AUSTIN – The Texas Better Newspaper Contest is now accepting 2018 contest entries from TPA member newspapers.
Deadline for entries is March 22.
TPA members are invited to submit entries through the Better Newspaper Contest portal, which can be accessed at www.texaspress.com/bnc. The contest page includes a link to the 2018 Call for Entries rules booklet.
The best way to ensure entries are uploaded successfully is not waiting until the last minute. Those who have entered the contest in past years still have active accounts with passwords. Those entering for the first time will be assigned a password with instructions on how to change it after setting up an account.
Everyone is encouraged to log in or create an account at least two weeks before the deadline to ensure everything goes smoothly. It’s not necessary to upload all entries at one time. Entries may be posted in some categories and saved for more uploads on another day.
For help with lost passwords or other information, contact contest coordinator Candace Velvin at firstname.lastname@example.org, 512-477-6755 or cell, 512-541-5398.
All entries must be submitted via the online contest platform at www.texaspress.com/bnc by 5 p.m. Thursday, March 22. The software will automatically close the contest to entries at deadline. No late entries will be accepted.
Entries in the Texas BNC will be judged this year by members of the Nebraska Press Association.
Winners will be announced at the annual contest awards luncheon on June 23 at the conclusion of the TPA Newspaper Leadership Retreat at La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa in Montgomery.
TPA contest history
While there have been statewide newspaper contests throughout TPA’s 138-year history, the current Texas Better Newspaper Contest has roots in the 1949 event, when the contest was expanded to seven competitions in four divisions based on frequency of publication and population of the cities and towns where the newspapers were based.
In earlier years, TPA honored best all-around weeklies with an award sponsored by The Dallas Morning News known as the Belo Cup. The award for best all-around dailies was sponsored by several different newspapers. In addition, during the 1930s and 40s, the W.N. Beard Advertising Awards had two categories for recognizing outstanding advertisements.
The first expanded newspaper contest in 1949 attracted 216 entries from 75 member newspapers, according to the Texas Press Messenger, which ran a photo of the stack of entries mailed to the TPA office. At the summer meeting that year in Galveston, 85 awards were presented in the categories of general excellence, agriculture promotion, column writing, editorial, advertising, news pictures and press work, typography and makeup.
In 1949, contest entries were mailed or delivered to the TPA headquarters office for judging prior to the summer meeting, when awards were presented. In the years prior to 1949, participants brought their entries with them to the summer convention, where the entries were judged just before the awards presentation, usually by university journalism faculty and/or newspaper editors and staff from out of state.
General excellence winners of Belo Cups in 1949 were The Kilgore News Herald, the Wellington Leader and the Kaufman Herald.
Taking home “copper engraved, nickel-plated first place plaques” supported by various sponsors were the Gainesville Record, Lufkin Daily News, San Marcos Record, Robstown Record (2), Weslaco News, Lampasas Dispatch, Hereford Sunday Brand, Post Dispatch, Kaufman Herald (3), Carrizo Springs Javelin and Grapeland Messenger.
Texas Press switched to a digital contest in 2013. Participants are no longer required to label entries and mail them.