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NORTHERN ILLINOIS NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION
NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY
DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATION


2004 NEWSPAPER CONTEST RULES

[ General ] ... [ Newspaper Classifications ]
[ Contest Categories ] ... [ Sponsorship ]
[ Printable Entry Form ] ... [ Plaque Authorization Form ]

GENERAL

1. Publication period for the contest is July 17, 2003 to July 16, 2004. Entries submitted must be from newspapers published during this period except as specified otherwise. ENTRY DEADLINE: JULY 26, 2004.
Entries should be addressed to: NINA, Department of Communication, Northern Illinois University,
DeKalb, IL 60115. Entry materials will not be returned.

2. The contests are open to paid member newspapers and paid individual members. Questions regarding membership status and dues should be addressed to NINA headquarters at 815-753-1564.

3. Papers entering in Group 3 (dailies) may not include Sunday editions in entries requiring three complete newspapers or tearsheets. Non daily papers that publish Sunday editions may include those editions in their entries.

4. Newspapers or newspaper clippings submitted as entries should be printed on the same paper used for general circulation to subscribers. If publishers do not have the preferred originals, they may submit photocopies.

5. Publishers may enter any or all of the contests at a fee of $5 per entry, per category. In most categories, the contest limits four entries per paper/per category. Each individual writer or photographer is limited to two entries for work done individually in each category. This rule does not preclude an individual writer or photographer from being included in another entry in the same category as a member of a reporting team. Publishers are limited to one entry in the following categories: design; feature section; advertising special section; public service; sports section, news story series; and editorial page design. (Each category description explains these limits.)

6. The Executive Secretary of NINA, in consultation with the NIU Journalism faculty, will coordinate judging for the contests. Judges will be selected on the basis of academic and/or professional expertise by the Executive Secretary and Chair of the Department of Communication. Judges will ordinarily be NIU journalism faculty, other journalism educators in the region and/or professional journalists not associated with the contest. Judges will be provided contest rules and relevant category entry information.

7. Newspapers winning first place in each contest or classification of contest will be awarded a plaque and a certificate. For an additional fee, editors and/or publishers may request an individualized plaque to be presented to their award-winning staff member/s (see last page of contest rules for order form). Second and third place winners will be awarded certificates. Judges may also designate honorable mention awards.

8. Each entry must be clearly marked indicating the contest in which it is to compete. Entries should be securely assembled, but must not be mounted, bound, or ornamented. An official contest entry form must be stapled (no paper clips) to each entry, with group and category marked. Make as many copies of the entry form as needed. Please do not create your own entry form.

CLASSIFICATION OF NEWSPAPERS

Contests are divided into three classifications of NINA members. Group I includes all non-dailies, 4,999 or less in circulation. Group II includes all non daily newspapers 5,000 or more in circulation. Group III includes all daily newspapers and all papers printed as inserts in those dailies.

Content of all entries must be original work. Entrants must identify group to which they belong on all entries and may enter in only one group (based on the guidelines below):

  • Non-daily group newspapers with shared editorial operations should enter using their group name, based on total circulation of the non-daily group.
  • Newspapers that do not share editorial operations should enter based on the circulation of the individual newspaper. In such a case, staff members may enter work only from that newspaper.

Newspapers scoring the largest accumulation of points in all categories will receive the Donald R. Grubb Newspaper Award for those in Group I; the C.V. Amenoff Memorial Award for those in Group II; and the James Copley Award for those in Group III. Newspapers are not prohibited from winning any of these sweepstakes awards in consecutive years.

CONTEST CATEGORIES AND ENTRY INFORMATION

BEST DESIGN
(GROUPS I, II, III)

Award to newspaper showing excellence in design including: makeup, typography, photo use, and general appearance. Front page will be considered the most important factor, but other pages -- including display of advertising --will also be considered. Entries should consist of three issues published during the contest year.

Entry: Submit three complete issues, as instructed in General Rule 3: One entry per paper.

BEST HEADLINE (GROUPS I, II, III)

Award to individual publishing the best headline. Entries will be judged on imagination and originality, and the relevance of the headline to the story.

Entry: Submit tearsheets, clearly marked, of three headlines. All headlines must be by the same writer. No more than two by each writer with limit of four entries per paper.

BEST SINGLE GENERAL FEATURE (GROUPS I, II, III)

Award to individual publishing best single locally-developed feature article, as contrasted with a straight news story, not covered in the "Feature: Profile/Personality" category.

Entry: Submit tearsheets with single feature story or article clearly marked. No more than two by each individual writer with limit of four entries per paper.

BEST SINGLE FEATURE: PROFILE/PERSONALITY (GROUPS I, II, III)

Award to individual publishing best single locally-developed feature article, as contrasted with a straight news story, profiling a person.

Entry: Submit tearsheets with single feature story or article clearly marked. No more than two by each individual writer with limit of four entries per paper.

BEST FEATURE SECTION (GROUPS I, II, III)

Award to the newspaper, publishing the best locally-developed feature section. May include seasonal features, entertainment, family, home interest, or food pages.

Entry: Submit three issues in accordance with General Rule No. 3, with section or pages clearly marked. One entry per paper.

BEST SINGLE COLUMN (BYLINED) (GROUPS I, II, III)

Award to individual publishing best single locally-developed bylined column (as contrasted to an editorial).

Entry: Submit tearsheets with locally written single column clearly marked. No more than two by each individual writer with limit of four entries per paper.

BEST SINGLE EDITORIAL (GROUPS I, II, III)

Award to individual who writes best single editorial on a local issue.

Entry: Submit tearsheets with name and staff position of the individual who composed the single editorial written in margin. No more than two by each writer with limit of four entries per paper.


ADVERTISING -- SMALL SINGLE ADVERTISEMENT (GROUPS I, II, III)

Award to newspaper submitting best small (less than ½ page) single advertisement.

Entry: Submit tearsheet clearly marked, indicating the best single advertisement. Three entries per paper.

ADVERTISING -- LARGE SINGLE ADVERTISEMENT (GROUPS I, II, III)

Award to newspaper submitting best large (½ page or larger) single advertisement.

Entry: Submit tearsheet clearly marked, indicating the best single advertisement. Three entries per paper.

ADVERTISING -- SPECIAL SECTION (GROUPS I, II, III)

Award to newspaper publishing best special advertising section -- which can be all advertising or editorial in part.

Entry: Submit tearsheet or tearsheets, clearly marked, showing a special advertising section. One entry per paper.

PUBLIC SERVICE (GROUPS I, II, III)

Award to newspaper that has accomplished most in promoting welfare of its readership community, as evidenced by editorial alertness to needs and progress of its community and county and by demonstrable achievements in leadership for community and county improvements.

Entry: Submit tearsheets, clearly marking any news stories, editorials, and pictures which reveal efforts of newspaper in recognizing and interpreting community needs and progress, and in promoting programs or change for the public welfare. Campaign must have concluded by the end of the publication period (July 17, 2003 to July 16, 2004). The entry should be limited to not more than four different published examples of the campaign or individual public service. Group tearsheets together in chronological order. An brief accompanying statement should explain how the campaigns or public service endeavors resulted in betterment of the community. News stories that reveal previously hidden wrongs or perform the watchdog function of the press probably should be submitted in the local news or news series category. One entry per paper.

PHOTOGRAPHY -- BEST SINGLE SPOT NEWS PHOTO (GROUPS I, II, III)

Award to individual submitting best single spot news photo. Judged on reporting qualities as well as quality of reproduction and cutline assistance.

Entry: Submit tearsheets, clearly marked, showing the best single locally-produced photo. No more than two by each individual photographer with limit of four entries per paper.

PHOTOGRAPHY -- BEST SINGLE GENERAL FEATURE PHOTO (GROUPS I, II, III)

Award to individual submitting best single feature photo. Judged on reporting qualities as well as quality of reproduction and cutline assistance.

Entry: Submit tearsheets, clearly marked, showing the best single locally-produced photo. No more than two by each individual photographer with limit of four entries per paper.

PHOTOGRAPHY -- BEST SINGLE SPORTS PHOTO (GROUPS I, II, III)

Award to individual submitting best single sports photo. Entry judged on reporting qualities as well as quality of reproduction and cutline assistance.

Entry: Submit tearsheets, clearly marked. No more than two by each individual photographer with limit of four entries per paper.

PHOTOGRAPHY -- BEST PHOTO SERIES (GROUPS I, II, III)

Award to individual submitting best picture series. Entry may consist of paired pictures, picture sequence, picture group (miscellaneous pictures on a single subject), picture essay or picture story. Any accompanying text material will be considered in judging.

Entry: Submit tearsheets, clearly marked indicating the best photo series. No more than two by each individual photographer with limit of four entries per paper.

SPORTS -- BEST SINGLE SPORTS STORY (GROUPS I, II, III)

Award to individual publishing best locally-developed sports story. No columns.

Entry: Submit tearsheets, clearly marked indicating the best single sports story. No more than two by each writer with limit of four entries per paper.

SPORTS --BEST SINGLE SPORTS COLUMN (Bylined) (Groups I, II, III)

Award to individual publishing best locally-developed sports column.

Entry: Submit tearsheets, clearly marked indicating the best single sports column. No more than two by each writer with limit of four entries per paper.

SPORTS -- BEST SPORTS SECTION (GROUPS I, II, III)

Award to sports editor, or if there is no editor, to newspaper, publishing best locally-produced sports section.

Entry: Submit three issues in accordance with General Rule No. 3, with the sports section or pages clearly marked. One entry per paper.

NEWS -- BEST SINGLE SPOT NEWS STORY (GROUPS I, II, III)

Award to individual who writes and develops best locally-developed single spot news story (non-wire or syndicated source).

Entry: Submit tearsheets, clearly marked indicating the best single spot news story. Entries that represent a team effort should list team members and designate lead writer or editor. No more than two by each writer or team with limit of four entries per paper.

NEWS -- BEST SINGLE IN-DEPTH NEWS STORY (GROUPS I, II, III)

Award to individual who writes and develops best single in-depth locally-developed news story (non-wire or syndicated source).

Entry: Submit tearsheets, clearly marked, indicating the entered single story. Entries that represent a team effort should list team members and designate the lead writer or editor. No more than two by each writer or team with limit of four entries per paper.

NEWS -- BEST NEWS STORY SERIES (GROUPS I, II, III)

Award to individual who writes and develop best locally-developed news story series (non-wire or syndicated source). Series can be about one topic followed for several days or it could be an investigative series that has brought about a public awareness of matters previously hidden from the public.

Entry: Submit tearsheets, clearly marked to indicate entered stories. Entries that represent a team effort should list team members and designate the lead writer or editor. One entry per paper.


BEST SINGLE BUSINESS/FINANCIAL/CONSUMER STORY (GROUPS I, II, III)

Award to individual who writes best locally-developed single story reporting on business, financial or consumer matters. Can be either news or feature story.

Entry: Submit tearsheets, clearly marked indicating single story being entered. No more than two by each writer with limit of four entries per paper.

BEST SINGLE SCIENCE/TECHNOLOGY STORY (GROUPS I, II, III)

Award to individual who writes best single locally-developed story reporting, explaining or interpreting a scientific or technological subject. Story may be either feature or news.

Entry: Submit tearsheets, clearly marked, indicating the single story being entered. No more than two by each writer with limit of four entries per paper.

BEST SINGLE INFORMATIONAL GRAPHIC (GROUPS I, II, III)

Award to individual who produces best single original informational graphic. Graphics may be black and white or color. Judging will be based on originality, clarity and ability to illustrate concept or story the graphic supports. Graphs, maps, charts, and original illustrations are eligible. Illustrative photos should be entered in "Best Photo" category.

Entry: Submit full color tearsheets. Packages where more than one element is used for same project may be entered as a single graphic. No more than two entries by each individual with limit of four entries per paper.

BEST EDITORIAL PAGE(S) DESIGN (GROUPS I, II, III)

Award to newspaper showing excellence in editorial page makeup, typography, graphics and general appearances. Entries should consist of editorial pages from three issues published during contest year.

Entry: Submit editorial pages from three issues, as instructed in General Rule 3. One entry per paper.


CONTEST AND AWARDS SPONSORSHIP

The Journalism Program of the NIU Department of Communication conducts this contest (in cooperation with the Northern Illinois Newspaper Association) and sponsors plaques and awards for this contest. The Department reserves exclusive rights in determining, in accordance with contest rules, the eligibility of entries, judging of entries, and awarding recognition. A judging fee of $5 for every individual or newspaper entry in every category must be enclosed along with entry. Make contest entry checks payable to: Northern Illinois Newspaper Fund. Inquiries regarding the contest should be addressed to Lois Self, Chair, Department of Communication, Northern Illinois University, 815-753-1564; lself@niu.edu



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