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Ohio’s Best Journalism – 2018

OHIO SPJ AWARDS COMPETITION | www.ohiospjawards.org

1.     What is the Ohio’s Best Journalism competition? 

Ohio’s Best Journalism is a statewide competition presented jointly by the Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).  Its purpose is to honor print, broadcast, digital media, trade and college journalists in Ohio for their best work each year to serve the public interest and protect press freedom.  This program also recognizes the best college journalists and newspapers in the state.  

2.     Who is eligible to enter?

Journalists are eligible who work for newspaper, magazine, radio, television, trade, digital and college media in Ohio and adjacent states that have significant reach into Ohio. Freelance journalists, who are Ohio residents, are eligible, regardless of where their work is published, broadcast or webcast. Last year, we added numerous freelance categories in response to the growing number of freelance journalists. Click here for Freelance categories. Newsletter and blog submissions also are welcome. Entrants need not be members of the Society of Professional Journalists. Submitted work must have been published or broadcast in 2017.

 3.     Can college students enter? 

Yes.  College student material published in student publications or broadcast on student radio or television stations or online sites is eligible for either college or professional categories, but not both.   Student material published in a professional publication or broadcast on a professional radio or television station is only eligible for professional categories. College students pay a reduced fee of $10 per entry in the writing categories: news, feature, sports and opinion.  College newspapers may enter the best daily and best non-daily categories for free.

 4.     How do I enter? 

  • Paste this competition website URL into your browser:  https://ohiospjawards.secure-platform.com/a/solicitations/home/2
  • Follow instructions there to Create a New Account and click Register. If you have already created an account, simply log in with your username and password on the lefthand side of the page.
  • After clicking register (or logging in, for existing users), a new entry will automatically be created for you. 
  • Click on 'Click here to begin a new Submission,' and fill out the Entry Form, using your name and contact information, and information about that entry. 
  • You may go back to other applications in progress through the menu on the left hand side of the page under My Applications > In Progress and click on 'edit' of the entry you wish to revise or complete.
  • Upload all necessary items, then click 'Save.' 
  • Once the entry is complete click 'Add to Cart.' The submission is still editable by clicking on 'Make Changes' in your cart.
  • Click on 'Make Another Submission' to create a new entry.
  • When all entries are complete and put in your cart, click on 'Checkout' to continue and select your method of payment then click 'Process.'

CAUTION:  After you click 'Process' the entry has been submitted to the competition and is no longer editable. 

NOTE: Please be sure to correctly fill out the field requesting which name(s) should appear on the certificate(s) or plaque(s) if your submission wins an award. Please be sure to include the name of the media outlet as well.

5.     How many entries and categories may an individual submit? 

There is no limit on the number of categories an individual may enter.  There is a three-entry limit within any one category.

6.    Can one person manage and pay for an organization’s entries? Yes.

  • Paste this competition website URL into your browser:  https://ohiospjawards.secure-platform.com/a/solicitations/home/2
  • The organization’s contest manager should register and establish a username and password, enter their contact information, then share that username and password with persons who will be preparing and submitting entries the organization will be paying for.
  • Click on 'Click here to begin a new Submission,' and fill out the Entry Form, using your name and contact information, and information about that entry. 
  • You may go back to other applications in progress through the menu on the left hand side of the page under My Applications > In Progress and click on 'edit' of the entry you wish to revise or complete.
  • Upload all necessary items, then click 'Save.' 
  • Once the entry is complete, click 'Add to Cart.' The submission is still editable by clicking on 'Make Changes' in your cart until you click on 'Checkout.'
  • Click on 'Make Another Submission' to create a new entry.
  • The contest manager may log in at any time to review entries and see the balance due for all organization-paid entries.
  • When all entries have been uploaded, the contest manager then clicks on 'Checkout' to finalize transaction and select the payment method. 
  • DEADLINE:  Midnight Sunday, April 8, 2018.  

7.     How much are entry fees?   

A $30 entry fee must accompany each submission in each category, except College. College students pay a reduced fee of $10 to enter the writing categories of news, feature, sports and opinion.  College newspapers may enter free in the Best Daily and Best Non-Daily categories. 

8.     Is there a discount for SPJ members?  

Yes, SPJ members are eligible for a discount of $5 per entry.

  • To qualify for the SPJ Member Discount, you will have to provide the SPJ Member Number of the person who did the work.  In the event of a team project, at least one member of the team must be an SPJ member to qualify for the SPJ Member Discount.  You must provide your SPJ Member Number to get the discount.
  • To look up your SPJ Member Number, go to https://www.spj.org/members_edit.asp, or contact Linda Hall, SPJ Membership Director, at lindah@hq.spj.org. To become an SPJ member, go to http://www.spj.org/join.asp.

9.     When and how do I pay for ENTRIES? 

Payment timing is your choice. You may pay either online or by check.

  • After all entries have been added to your cart, click on 'Checkout' to select your method of payment. Once you select 'Process' the submission is considered complete and may no longer be edited.
  • You may pay by check. Checks must be sent by mail or courier postmarked prior to the contest deadline to Ohio’s Best Journalism, c/o Sarah Mills Bacha, P.O. Box 12812, Columbus, OH 43212. 

NOTE:  Include your contact information with each check, and clearly indicate in writing exactly which entries the check is payment for.

10.     I have an entry to submit that is located behind a pay wall. Is this OK? 

No. Please do not submit entries that are behind pay walls.  Entries behind pay walls will not be judged.

11.     How do I upload articles or columns that start on one page and are continued onto another page? 

Label articles and their continuations carefully.  Use a distinct title or label for each article or column and for each continuation page.  For instance, Column 1-a for the beginning of a column, and Column 1-b for the continuation of that same column.  Then Column 2-a and Column 2-b, etc. You may upload a maximum of six separate files per entry. If you have more than six, please combine files into a single .ZIP file to upload. 

12.     How do I upload a series that contains several articles?

Name the files in the exact order that you want the judges to read.  For example, if a series has three parts, upload them in the order in which they were published.  For instance, Schools-Part 1, Schools-Part 2, and Schools-Part 3. You may upload a maximum of six separate files per entry. If you have more than six, please combine files into a single .ZIP file to upload. 

13.     What about entries that include multiple items, like photos, tables, charts, sidebars, etc? How do I upload them? 

If you wish to enter more than one item (e.g. a pdf, a jpg, photos, tables, charts, sidebars, etc.,) you must give each item a distinctive name that is NOT identical to the entry name, or the name of any other supporting parts of the entry.  You may upload a maximum of six separate files per entry. If you have more than six, please combine files into a single .ZIP file to upload. 

14.     What file types are acceptable? 

The site permits entries in 31 formats, to accommodate text, images, video, and audio data.  The complete list of acceptable formats follows: .aiff, .au, .avi, .doc, .docx, .flv, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .m4v, .mp3, mp4, .mpg, .mpeg, .mov, .pdf, .ppt, .ppts, .psd, .rm, .snd, .swf, .tif, .tiff, .url, .wav, .wma, .wmv, .xls, .xlsx and .zip.   You can upload pdf, doc, or txt files.  For print, our preference is pdf, so we can see the article as it originally appeared online or in print. 

NOTE: You may upload a maximum of six separate files per entry. If you have more than six, please combine files into a single .ZIP file to upload. 

15.     My video file is too large. It won’t upload. 

If your video is available on your organization’s website, just post the URL so judges may access it.  If your video is not available on your media organization’s website, upload it to a site like Vimeo or YouTube and post that URL with your entry instead.

16.     What file types are acceptable for photos? 

Most photo file types are acceptable. Please see above list.

17.     To submit an entry in two different categories, do I have to upload the information twice? 

No. At the bottom of the entry, check the box "I want to submit this Submission to another Category" and then follow the prompts.

18.   How do I add additional names of people who contributed to an entry?

 To add additional names to any entry, fill in their name under "Additional Names" on the entry form.

19.     Must all contest entries be submitted online this year?  

Yes.

20.     As a freelancer, when setting up my entrant file, what do I use for "title?" 

Please say “Freelance.”

21.     OTHER QUESTIONS? 

If you have additional questions, please email Sarah Mills Bacha, contact@ohiospjawards.org.

 

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