Sunshine-State-Awards-Blue

20th Annual Sunshine State Awards

Deadline Extended! Enter by March 7!

SPJ members get a free entry!

 

SPJ’s Florida Pro Chapter is pleased to announce the 20th annual Sunshine State Awards competition, open to all professional print, broadcast and online journalists in the state of Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This year we have added a Spanish-language division in partnership with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. We also offer a Student division for students at Florida colleges and universities.

The Sunshine State Awards recognize quality journalism in the best tradition of our profession. Out-of-state journalists will judge all entries and may award first-, second- and third-place honors in each category. Finalists will be notified in late April and winners will be announced at the annual Sunshine State Awards ceremony. See the entry guidelines for more.

SPECIAL CATEGORIES DIVISION 

  • Eligible: All professional print, television, radio, or online journalists working in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

James Batten Award for Public Service: Named in honor of late Knight-Ridder Chairman and CEO James Batten, a champion of “civic journalism.” Entries must contribute to the public good by correcting a wrong, bringing to light an issue or adding significantly to the public debate. Entries will be judged by the significance of the contribution, initiative in overcoming opposition and evidence of courage. Up to 10 items may be entered, including coverage, a required supporting statement of up to 400 words, and other supporting elements of your choice.

Gene Miller Award for Investigative Reporting: Named in honor of late Miami Herald reporter and editor Gene Miller. Investigative reporting in the public interest, in a single report or a series. Stories should be original reporting that exposes a wrong or promotes understanding of a problem, issue, or subject in the public interest.

Diversity Award: Supporting one of SPJ’s core missions to encourage diversity in journalism, this award honors a journalist of color or sexual minority. Submit up to six samples.

First Amendment Foundation Freedom of Information Award: The First Amendment Award honors a journalist or news organization for outstanding use of public records in reporting or advocacy of rights such as press freedom and public access. Named after Florida’s First Amendment Foundation. Submit up to three samples.

Integrity Florida Award for Public Corruption Reporting: Honors a journalist or news organization for exposing government corruption. Named after Integrity Florida, a government watchdog. Submit up to three samples.

Journalist of the Year: Honors a single journalist with the most outstanding body of print, broadcast or online work during 2013. Submit up to six samples.

Anchor of the Year: Honors an outstanding broadcast anchor. Submit up to six samples.

NEWSPAPER DIVISION

  • Eligible: Journalists (staff and freelancers) working for newspapers produced and/or circulated in Florida; wire service bureaus in Florida; and Florida bureaus of national and out-of-state publications.
  • Online journalists may also enter the writing categories in this division. 
  • Certain categories contain sub-categories based on circulation size:
    Large: Publications with circulation of 100,000 or more (including their associated online content), as well as all wire services
    Small: Publications with circulation of less than 100,000 (including their associated online content) as well as standalone online products

Breaking News Reporting (Large/Small): Deadline coverage of a breaking news event, plus appropriate follows. Submit a single report or series. Judges will consider deadline pressures, complexity of subject and story length, interest, and importance.

Non-Deadline News Reporting (Large/Small): Enterprise reporting that digs deeper into a newsworthy topic or subject. Submit a single report or series.

Feature Reporting (Large/Small): Narrative pieces, trend stories, enterprisers, and human-interest stories that do not fit clearly into other categories. Submit a single report only; no series. Judges will consider originality of approach, the drama evoked, clarity, suitability of the writing to the subject, and sustained writing quality.

Series: Submit up to six samples of a news or feature series on one topic.

Commentary & Criticism – General: Analysis or interpretation of news events. Submit up to three samples.

Commentary & Criticism – Arts: Analysis or interpretation of arts/cultural events, including arts reviews. Submit up to three samples.

Editorial Writing: Submit three samples; can be on one topic or multiple topics.

Editorial Cartoon: Submit three samples on any topic.

Beat Reporting: Submit a portfolio of work (no more than six stories) that shows sustained excellence in covering a beat. Judges will consider variety of stories, source development, story generation and beat familiarization. A 250-word supporting statement per category is optional. Awards will be given in each of the following areas of coverage:

  • Arts (not criticism)
  • Business
  • Children’s Issues
  • Community: includes municipalities and industry-specific groups
  • Consumer Issues
  • Crime/Courts
  • Education
  • Environmental/Health/Science
  • Government/Politics
  • Minority Issues
  • Religion
  • Sports

Special Publication/Section: Best overall quality, including news value, writing, design, story mix, etc., in a special, one-time-only section of a publication. Must consist of editorial content produced by editorial staff.

PHOTOGRAPHY & DESIGN DIVISION

  • Spanish-language publications may enter these categories if translations for cutlines/major story elements are provided.

Breaking News Photography (Large/Small): Deadline coverage of a breaking news event, plus appropriate follows. Submit a single report or series.

Feature Photography: A single published photo, either stand-alone or part of a story.

Photography Story: A collection of photos printed together that tell a story — either news or feature in nature. Not for continuing coverage of a subject.

Art/Photo Illustration: Specially designed art and/or photos to illustrate a story. Submit three tear sheets by a single artist or team.

Infographic: Standalone infographic or part of a story. Submit up to three samples.

Front Page Design (Large/Small): Submit three samples by one artist or team. Can represent the newspaper’s front page or section front. 

MAGAZINE DIVISION 

Investigative Reporting: Stories should be original reporting that exposes a wrong or promotes understanding of a problem, issue, or subject in the public interest.

Feature Reporting: Submit a single report on a topic. Judges will consider originality of approach, the drama evoked, clarity, suitability of the writing to the subject, and sustained writing quality.

Profile Reporting: Submit a single report that showcases a person. Could be a news or feature report, or a column. Judges will consider originality of approach, the drama evoked, clarity, suitability of the writing to the subject, and sustained writing quality.

Commentary & Criticism: Analysis or interpretation of news or cultural events, including art reviews. Submit up to three samples.

Trade/Special Interest Publication: Best overall quality, including news value, writing, design, story mix, etc., in a publication focusing on a specialized audience. Submit two complete issues.

Cover Design: Submit three samples.

Inside Design: Submit three samples. Can be a spread or story design.

Best Single Issue: Submit a sample of your best issue. Judges will consider content, design and overall layout.                       

TELEVISION DIVISION 

Best Newscast: Best overall news and feature quality, including news value, writing, production, story mix, etc. Submit one complete broadcast of your choice.

Investigative Reporting: Submit a single report or a series. Stories should be original reporting that exposes a wrong or promotes understanding of a problem, issue, or subject in the public interest.

Spot News Reporting: Reporting of a single event in a single broadcast under deadline. Provide the date and time aired.

Government Coverage: A single report or a series of up to three pieces.

Continuing Coverage: Sustained excellence in covering an issue of local interest, such as a trial, election or political issue. Submit up to six pieces.

Feature Reporting: Profiles, trend pieces and human interest stories; submit a single report or a series. Judges will consider originality of approach, the drama evoked, clarity, suitability of the writing to the subject, and sustained writing quality.

Public Affairs: Submit a single public affairs program. Entries may be documentaries or regular programming. Entries must be the original work of the station. Town hall meetings are not eligible.

RADIO DIVISION 

Best Newscast: Best overall news and feature quality, including news value, writing, production, story mix, etc. Submit one complete broadcast of your choice.

General Coverage: Coverage of an issue of local interest, such as a trial, election or political issue. Submit up to six pieces.

Investigative Reporting: Submit a single report or a series. Stories should be original reporting that exposes a wrong or promotes understanding of a problem, issue, or subject in the public interest.

Government Coverage: A single report or a series.

Feature Reporting: Profiles, trend pieces and human interest stories; submit a single report or a series. Judges will consider originality of approach, the drama evoked, clarity, suitability of the writing to the subject, and sustained writing quality.

Public Affairs: Submit a single public affairs program. Entries may be documentaries or regular programming. Entries must be the original work of the station. Town hall meetings are not eligible.

ONLINE DIVISION 

  • See Newspaper Division for additional categories open to online journalists.

Blog – Affiliated: Blogs that are associated with or sponsored by a print or broadcast media. 

Blog – Independent: Stand-alone blogs sites not sponsored by print or broadcast media.

News Web Site: News Web sites of all sizes, regardless of whether they stand alone or are sponsored by print or broadcast media. Judges will evaluate the following:

  • Site’s overall value to users
  • Depth and originality of news content
  • Appropriate variety of content presentation methods (text, video, audio, etc.)
  • Quality of the writing
  • Usability (including navigation and accessibility)
  • Layout

Submit the URL of the home page as well as the URLs of two additional pages of the site for judging. Judges may navigate further to evaluate the entire site.

Package: A special, one-time project that includes but is not limited to the use of published writing (print or web), video, audio, social media or any combination of them. Judges will consider complexity of story and execution in all mediums submitted. One-time projects may include multiple pieces of all mediums.

User-Generated Content: A story in any format that was an interactive community collaboration. This includes, but is not limited to, blogging, podcasts, videos, and photos.

SPANISH-LANGUAGE DIVISION

  • Presentado en conjunto con la National Association of Hispanic Journalists – South Florida Chapter
  • Categorias en español estan abiertos a periodistas (empleados o independientes) trabajando en periódicos publicados ó distribuidos en la Florida; servicios de cable en la Florida; oficinas de periódicos nacionales en la Florida. Periodistas de medios digitales pueden someter escritos.
  • Ciertas categorías pueden tener subcategorías dependiendodel tamaño de la publicación.
  • Grandes:ublicaciones con una circulación de 100,000 o más(incluyendo contenido digital) y material de servicios de cable.
  • Pequeños: publicaciones con una circulación menor de 100,000 (incluyendo contenido digital) y productos autónomos.

Periodista del Año: Honra al periodista mas sobresaliente del año 2013. Someter seis muestras de su trabajo como máximo. (Todos los Medio de Comunicación estan invitados para entrar en esta categoría: Radio, Televisión, Prensa.) 

Mejor Reportaje de Investigación, Prensa: Reportaje de investigación de interés publico, en un soloreportaje o una serie. Los artículos deben ser originales,exponer irregularidades o promover entendimiento de un problema, asunto o sujeto de interés público.

Mejor Cubrimiento Noticias de Ultima Hora, Prensa (Large/Small): Cobertura de noticias de última hora, más el seguimiento apropiado. Someter un solo reportaje o una serie. Jueces considerarán presión, complejidad del sujeto y longitud, interés e importancia.

Mejor Reportaje Especial, Prensa (Large/Small): Artículos narrativos, empresariales y sobre las últimas tendencias ó el interés humano que no caben en las otras categorías. Someter un solo reportaje; series no seránaceptadas. Jueces considerarán la originalidad de la estrategia, el drama provocado, la claridad, la pertinenciade la escritura con el tema y calidad de la escritura.

Mejor Reportaje de Investigación de Television: Someter un solo informe o una serie. Las historias debenser reportajes originales que exponen un mal o promuevenel entendimiento de un problema, asunto o tema de interés público.

Mejor Noticias del Dia de Television: Presentación de un solo evento en una sola emisión bajoplazo. Proveer la fecha y hora que fue transmitido.

Mejor Reportajes de Television: Perfiles, tendencias e historias de interés humano; someterun solo informe o una serie. Los jueces tomarán en cuentala originalidad del enfoque, el drama que evoca, la claridad, redacción apropiada del tema y calidad continua de la escritura.
Student

STUDENT DIVISION

Eligible: Students whose work was published in 2013 by a student media outlet in Florida.

  • Sub-categories are based on frequency of school’s flagship publication:
    High Frequency: Published five or more times per month (includes daily and multiple issues per week)
    Low Frequency: Published one-four times per month (includes weekly, every other week, monthly or fewer)
    School with the most finalists in the Student categories will be named College Publication of the Year.

College Journalist of the Year: Honors the college journalist displaying the most promise through published or broadcast stories. Submit six of your best stories published in 2013 and a signed recommendation letter from an adviser or teacher.

Best Student Publication (High/Low): Submit any three print issues from 2013. Every page will be judged on writing, photography, and design.

Best Website (High/Low): Judges will review 2013 content to determine which site best covered its community. Includes everything from breaking news to videos to slideshows to entertainment reviews.

Best Facebook Page (High/Low): Judges will review 2013 content to determine which page best covered its community. Judges will consider frequency of updates, news value, and relevant links.

Best News Story (High/Low): Can be a breaking story, student government election coverage, an investigation, or anything in between. As long as it delivers on what it sets out to do.

Best News Photo (High/Low): Any single photo that is not posed or sports.

Best Profile (High/Low): On anyone about anything. Judges will look more favorably on campus profiles, which are harder to do and much more relevant to your media outlet’s mission.

Best Review (High/Low): Submit a review of a movie, concert, art exhibit book, play, or anything else we haven’t thought about. Judges will favor reviews of either campus or local arts, or national pieces with a unique student angle. Copying the styles of national reviewers will net you nothing.

Best Sports Story (High/Low): Can be a gamer, a profile, analysis, or anything else other than a column.

Best Sports Column (High/Low): A column expressing an opinion, slant or viewpoint.

Best Sports Photo (High/Low):  Photo capturing a moment in college sports.

Best Opinion Column – A column on anything but sports, expressing an opinion, slant or viewpoint.

Best Page Design (High/Low): Can include a front page, a magazine cover, or a photo page. Judges look for creativity but also adherence to the basics (such as uniform spacing between elements).

Best Video (High/Low): Can be news, feature, sports, or anything else that covered in your campus community. Judges have no preconceptions and are waiting to be impressed. Five-minute time limit; shorter is better.

Best Coverage of LGBT issues – Submit one or more stories, columns, and photos. This award is co-sponsored by SFGN, Florida’s largest gay publication, and the South Florida chapter of the Association of LGBT Journalists.

Best Coverage of Race and Minorities – Submit one or more stories, columns, and photos. This award is co-sponsored by the South Florida chapters of the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.