The awards, which encompass nine categories and honor the best in print, online and mobile content, do not include circulation divisions. This means a small weekly newspaper or even a one-person blogger competes head-to-head with traditional award-winning juggernauts, such as The New York Times and The Washington Post.
Having no circulation divisions could mean to some competitors that it's more difficult to win an award, but, on the other hand, it makes victory that much sweeter. Journalists at the El Paso (Texas) Times; The Joplin Globe; The Bergen County Record; the Wisconsin State Journal, Madison; The News-Star, Monroe, La.; and the Denton (Texas) Record-Chronicle have been winners in the ASNE Awards competition in the past six years. In the ASNE contest, quality journalism finds its way to the top of the pile regardless of the size of the organization producing it.
In calculating entry fees, however, the ASNE contest does take size into account. There is a $70 fee for newspapers with circulations above 100,000 and a $40 entry fee for everyone else, including online-only news organizations. The contest is open to all newspapers, news services and news websites in the United States, including those without an ASNE member on staff.
All participating organizations must have a contest-website login to submit entries by midnight EST Wednesday, Feb. 5. Emails are going out in the next week to the editor or main contact at news organizations with the single username and password that allows nominations from that specific organization. If your organization does not receive this information via email, please contact ASNE Finance Director Cindy Roe at email@example.com or at 573-884-2405.
Thanks to our sponsors, five of the nine ASNE awards come with a $2,500 cash prize.
- The Batten Medal, sponsored by a group of editors from the former Knight Ridder company
- The Burl Osborne ASNE Award for Editorial Leadership, sponsored by The Dallas Morning News
- The Punch Sulzberger Award for Online Storytelling, sponsored by The New York Times
- The Deborah Howell Award for Nondeadline Writing, sponsored by Advance Publications, Inc.
- The Mike Royko Award for Commentary/Column Writing, sponsored by the Chicago Tribune
The remaining four awards not sponsored are:
- Distinguished Writing on Diversity Award
- Local Accountability Reporting Award
- Community Service Photojournalism Award
- Breaking News Writing Award
Winners will be announced in the spring and will be recognized at the Sept. 15-17 ASNE/APME convention at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago. For more information on each category, as well as newly updated rules and procedures that better reflect the increased use of freelancers and teamwork in newsrooms, go to asne.org and click on "Awards" under the "Key Initiatives" tab.