Connecticut SPJ 2022 Excellence in Journalism Contest now accepting entries

The Connecticut SPJ Excellence in Journalism Contest, which recognizes the best local journalism from the previous year, is open for entries. All entries should have been published or broadcast in 2022. The deadline to enter is 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15. Tuesday, Feb. 21! Winners will be announced at a CTSPJ board event later this year.

Entry fees remain the same as previous years: $10 for SPJ members (membership number required), and $25 for news outlets entering on behalf of journalists. 

You can access the contest platform here:

Some changes to note for this year’s contest:

  • The temporary special categories for COVID-19 reporting will be discontinued. Any COVID-19 stories should be submitted in the category that best fits, such as Investigative Reporting or Health Reporting. 
  • Audio Storytelling is being replaced by two new categories: Podcasting and Innovative Digital Storytelling. The podcasting category is for a single episode of any style of podcast. The Innovative Digital Storytelling category is for any story or package that uses multimedia tools – including audio, video, social media or interactive graphics – in an innovative way.

If you do not see your publication on the entry list, please contact contest clerk Kathleen Farmer at

Each year, Connecticut entries are judged by out-of-state journalists from other SPJ chapters. The judging is made possible because CTSPJ receives entries to judge from other chapters. If you are interested in signing up to help judge incoming entries, please contact Contest Committee member Martha Shanahan 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.


Arts & Entertainment | A single story dealing with the arts

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

Business | A single story dealing with business

Continuing Coverage | No more than 10 articles that follow the same topic over time

Courts/Crime | Any story dealing with issues of the criminal justice system, except for breaking news

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

Diversity Coverage | Single story on a diversity issue

Education | A single story on an education issue

Feature | Any story written for a reason other than timeliness

Government | A story dealing with government topics

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

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

Leisure | A story dealing with travel, food, gardening, or other leisure topics

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.

Religion | A story dealing with religious topics

Reporting Series | A formal series of no more than 10 articles, including investigative, in-depth or feature series


Editorial Cartoon | A single cartoon online or in print

Editorial | A single editorial that represents the opinion of the publication, station or news website

General Column | A single (other than sports or humorous) column 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


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


Infographic | The design of a single static or interactive graphic

Innovative Digital Storytelling | Any story or package that uses multimedia tools – including audio, video, social media or interactive graphics – in an innovative way

Video Storytelling | Use of video to tell a story alone or bolster written reporting

Podcasting | A single episode of any style of podcast


Feature Photo | A single feature photo

News Photo | A single news photo

Sports Photo | A single sports 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 article


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 the CTSPJ president. 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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