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Awards for Excellence

NYNPA announces winners of 2015 Awards for Excellence contest

July 20, 2016

The New York News Publishers Association has announced the winners of its 2015 Awards for Excellence competition. This year’s winners were officially recognized at the 2016 Continuing Excellence Banquet and Reception on Wednesday, July 20 at The State Room in Albany.

The annual contest recognizes journalistic excellence among the association’s member newspapers.

This year, contest judges selected winners from 482 entries submitted by 26 New York State daily newspapers.

For the complete list of winners, download the 2015 contest's press release and presentation via the links below:


Registration Now Open for Awards for Excellence Banquet in Albany

Registration is now open for the 2016 Awards for Excellence Reception and Banquet.

Set for Wednesday, July 20th at The State Room in downtown Albany, the annual banquet recognizes winners of NYNPA's Awards for Excellence competition.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner and an awards ceremony which will include the presentation of plaques and certificates, as well as a slideshow featuring winning entries.

The cost to attend the banquet is $40 per person. Those wishing to attend may register online by clicking the link below, or they may register by phone at 518-449-1667 ext. 700. The deadline to register is Wednesday, July 13th.

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED

A block of rooms has been reserved for attendees of the banquet at the Renaissance Albany Hotel, located at 144 State Street. Attendees may take advantage of NYNPA’s special group rate of $189 plus tax by making reservations via this link.

Please click here for directions to The State Room, and contact Don Ferlazzo with questions at 518-449-1667 ext. 700 or dferlazzo@nynpa.com.


2015 Contest Information

Contest Eligibility
All member newspapers of the New York News Publishers Association are eligible to enter.

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Sponsorship
The contest is sponsored by the New York News Publishers Association.

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Purpose
The contest is designed to: encourage continuing excellence in newspaper service; suitably reward excellence in various categories of news, editorial, and photographic presentation; and benefit the public relations of newspapers.

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Contest Description
First place will be awarded in each of 23 categories in five circulation classes to those NYNPA member newspapers whose entries have demonstrated editorial and/or photographic excellence.

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Entry Fees (per piece submitted)
$15.00 - Under 10,000 circulation
$20.00 - 10,000-24,999 circulation
$25.00 - 25,000-49,999 circulation
$30.00 - 50,000-75,000 circulation
$35.00 - Over 75,000 circulation

Fees collected are used to defray costs associated with administering the contest.  Where the rules of a category require, or present the option of, submitting more than one piece (Ex. Distinguished Community Service), all pieces submitted in that category will count as a single entry.  Fees may be paid via check or with credit card via PayPal.

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Payment Instructions
Once again, our online entry system will automatically generate an invoice with your newspaper's calculated entry fee. Use this invoice to pay via check, or pay with credit card via PayPal using the button below:

NYNPA Awards for Excellence

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Circulation Classes
Entries will be placed into one of five circulation classes according to each newspaper’s daily 12-month average circulation as reported by our members. Newspapers that publish a Sunday edition as well as a daily edition will be classified according to the average of all editions published by that newspaper. The new circulation classes for the 2015 competition are as follows:
1. Under 10,000
2. 10,000-24,999
3. 25,000-49,999
4. 50,000-75,000
5. Over 75,000

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Entry Guidelines
Each newspaper is allowed to enter a maximum of three (3) entries per category, and may enter a given entry in any or all of the listed categories for which it qualifies.

In order for an entry to be eligible for this competition, the following criteria must be met:

  • The entry must have been originally published either in print or online during the contest eligibility period of January 1 to December 31, 2015, or be part of a series that either began or ended during that period.
  • The entry must not have been entered in a previous incarnation of this competition (Ex. the 2013-14 contest), either individually or as part of a series.
  • The entry must meet any additional criteria of a given category as outlined in that category’s description.

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How to Enter
Each newspaper must designate a “Contestant Manager” who will be responsible for managing all entries and adding other "Authorized Entrants" for that paper.

If your paper participated in last year’s contest, please use the same Contest Manager password from that contest. (To retrieve lost login information for your Contest Manager click “Forgot password” at login and it will be e-mailed to the Contest Manager on file, or contact Don Ferlazzo at 518-449-1667 ext. 700 or dferlazzo@nynpa.com.)

If your paper did not participate in last year’s contest, the first person who logs in to the contest website from your newspaper should be your paper's Contestant Manager, as he or she will have full control over all entries and adding additional users for your paper. After that person has uploaded two entries he/she will be recognized by the website as the Contestant Manager and asked to verify his/her role via e-mail. Once the Contestant Manager has been verified he/she will be able to add Authorized Entrants who can also upload, edit, and delete entries for your paper.

To get started, your paper’s designated Contestant Manager should follow these steps:

  1. Log on to www.BetterBNC.com/nynpa2015
  2. Click on "Login to this Contest" in the upper right corner of the page
  3. Select “Contestant Manager”
  4. Select your newspaper under "Media Organization"
  5. Enter either your existing password (if registered last year) or the temporary password of “bnc” (if new to the contest).
  6. Enter or confirm your information, then submit your entries online as PDFs, JPEGs, URLs, or Microsoft Word documents.

After submitting all entries for the contest online the Contestant Manager must fill out the contest entry form on the back cover of this booklet (also available for download at www.nynpa.com/docs/entryform2015.pdf) and mail it to NYNPA with one check to cover the full amount of all entries being submitted by that newspaper, or with a copy of a payment receipt from PayPal.

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Entry Deadline
All entries must be received no later than Friday, March 18, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. No entries will be accepted after the deadline.

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Entry Fee Deadline
A corresponding entry form and accompanying payment or proof of payment via PayPal must be received by NYNPA no later than Friday, March 25, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.

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Winning Entries
Winners will be notified by mail in May 2016 and invited to attend the annual awards ceremony, where the official announcements will take place.

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Awards Banquet
Winners of the 2015 NYNPA Awards for Excellence will be honored at The State Room, 100 State Street in Albany on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 from 6:30 to 9:00 PM. The cost to attend the event is $40 per person. Please use the link below to register online. To register by phone call Don Ferlazzo at (518) 449-1667 ext. 700. Deadline to register is July 13th.

Register Online

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Subject Categories
(Note: Print and digital content is eligible for entry in all categories, except in categories 118-20, which are reserved for online-only content, and categories 21-23, which are reserved for newspaper supplement and/or specialty publication content.) 

  1. Distinguished Breaking News Coverage
    Submissions should demonstrate effective newspaper response to deadline demands. Submissions may consist of a single story or a group of stories by one or more reporters relating to the same event. Submissions should demonstrate clarity, thoroughness, balance, and aggressiveness in the coverage of local spot news.

  2. Distinguished Live Sports Coverage – NEW CATEGORY!
    Submissions should demonstrate effective newspaper response to deadline demands as related to live sporting events. Submissions may consist of a single story or a group of stories by one or more reporters relating to the same event. Submissions should demonstrate clarity, thoroughness, balance, and aggressiveness in the coverage of local live sports.

  3. Distinguished Investigative Reporting
    Submissions should demonstrate thorough, thoughtful, fair, and resourceful reporting of local stories that reveal corruption or malfeasance or inherent flaws in the functioning of society's institutions, and/or stories that effectively measure the performance of those institutions against their stated missions. Submissions may consist of a single story or a group of stories by one or more reporters relating to the same event.

  4. Distinguished Business Reporting
    Submissions should demonstrate effective newspaper coverage of business and the economy, skillful investigative reporting and excellence in writing style, editing, display and other pertinent criteria. The subject matter should deal primarily with how business and economic events relate to individuals and the newspaper's community. In this category, a submission may be one or more articles from the same edition relating to the same story, or a series of articles on a common subject running on different days.

  5. Distinguished Beat Reporting
    Submissions should demonstrate sustained and knowledgeable coverage of a particular subject or activity of local interest. Submissions should be a series of no more than five reports on the same subject or activity by the same writer.

  6. Distinguished Editorial Writing
    Submissions should demonstrate a genuine concern for local community problems; courage in taking a position regardless of the popular view and/or against own self-interest; originality of viewpoint and style; and other pertinent criteria. Each submission must be a local editorial. One or more editorials by the same writer on the same subject may be submitted to this category.

  7. Distinguished Feature Writing
    Submissions should showcase good writing in non-deadline situations. Submissions may include personality profiles, trend stories, narratives and general features. Submissions should demonstrate style, originality and the ability to make readers laugh, cry or feel. Submissions may consist of a single story or a series of stories from one or more editions relating to the same subject.          

  8. Distinguished Sports Writing – NEW DESCRIPTION!
    Submissions should demonstrate effective coverage of the people, institutions or trends in the local sports community employing thorough, thoughtful, fair, and resourceful reporting as well as quality writing. Submissions may consist of a single story or a group of stories by one or more reporters relating to the same topic.

  9. Distinguished Column Writing
    Submissions should demonstrate originality, insight, wit, the capacity to illuminate character, and the capacity to enhance the reader's understanding of persons and events in the community served by the newspaper. Submissions may be a single column or a body of work by the same writer up to a maximum of five columns.

  10. Distinguished Sports Column Writing – NEW CATEGORY!
    Submissions should demonstrate originality, insight, wit, the capacity to illuminate character, and the capacity to enhance the reader’s understanding of persons and events in local or national sports. Submissions may be a single body of work by the same writer up to a maximum of five columns.

  11. Distinguished Headline Writing
    Submissions should demonstrate clarity, creativity, and the capacity to distill and capture the essence of the story. Single submissions only will be accepted in this category.

  12. Distinguished Community Service
    Submissions (in this category a submission may be a series of articles and/or editorials on a common subject) should demonstrate effort and effect on the part of the local newspaper toward the improvement of the community served, as well as an effort on the newspaper’s part to engage the community through both traditional and new media.

  13. Distinguished State Government Coverage
    Submissions should demonstrate effective newspaper coverage of state government as manifested in service to the community; skillful investigative reporting and excellence in writing style, editing, display, and other pertinent criteria. The subject matter should deal primarily with an aspect of state government - the legislature, executive branch, a specific state agency, etc. - and how it relates to the community. In this category, a submission may be one or more articles from the same edition relating to the same story, or a series of articles on a common subject running on different days.

  14. Distinguished Page Design/Presentation
    Submissions should demonstrate strong visual appeal, style and originality; and should enhance the written content, making it easy to understand or navigate. Submissions may be a single page or a body of work designed by the same person, up to a maximum of three examples. If submitting a series, up to three days' editions may be included.

  15. Distinguished News Photography
    Submissions should demonstrate news value, timeliness, communicative effectiveness, and skill as shown in composition and technical quality. A submission may be one or more photographs from one or more editions relating to the same news event.

  16. Distinguished Feature Photography
    Submissions should demonstrate imagination in the handling of feature subjects; communicative effectiveness; appeal to reader interest; and skill in composition, technical quality, and cropping. A submission may be one or more photographs from one or more editions relating to the same feature subject.

  17. Distinguished Sports Photography
    Submissions should sharply capture the drama inherent in human athletic competition and draw the reader's eye to peak action, capturing the moment and communicating it on an emotional level with a high degree of technical skill, composition and quality. A submission may be one or more photographs from one or more editions relating to the same subject.

  18. Distinguished Online Photo Gallery
    Submissions should consist of a series of photographs which appeared on a newspaper’s website in a single gallery. Submissions should enhance the story to which the gallery is attached, while demonstrating the highest standards of photojournalism.

  19. Distinguished Online Blog
    Submissions should demonstrate timeliness, originality, insight, reader interaction and the capacity to enhance the reader's understanding of persons and events in the community served by the newspaper. Submissions may be a single day's blog entry or entries, or a series of blog entries over the course of the year by the same writer, with a maximum of ten entries.

  20. Distinguished Multi-Media Presentation
    Submissions should demonstrate work that incorporates distinguished journalistic storytelling via media other than the print format. Submissions may consist of web-based interactive graphics and displays, videos, photo galleries and audio slideshows, or any combination of all of these elements. Creativity, ease-of-use for the website visitor, impact on the community and overall technical execution will be among factors considered by the judges.

  21. Distinguished News Supplement – NEW CATEGORY!
    Submissions should demonstrate imaginative layout and design; creative use of headlines; solid, staff-written articles; and high-quality photos relating to a breaking news event. Submissions should also demonstrate knowledge of and connection with the newspaper’s community, and must contain primarily locally-produced content. Submissions may be one example of a regularly-produced weekly supplement, or a one-time supplement or publication.

  22. Distinguished Sports Supplement – NEW CATEGORY!
    Submissions should demonstrate imaginative layout and design; creative use of headlines; solid, staff-written articles; and high-quality photos relating to a local or national sporting event. Submissions should also demonstrate knowledge of and connection with the newspaper’s community, and must contain primarily locally-produced content. Submissions may be one example of a regularly-produced weekly supplement, or a one-time supplement or publication.

  23. Distinguished Feature Supplement – NEW CATEGORY!
    Submissions should demonstrate imaginative layout and design; creative use of headlines; solid, staff-written articles; and high-quality photos relating to a common feature. Submissions should also demonstrate knowledge of and connection with the newspaper’s community, and must contain primarily locally-produced content. Submissions may be one example of a regularly-produced weekly supplement, or a one-time supplement or publication.

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Official Rules and Entry Information Booklet
Please download the Official Rules and Entry Information Booklet for contest rules, guidelines, and instructions on how to enter:

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Contact Us
The following people are available to help you with various aspects of our competition:

Contest Support (rules, best practices, lost login credentials)
Don Ferlazzo, Director of Advertising & Event Management, NYNPA
(518) 449-1667 ext, 700, dferlazzo@nynpa.com

Technical Support (contest website)
Cody France, SmallTownPapers, Inc.
(360) 427-6300, cody@smalltownpapers.com or visit www.betterbncsupport.com

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Archived 2013-2014 Contest Information

The New York News Publishers Association has announced the winners of its 2013-2014 Awards for Excellence competition. This year’s winners were officially recognized at the Continuing Excellence Banquet and Reception on Wednesday, July 22 at The State Room in Albany.

The annual contest recognizes journalistic excellence among the association’s member newspapers.

This year, contest judges selected winners from 480 entries submitted by 28 New York State daily newspapers.

Once again, the Poughkeepsie Journal was the biggest winner of the competition, taking home 14 awards in the 25,000-49,999 circulation group.

Other big winners of the contest included Newsday (12 awards in Over 175,000), the Press-Republican in Plattsburgh (11 awards in 10,000-24,999), The Post-Standard in Syracuse (8 awards in 50,000-175,000) and the Finger Lakes Times in Geneva (7 awards in 10,000-24,999).

Additionally, four people were honored with NYNPA’s John Peter Zenger Award, which recognizes individuals who demonstrate an unyielding dedication to freedom of the press in the state of New York. The 2015 honorees were Donna Donovan, Lisa Robert Lewis, Barbara Lombardo and Barry Rothfeld.

For the complete list of winners and bios of the John Peter Zenger Award winners, or to view the awards banquet slideshow presentation, please utilize the links below:

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Archived 2012-2013 Contest Information

The New York News Publishers Association has announced the winners of its 2012-2013 Awards for Excellence competition. This year’s winners were officially recognized at the Continuing Excellence Banquet and Reception on Wednesday, April 9 at The State Room in Albany. The annual contest recognizes journalistic excellence among the association’s member newspapers.

Contest judges selected winners from 567 entries submitted by 34 New York State daily newspapers. To download the banquet's awards presentation slideshow or NYNPA's official press release announcing this year's contest winners please use the links below:

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Archived 2011-2012 Contest Information
The New York News Publishers Association has announced the winners of its 2011-2012 Awards for Excellence competition. This year’s winners were officially recognized at the Continuing Excellence Banquet and Reception on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at The State Room in Albany. The annual contest recognizes journalistic excellence among the association’s member newspapers.

Contest judges selected winners from 566 entries submitted by 37 New York State daily newspapers. For a complete list of results, please download the official press release below:

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Archived 2010-2011 Contest Information
The New York News Publishers Association has announced the winners of its 2010-2011 Awards for Excellence competition. This year’s winners were officially recognized at the Continuing Excellence Banquet and Reception on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at The State Room in Albany. The annual contest recognizes journalistic excellence among the association’s member newspapers.

Contest judges selected winners from 512 entries submitted by 28 New York State daily newspapers. For a complete list of results, please download either of the following documents:

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Archived 2009-2010 Contest Information
The New York News Publishers Association has announced the winners of its 2009-2010 Awards for Excellence competition. This year’s winners were officially recognized at the Continuing Excellence Banquet and Reception on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at The State Room in Albany. The annual contest recognizes journalistic excellence among the association’s member newspapers.

Contest judges selected winners from 644 entries submitted by 33 New York State daily newspapers. For a complete list of results, please download any of the following documents:

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Archived 2008-2009 Contest Information
Each year, the New York News Publishers Association recognizes newspapers and their staff members for their hard work in service to the fine art of newspapering. The annual Awards for Excellence competition serves as a testament to the dedication of newspaper professionals to the highest ideals of the industry.

NYNPA has announced the winners of its 2008-2009 Awards for Excellence competition. This year's winners were officially recognized at the Excellence Awards Dinner and Reception on Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at The State Room in Albany.

Contest judges selected winners from 517 entries submitted by 29 New York State daily newspapers, and awards were presented in each of 19 categories within five circulation classes.

The Poughkeepsie Journal and the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester were the two biggest winners of the competition, each taking home nine awards in their circulation classes. Other big winners on the night included The Buffalo News (8), the Press & Sun-Bulletin (5), the Adirondack Daily Enterprise (5), and The Saratogian (5). For a complete list of winners, please download the official press release or awards presentation below:

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