Contest

2016 Contest Winners announced

The Connecticut Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists handed out more than 350 awards to journalists from around the state at its annual Excellence in Journalism dinner on Thursday, May 25.

A PDF of the full winners list can be downloaded here. *

The Hartford Courant, Norwich Bulletin and Connecticut Post took home the top three all-media awards.

First Amendment Award

Andrew Julien, the editor/publisher for the Hartford Courant, left, accepts the First Amendment Award from CTSPJ President Michael Savino, right, on behalf of winner Jon Lender. | Viktoria Sundqvist photo

The Courant’s Jon Lender won the First Amendment Award for his article “Malloy’s office demands daily memos from agencies on press calls.”

Judges said: “Love the lede. In an age where people routinely equate bad publicity with ‘fake news,’ this grabs your attention and makes it clear that this is a piece that speaks truth to power. The use of FOIA requests is effective to help paint a fuller picture of what’s going on.”

 

 

 

 

 

Stephen A. Collins Public Service Award

CTSPJ President Michael Savino congratulates Ryan Blessing of the Norwich Bulletin on winning the Stephen A. Collins Public Service Award. | Viktoria Sundqvist photo

Ryan Blessing of the Norwich Bulletin won the Stephen A. Collins Public Service Award for his reporting on “Derbygate:” public officials taking all-expenses-paid trips to the Kentucky Derby, funded by the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative.

Judges said: “This series of stories exposes a shocking level of ethical abuses.  Nice packaging and stellar reporting.  Ryan Blessing uncovered a wealth of public records and documents and supplemented his reporting with solid interviews.  Ryan’s investigation led to an FBI investigation and other changes to ethics policies.  The story uncovered a problem and generated results, all in the public interest.  This was an excellent piece of public interest journalism.”

 

 

Theodore Driscoll Award for Investigative Reporting

Barbara Roessner, the executive editor for Hearst Media Group, accepts the Theodore Driscoll Award for Investigative Reporting on behalf of Ken Dixon, Angela Carella and Neil Vigdor. | Viktoria Sundqvist photo

Ken Dixon, Angela Carella and Neil Vigdor from the Connecticut Post won the Theodore Driscoll Award for Investigative Reporting for their reporting on “Inside the money game,” which tracked the path of political donations toward Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s 2014 re-election campaign.

Judges said: “A meticulously reported story on how politics is for sale in Connecticut and how big-money contributors find ways to give to campaigns indirectly by getting around campaign-finance laws. This is a story that should alarm every voter in the state.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

*The College Contest General Reporting winners did not appear on the final winners list. The winners were:

(1) Cracks in the system: How a sex offender was able to go undetected; The Recorder; Analisa Novak
(2) Too little too late: How a CCSU’s student death could have been prevented; The Recorder; Analisa Novak
(3) Quinnipiac unveils new brand identity; Quinnipiac Chronicle; Thamar Bailey

Sigma Delta Chi Awards entry deadline is Feb. 13

The following is a message from National SPJ about the SDX awards:
Journalism as a profession is experiencing a lot of change and is under a microscope, perhaps now more than ever. Here at SPJ, we know most journalists follow high standards and practice ethical journalism daily.

Part of SPJ’s mission is to foster excellence among journalists. We do that by honoring great journalism with Sigma Delta Chi Awards. SDX Awards recognize your hard work and showcase the ethical, excellent journalism produced by journalists every day.

As the new year begins, take a moment to reflect on your work from 2016. Pick your best pieces and submit them for the Sigma Delta Chi Awards. You can find all the information about the contest here.

The deadline to submit your work is Feb. 13

Excellence in Journalism Contest Circulation Categories

The CTSPJ Board approved changes to the circulation categories in the annual Excellence in Journalism contest in 2015. For the 2016 contest year, the board has revived the Magazine circulation class, and combined the two smaller regional circulation categories, based on entrant feedback and number of entries.

The following is the list of circulation categories for the revised Excellence in Journalism contest, which opens for entries the last week of December. If you don’t see your media outlet listed here, please contact contest clerk Jessica Garin at jessica.garin.u@gmail.com, and we will add it.

These changes were approved by the CTSPJ Board of Directors after seeking input from journalists around the state. If you’d like to get involved with the CTSPJ board, please reach out to membership coordinator Jordan Otero. These categories are based, in part, on media outlets’ advertised coverage areas and staffing levels. To petition for a change in circulation class, please contact Contest Chair Jodie Mozdzer Gil. The CTSPJ Board of Directors will consider all requests, and any approved changes will take effect in the next year’s contest season.

Regional A

  • Connecticut Health Investigative Team
  • Connecticut Mirror
  • Connecticut Post
  • Hartford Courant
  • New Haven Register
  • Waterbury Republican American
  • Any Hearst Connecticut collaboration
  • Any Digital First Media collaboration

Regional B

  • Connecticut Law Tribune
  • CT News Junkie
  • Danbury News-Times
  • Manchester Journal-Inquirer
  • Meriden Record Journal
  • Norwich Bulletin
  • Stamford Advocate
  • The Day (New London)
  • Catholic Transcript
  • CT Latino News
  • Greater New Milford Spectrum
  • Litchfield County Times
  • Middletown Press
  • New Britain Herald
  • Register Citizen
  • The Chronicle
  • The Hour
  • Fairfield County Business Journal

Regional C (Magazines)

  • AAA Journeys and AAA Horizons
  • Connecticut Magazine
  • Hartford Magazine
  • New Haven Living Magazine
  • Connecticut Parent Magazine

Regional D (Broadcast)

  • WTNH
  • WFSB
  • WTIC
  • WNPR
  • WSHU
  • News12

Hyperlocal

  • Citizens News
  • CollinsvillePress.com
  • Hersam Acorn weeklies
  • Shore Publishing weeklies
  • TurleyCT publications
  • New Britain City Journal
  • NewCanaanite.com
  • Online Journalism Project publications
  • Digital First Media weeklies
  • Hearst Connecticut weeklies

* Note: Any item that appeared in a higher circulation publication should be entered in that circulation class, not in the hyperlocal circulation.

2016 Excellence in Journalism Contest Open For Entries

The CTSPJ 2016 Excellence in Journalism Contest is now open for entries.

You can enter the contest here.

Last year, CTSPJ revised its contest to reflect changes in the industry. Based on feedback and entry numbers, we made one more adjustment in circulation classes this year. Magazines are in their own circulation class again, now called Region C (Magazines). The print and online publications that were in the old Regional C have been combined with Regional B for the 2016 contest. This decision was made based on the number of entries in the 2015 contest.

Please review the circulation class list before entering. If you do not see your media outlet on the list, please contact contest clerk Jessica Garin at Jessica.Garin.U.@gmail.com.

With the changing news industry and changes at individual news outlets, the CTSPJ board will continue to review the circulation classes each year. If you have feedback on the placement of your news outlet, please contact Contest Chair Jodie Mozdzer Gil at jmozdzer@gmail.com. Any requests for review will be considered by the full CTSPJ Board of Directors before the following year’s contest.

Categories

All media outlets compete against each other in the top three special awards categories. For the rest of the categories (below), media outlets will compete in one of five circulation classes.

Stephen A. Collins Public Service Award
This is a special award open to all media for a story or stories having a significant impact in the public interest. Entries must include supporting documentation such as letters, editorials, evidence of a change in public policy, showing how the entry had an impact. Please include a cover letter with the entry.
Theodore Driscoll Award for Investigative Reporting
This is a special award open to all media for a single story or formal series containing information, obtained through reporter initiative not readily available to the news media or public.
First Amendment Award
This is a special award open to all media for a single story, column or series which increases public understanding of the role of the press in a free society.


Editorial Cartoon | A single cartoon online or in print
Single Editorial | Represents the opinion of the publication, station or news website as an organization
General Column | A single (other than sports or humorous) that expresses an opinion or point of view on an issues or event
Humorous Column | A single column on any topic with the purpose to entertain
In-Depth | A single story that helps audience understand situation beyond information provided in a normal news story
Investigative | A single story containing information obtained through reporter initiative that was not readily available to the news media or the public
Feature | Any story written for a reason other than timeliness. (Please note, this was omitted from an earlier list in error)
Religion | A story dealing with religious topics
Government | A story dealing with government topics
Courts/Crime | Any story dealing with issues of the criminal justice system, except for breaking news
Arts & Entertainment | A single story dealing with the arts
Business | A single story dealing with business
Leisure | A story dealing with travel, food, gardening, or other leisure topics
Continuing Coverage | No more than 10 articles that follow the same topic over time
Diversity Coverage | Single story on a diversity issue
Education | A single story on an education issue
Reporting Series | A formal series of no more than 10 articles, including investigative, in-depth or feature series
Local Reporting | A story that shines light on an issue important to a single town or region. This category is meant for those stories that fulfill the mission of community journalism.
Breaking News | A single story or package of stories and social media updates that involves coverage of a spot news event written under an immediate deadline.
Sports News | A single story on a sports news topic
Sports Feature | A single story on a sports topic, written for a factor other than timeliness
Sports Column | A single column on a sports topic
Sports Photo | A single sports photo
Feature Photo | A single feature photo
News Photo | A single news photo
Photo Essay | A collection of photos, either in print or online, that together tell one story.
Page 1 Layout | A category for the person who arranged the text and images, not for the writers or photographers of the materials on the page.
Non-Page 1 Layout | Any single page design that was not on page 1
Headline | A single entry is made up of three headlines, all the work on a single individual
Infographic Design | The design of a single static or interactive graphic
Infographic Reporting | The reporting of a single static or interactive graphic
Video Storytelling | Use of video to tell a story alone or bolster written reporting
Audio Storytelling | Use of audio to tell a story alone or bolster written reporting

Contest feedback survey

CTSPJ updated its contest circulation and categories this year. The Board of Directors would like feedback from those who entered the contest as we review and discuss the changes at our summer board meeting.

Please fill out this survey with any feedback from your experience with the contest this year, before June 25.

CTSPJ Contest Revision Proposal

Connecticut SPJ has been talking and thinking a lot about our contest. And we’ve decided it’s time for an update.

So we present to you our plans to move forward for the 2015 Excellence in Journalism Contest, which will open for entries in late December 2015, and close for entries some time in February 2016.

We invite your feedback at this critical stage in the redesign. Please send any comments, questions or suggestions to Contest Chair Jodie Mozdzer Gil at jmozdzer@ctspj.org by Aug. 15.

Read more →

CTSPJ Announces Winners of the 2014 Excellence in Journalism Contest

Stories about police departments failing FOI compliance checks, train derailments along the Metro North line and a charter school CEO with a shady past were among those that garnered top awards at the Connecticut SPJ awards dinner Thursday, May 21.

Read more →

CTSPJ Contest Survey

As we end the 2014 Excellence in Journalism contest year, the CTSPJ board is looking forward to next year already. With changes in media outlets and the industry, we are considering some changes to the way we handle circulation classes and categories.

We’d like your input.

Please take a moment to fill in the following survey.

2014 Excellence in Journalism Contest Categories

Click here to download a PDF version of the contest categories. To enter the contest, click here.

SPECIAL PLAQUE AWARDS

open to all media circulations

  • Stephen A. Collins Public Service Award

A single story or stories having a significant impact in the public interest. Entries must include supporting documentation such as letters, editorials, evidence of a change in public policy, etc. showing how the entry had an impact.

  • Theodore Driscoll Award For Investigative Reporting

A single story or formal series containing information, obtained through reporter initiative, not readily available to the news media or public.

  •  First Amendment Award

A single story, column or series that increases public understanding of the role of the press in a free society.

 

The following are the categories for the contest. Entries are placed in different circulation classes based on media type. 

EDITORIAL

General Column | A single column (other than sports, opinion or Op-Ed) that does not express a strong opinion or point of view on an issue or an event.

Opinion Column | An opinion column clearly states an opinion on an issue or an event. It must appear in any section other than the Op-Ed or Sports pages or portion of a broadcast.

Editorial Cartoon | A single cartoon that appears online or in print.

Op-Ed Column | An op-ed column must have been published in the Op-Ed section of a paper. It must have a stated byline or author. If the entry appeared online only, it can only qualify for the Op-Ed column category if the website has a designated “op-ed” or “opinion” section. Websites without that section should enter under the category “Opinion Column” or “General Column.”

Single Editorial | A single editorial represents the opinion of the publication, station, or news website as an organization. It can be written by one or more than one person.

REPORTING

In-Depth Series | A formal series of articles helping the reader understand situation beyond information provided in a normal news story. Limit one (1) series per person. Continuing coverage of a topic DOES NOT count as a series.

In-Depth Reporting | A single story helping audience understand situation beyond information provided in a normal news story.

Investigative Series | A formal series containing information obtained through reporter initiative that was not readily available to the news media or the general public. Limit one (1) series per entrant. Continuing coverage of a topic DOES NOT count as a series.

Investigative Story | A formal series containing information obtained through reporter initiative that was not readily available to the news media or the general public.

Spot News | A single story involving coverage of a spot news event written under an immediate deadline.

Feature | A single story written for some factor other than timeliness.

Feature Series | A series written or produced for some factor other than timeliness.

General Reporting | A single news story not covered by any other category.

General Reporting Series | A formal series of articles or broadcasts that do not fit into any other category. Limit one (1) series per entrant.

Arts & Entertainment | A single entry dealing with the arts.

Business | A single article on a business topic.

SPORTS

Sports News | A single story on a sports news topic.

Sports Feature | A single story on a sports news topic, written for a factor other than timeliness.

Sports Column | A single column on a sports topic.

 

PHOTOGRAPHY

Sports Photo | A single sports photo. All photo entries must include the photographer’s name. Any photos entered under “Staff,” “Contributed” or similar credits will be disqualified.

Feature Photo | A single feature photo. All photo entries must include the photographer’s name. Any photos entered under “Staff,” “Contributed” or similar credits will be disqualified.

Photo Layout | The photo layout category is not a design category. It is for photos only; not their arrangement. It generally should be for the work of one photographer. All photo entries must include the photographer’s name. Any photos entered under “Staff,” “Contributed” or similar credits will be disqualified.

News Photo | A single photo taken for news value. All photo entries must include the photographer’s name. Any photos entered under “Staff,” “Contributed” or similar credits will be disqualified.

LAYOUT

Page 1 Layout | A category for the person who arranged the text and the illustrations, not for the writers and photographers of the materials on the page. Only the layout person should be listed.

Non-Page 1 Layout | A category for the person who arranged the text and the illustrations, not for the writers and photographers of the materials on the page. Only the layout person should be listed.

Headline | A single entry is made up of three headlines. All three headlines must be the work of a single individual but not necessarily from the same publication. Entries involving the work of more than one person will be declared ineligible. If submitting a PDF, highlight the headlines to be considered.

GRAPHICS

Informational Graphic | A static graphic that appears in print, online or in a broadcast to augment reporting on a topic. Entrant should be person who designed the graphic.

MULTIMEDIA

Video Storytelling | Excellent use of video to either tell a story alone, or bolster written reporting.

Audio Storytelling |  Excellent use of audio to either tell a story alone, or bolster written reporting.

Interactive Graphic Reporting | The use of free Internet tools to present data or reporting in an interactive format.

Interactive Graphic Design | Creation of a functional interactive graphic using tools such as Flash or HTML. This category is meant for the person who designed the graphic.

CTSPJ seeks contest clerk

Connecticut SPJ is looking for a clerk to handle administrative tasks for its annual journalism contest. Applicant should have the following skills/attributes:

  • experience in Microsoft Excel
  • experience using mail merges for e-mails and creating Word documents
  • excellent editing skills, attention to detail in spelling, grammar and consistency
  • ability to meet deadlines, while working varying hours
  • availability to work from home from December through May, a total of 50 to 100 hours, with strict deadlines along the way.
  • excellent time management skills

Please send resume, noting experience and education, to Jodie Mozdzer Gil at  jmozdzer@ctspj.org by June 20. Please also note any media affiliations, past and present, in Connecticut.

Job starts in December 2014, and runs through May 2015, with option for renewal the following year.

 

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