AP STAFFER OF THE YEAR AWARDS

These awards recognize the best writing and best photography by Texas AP staff members. Entries should conform to guidelines for Division 1.

  1. WRITING. A three-story portfolio constitutes an entry. Limit one entry per staffer.
  2. PHOTOGRAPHY. A portfolio of up to five photographs constitutes an entry. Limit one entry per staffer.

DIVISION 4: SPANISH-LANGUAGE

  1. NEWS: Includes breaking news, general news, investigative and enterprise. A single story constitutes an entry; one sidebar may be included. Cover letter (one page maximum) is optional. Limit three entries per newspaper
  2. FEATURES: Includes news features, profiles and features from all sections of the paper. A single story constitutes an entry (sidebars not accepted). Limit three entries per newspaper.
  1. SPORTS WRITING: Includes coverage of a breaking sports story and sports features. One story constitutes an entry. Limit three entries per newspaper.
  1. OPINION WRITING. Includes opinion, personal and feature columns; editorials; and reviews and criticism. Three columns, editorials or reviews constitute and entry. Limit three entries per newspaper.
  1. HEADLINE WRITING. Three headlines by the same person constitute an entry. Team entries not permitted. Limit three entries per newspaper.

 

Posted in: 2018 contest · Contest