The 2013 Texas Better Newspaper Contest opens Feb. 11 at www.betterbnc.com and closes March 29. Check your mailbox at the beginning of February for contest rules and instructions on how to enter.
Like the industry itself, the Better Newspaper Contest is evolving. This year we’re unveiling the biggest upgrade to our contest in years — an online entry platform.
Texas Press Association is partnering with SmallTownPapers’ BetterBNC to host the 2013 Texas Better Newspaper Contest online. The association joins the ranks of 120 press organizations, including the National Newspaper Association, to offer contestants and judges a faster, more efficient way to participate.
In the deadline-driven world of newspaper production, time is a valuable commodity. (So put down your glue stick and throw away those old entry labels!) The digital entry method reduces time spent on preparation. It also saves money on shipping costs and makes the contest platform accessible from any location with Internet access.
“Last year the National Newspaper Association went to online entries for their contest, and I was surprised how smoothly the system worked,” said TPA President Russel Skiles. “It was much easier to submit PDF files online than it was to look up old papers, pull out tear sheets, mark them up, label them and get them shipped.
“Submitting entries online in PDF format also eliminates problems with print quality and color registration of photos,” he added.
Members can expect a change in the entry fee structure this year. The BetterBNC platform requires contestants pay per entry. Instead of a flat $25 fee, members will pay $3 per entry.
We’ve also made significant improvements and clarifications to contest rules. Most importantly, the month requirement has been removed from all categories except General Excellence.
For the first time, newspapers can submit their best work from any issues in 2012. In categories such as News Writing or News Photo, one entry still comprises two samples of work (now from any two issues of your choice).
In implementing these changes, we sought to make a more streamlined contest for members, judges and staff that showcases the very best of Texas newspapers. We hope you’ll agree.