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DISTINGUISHED WRITING AWARDS
 
These awards are funded by the ASNE Foundation. Entries for each of these awards will be judged on the basis of style, precision of word usage, structure, descriptive power, narrative skill and the like. Credibility and attribution will be valued, and credit will be given to concise and efficient writing.
 

BATTEN MEDAL
Cash Prize: $2,500
The Batten Medal rewards individual achievement in public-service journalism, celebrating the memory of revered reporter, editor and newspaper executive James K. Batten. Jim was the chief executive officer of Knight Ridder when he died in 1995 at age 59. The award recognizes a body of work covering a period of up to three years, that represents the journalistic values Jim stood for: compassion, courage, humanity and a deep concern for the underdog. In short, journalism that makes a difference in the lives of real people and their communities. The competition is open to individual reporters, columnists, editorial writers, photographers and graphic artists.

  • Minimum of five articles, maximum of 10; or minimum of 10 photos or graphics, maximum of 20.
  • All pieces submitted must have been published between Jan. 1, 2011, and Dec. 31, 2013.
  • Articles or photos submitted as part of the Batten Medal entry may also be submitted in other categories. However, an individual nominee will not be selected as a winner in more than one category.
  • This is a portfolio entry; a single series or an individual project, however noteworthy, does not qualify. The portfolio may reflect coverage of varied topics or sustained attention to a single issue over time.
  • Up to two of the pieces submitted for judging may include joint bylines or credits where the nominee was the lead or primary writer.
  •  A nomination letter of no more than 500 words indicating how the entry reflects the values and the high-impact journalism that characterized Jim Batten must accompany the entry.


BURL OSBORNE AWARD FOR EDITORIAL LEADERSHIP
Cash Prize:  $2,500
This award recognizes editorial writing that is excellent journalism and makes a difference in a community. Burl Osborne led The Dallas Morning News to national prominence and a string of Pulitzer Prizes during 21 years at the newspaper. He served as ASNE president in 1991 and later as ASNE Foundation president. Burl was a reporter and managing editor at the Associated Press and was named senior vice president and editor of The News in 1980. He was named president of the newspaper in 1985 and publisher in 1991. In 2002, he became chairman of the board of the AP. He died in August 2012.

  •  All editorials submitted must be the work of the same individual and can be signed or unsigned.
  • Minimum of three, maximum of five editorials.
  • A nominating letter no longer than 500 words must accompany the entry.


PUNCH SULZBERGER AWARD FOR ONLINE STORYTELLING
Cash Prize: $2,500
This award recognizes excellence in the use of digital tools to tell news stories. In determining a winner, judges will consider strong writing, narrative skill, engaging graphical and visual elements, and compelling audio. Sponsored by The New York Times, this award is dedicated to the memory of former publisher Arthur Ochs "Punch" Sulzberger. In 1963, Punch became the youngest publisher in Times history at age 37. He chose to publish excerpts of the Pentagon Papers in 1971, a move that earned the newspaper a Pulitzer Prize the following year. Soon after, he authorized the addition of several feature sections to the paper, a risky decision that ultimately proved extremely profitable. He died in September 2012 at age 86.

  • Individual or teamwork will be accepted in this category.
  • The submission may consist of a single or multiday presentation.
  • Digital components might include (but are not limited to) blogs, tweets, Facebook posts, mobile content, video, audio, photo galleries, data visualization tools and/or other interactive elements.
  •  A nominating letter no longer than 500 wordsmust accompany the entry.
     
DEBORAH HOWELL AWARD FOR NONDEADLINE WRITING 
Cash Prize:  $2,500
This award recognizes excellence in writing (except commentary or editorials) by an individual or a team that's not accomplished on deadline. Work may range from investigative reporting to feature writing, such as profiles, interviews, trend stories, lifestyle, travel and etc. Sponsored by Advance Publications Inc., this award is dedicated to former editor Deborah Howell who loved compelling writing. Howell served as editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, which won Pulitzer Prizes for feature writing under her leadership in 1986 and 1988. In 1996, when she was leading the Newhouse News Service's Washington bureau in D.C., she won a Pulitzer for feature photography. From 2005 to 2008, she was the ombudsman for The Washington Post. Howell died in January 2010 at age 68.
  • Individual or teamwork will be accepted in this category.
  • Minimum of three, maximum of five articles.
  • A nominating letter no longer than 500 words must accompany the entry.

MIKE ROYKO AWARD FOR COMMENTARY/COLUMN WRITING
Cash Prize:  $2,500
This award recognizes excellence in writing by an individual that expresses a personal point of view. Entries may include columns, blogs and other journalistic forms of opinion but not editorials. The Chicago Tribune is sponsoring this award in memory of legendary Chicago columnist Mike Royko who wrote columns for nearly 34 years at the Chicago Daily News, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune. His Tribune column was syndicated to more than 600 newspapers. Royko is known for writing five columns a week for much of his career, often targeting powerful politicians. Royko died in April 1997 at age 64. 
  • Minimum of three, maximum of five articles.
  • A nominating letter no longer than 500 words must accompany the entry.


DISTINGUISHED WRITING ON DIVERSITY AWARD
This award recognizes writing that helps a community understand and better appreciate its racial, ethnic and religious diversity. Judges will consider how effectively the coverage dealt with overcoming ignorance, misunderstandings, racism, hate, intolerance and false stereotypes.

  • Individual or teamwork will be accepted in this category.
  • All journalistic writing is eligible in this category, including news, features, columns, editorials and blogs.
  • Minimum of one, maximum of three articles..
  • A nominating letter no longer than 500 words must accompany the entry.

LOCAL ACCOUNTABILITY REPORTING AWARD
This award recognizes outstanding work done by a news organization that holds important local institutions accountable for their actions. The reporting should be investigative in nature, and judges will give preference to work that made a demonstrable difference in the news organization’s community. The work needs to be anchored in the community whether it's local, regional or statewide; reporting that has an international focus does not qualify.
  • Individual or teamwork will be accepted for this category.
  • Minimum of three, maximum of 10 articles. Each story in a series will count as one of the 10 articles. Each sidebar will count as one article as well.
  • A nominating letter no longer than 500 words must accompany the entry.


 COMMUNITY SERVICE PHOTOJOURNALISM AWARD
This category rewards photography that captures the sense of a community with powerful and meaningful images and provides an understanding of the community. All photos submitted must have been published in a newspaper or on a news website.

  • Individual or teamwork will be accepted in this category.
  • The images can be in black and white or color, regardless of how they were published.
  • An entry may consist of up to 15 images that embody the goal of community service. Entries with more than 15 images will be disqualified.
  • To establish context, PDFs and/or links to the relevant Web pages must be included in the entry. It's understood that this supporting material may include photographs that are not part of the entry.
  • Each image should be submitted as JPEGs and have a size set at a resolution of 100 DPI, with a maximum dimension of 2750 pixels along its longest side. In addition, it should be stated for each individual image whether it was published in print, on the Web or both. Each image must include a caption. 
  • A nominating letter no longer than 500 words must accompany the entry and           must be specific in explaining the photojournalism’s effect on the community.

 

BREAKING NEWS WRITING
This award focuses on breaking news events. Entries need not be confined to the big local story and may include multimedia components. Entries are judged for writing and substance in the coverage of a breaking news event within the first 24 hours of the event. Descriptive power, strong literary style, depth and breadth of reporting, timeliness, completeness and perspective will be evaluated. 

  • Individual or teamwork will be accepted in this category.
  • Minimum of one, maximum of three articles.
  • Multimedia components might include (but are not limited to) graphics, photo galleries, video or interactive elements. Time stamps should be visible on these entries. URLs should be provided.
  • A nominating letter no longer than 500 words must accompany the entry.