Entry period is open now for the 2019-20 Texas Better Newspaper Contest - with about three and a half weeks left until the deadline.
Participants may upload entries on the contest platform, www.betternewspapercontest.com, through Monday, Oct. 5.
All material submitted for judging must have been published between Sept. 1, 2019, and Aug. 31, 2020.
Member newspapers in good standing (2020 dues paid) who were also members throughout the contest period, Sept. 1, 2019, through Aug. 31, 2020, are eligible to enter the contest.
The rulebook for the 2019-20 contest is available online at www.texaspress.com/bnc.
The contest has expanded to 18 categories this year, giving member newspapers more ways show off their best work in statewide competition. 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 new Online Live Coverage category includes coverage published on a newspaper’s website and through social media venues as well as the print edition.
Categories for the 2019-20 contest include Advertising, Best Magazine, Best Website, Column Writing, Community Service, Editorial Writing, Feature Photos, Feature Writing, General Excellence, Headline Writing, News Photos, News Writing, Online Live Coverage, Page Design, Public Notice, Special Section, Sports Coverage and Sports Photos.
The contest fee has increased from $5 to $10 per category entered.
With 18 categories, the most a participating newspaper could pay is $180 if all categories are entered. Entry fees help cover contest expenses, such as the cost of the online contest platform as well as more than 150 plaques and 400 award certificates presented at the annual awards luncheon.
The contest has up to 10 divisions based on frequency of publication and circulation. Division 1 is 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 during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, newspapers will enter divisions based on the frequency of their publication on Feb. 1, 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 contest will be judged by volunteer members of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association. Awards will be presented at the annual awards luncheon during the annual TPA Convention and Trade Show, Jan. 21-23, 2021 in Denton.