Connecticut SPJ 2021 Excellence in Journalism Contest now accepting entries

The 2021 Excellence in Journalism contest is open for entries. The deadline is Friday, Feb. 11 Tuesday, Feb. 15! You can enter the contest here. The contest is open for items published or broadcast in 2021. We are keeping four COVID categories for content related to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Entry fees are $10 for members (with valid SPJ member number) and $25 for non-members or entries paid for by a news organization. Please contact log into your membership account on the national SPJ website if you do not know your membership number. 

For questions about the Connecticut contest, please contact contest clerk Kathleen Farmer at


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.


COVID News | A single story that highlights the impact the pandemic has had on our lives and our society.

COVID Investigative | A single story containing pandemic-related information obtained through reporter initiative that was not readily available to the public.

COVID Series | Three to 10 stories in a formal series that highlight the impact of the pandemic on our lives and society.

COVID Photo | A single photo that highlights the impact of the pandemic on our current socially distance status. 

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

Data | Effective use of data for reporting a single story or graphic

Health | A single story or broadcast regarding health issues, either local or statewide


The following is the list of circulation categories for the Excellence in Journalism contest. If you don’t see your media outlet listed here, please contact contest clerk Kathleen Farmer at, and we will add it.

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 CTSPJ President Viktoria Sundqvist at vickansundqvist(at) 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
  • The Day (New London)
  • Any Hearst Connecticut collaboration, including smaller circulation outlets

Regional B

  • Connecticut Law Tribune
  • CT News Junkie
  • Danbury News-Times
  • Manchester Journal-Inquirer
  • Meriden Record Journal
  • Norwich Bulletin
  • Stamford Advocate
  • Greenwich Time
  • CT Latino News
  • Greater New Milford Spectrum
  • Litchfield County Times
  • The Middletown Press
  • New Britain Herald
  • The Bristol Press
  • The Register Citizen
  • The Chronicle
  • The Hour
  • Fairfield County Business Journal
  • Hartford Business Journal
  • The Connecticut Times
  • Inquiring News
  • Neighbors Paper

Regional C (Magazines)

  • AAA Journeys and AAA Horizons
  • Catholic Transcript
  • Connecticut Magazine
  • Connecticut Parent Magazine
  • Connecticut Voice
  • Hartford Magazine
  • New Haven Biz
  • Seasons magazines
  • Stamford Magazine
  • Today Magazine
  • WAG Magazine
  • Wilton Magazine

Regional D (Broadcast)

  • WTNH
  • WFSB
  • WTIC
  • WNPR
  • WSHU
  • News12
  • NBC30


  • Citizens News
  • Shore Publishing weeklies
  • TurleyCT publications
  • New Britain City Journal
  • Online Journalism Project publications
  • Hearst Connecticut weeklies
  • Branford Eagle
  • Glastonbury Citizen/Rivereast News Bulletin
  • Nancy on Norwalk
  • Greenwich Sentinel
  • Fairfield Patch
  • New Haven Independent
  • Town Times
  • Glastonbury Life
  • Guilford Curier
  • The Source
  • Harbor News

* Note: Any item that appeared in a higher circulation publication should be entered in that circulation class.

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