It’s time to start organizing entries for the 2019-20 Texas Better Newspaper Contest.
The online contest platform will open for entries on Monday, Sept. 7, at betternewspapercontest.com. Deadline for entries is 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 5.
Material submitted in the contest must have been published during the contest period, Sept. 1, 2019 through Aug. 31, 2020. To download the contest rules, click here.
With the exception of the Best Magazine, Best Website and Online Live Coverage categories, material submitted must have been published in the participating newspaper’s print product.
This year’s contest has expanded to include 18 categories. A TPA board-appointed contest committee studied current and historic versions of the annual statewide contest and recommended the addition of three new competition categories and elimination of one category which had declining participation.
New competition categories include Online Live Coverage recognizing breaking coverage of a single news, sports or entertainment event, planned or unplanned; Public Notice Coverage for outstanding reporting that originated with a public notice or legal notice published in the newspaper, such as a story or series about citizens taking part in opposing or changing an action that would have happened if the notice had not run; and Best Magazine for outstanding work in a staff-produced special-interest magazine published by a newspaper twice or more each year. The Best Magazine category replaces the Blue Moon Special Section category, which had experienced declining participation among weekly newspapers in recent years.
The new Online Live Coverage category includes coverage published on a newspaper’s website and through social media venues as well as the print edition.
The contest will continue to have up to 10 divisions, with Division 1 reserved for the five metro dailies in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. Divisions 2 and higher will be divided based on the total number of participating newspapers, frequency of publication (daily, semiweekly and weekly) and by circulation.
Since many newspapers changed frequency of publication in 2020, newspapers will enter divisions based on the frequency of their publication for six months of the contest period, Sept. 1, 2019 through Aug. 31, 2020. Circulation breakdowns will be based on newspapers’ Statements of Ownership, Management and Circulation (PS Form 3526) published in October 2019.
Material submitted in the contest must have been published during the contest period, Sept. 1, 2019 through Aug. 31, 2020. With the exception of the Best Magazine, Best Website and Online Live Coverage categories, material submitted must have been published in the participating newspaper’s print product.
The 2019-20 Texas Better Newspaper Contest will be judged by volunteer members of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association. Awards will be presented at the annual awards luncheon during the 2021 TPA Convention and Trade Show, Jan. 21-23, 2021 in Denton.