Submit your work for a New Jersey 2021 Excellence in Local News Awards

You’ve done some amazing journalism this year. Help us make sure you’re recognized for it.

THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO JAN. 31, 2021!

The last thing anyone wants to do right now is look back and reminisce about 2020. Still, the Center for Cooperative Media feels strongly that all of your hard work and dedication to journalism last year deserves to be recognized and applauded.

That’s why you should submit your best work for aa NJ News Commons Excellence in Local News award. These awards (this year is the 4th annual program) recognize original local journalism produced by NJ News Commons members in 2020.

Don’t delay: THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS IS SUNDAY, JAN. 31, 2021 AT 11:59 P.M.

We plan to notify winners within two weeks of the submissions deadline, and announce all awardees publicly thereafter. All award winners will be announced and honored in February.

The NJ News Commons Excellence in Local News awards will honor outstanding achievements in local journalism during 2020 by online, print, broadcast, photo, radio, multimedia organizations or freelancers based in New Jersey.

There are seven award categories this year:

  • The ENGAGE LOCAL AWARD will go to a journalist(s) or news organization that relied heavily on community engagement or similar practices as a major source or aspect of their reporting.
  • The SUSTAIN LOCAL AWARD will go to a journalist(s) or news organization that found innovative and effective new ways to address revenue and sustainability issues.
  • The COLLABORATE LOCAL AWARD will go to a journalist(s) or news organization that leveraged the power of cooperative or strategic partnerships to take their reporting beyond what would have been possible on their own.
  • The INVESTIGATE LOCAL AWARD will go to a journalist(s) or news organization whose investigative reporting efforts had a demonstrable impact on the community they serve.
  • The INNOVATE LOCAL AWARD will go to a journalist(s) or news organization that used new and emerging technologies or strategies to enhance and improve the value and impact of their reporting efforts.
  • The OUTSTANDING CAMPUS MEDIA AWARD will go to a journalist(s) or campus news organization whose investigative reporting efforts had a demonstrable impact on the college or university community they serve.
  • The OUTSTANDING HIGH SCHOOL MEDIA AWARD will go to a high school journalist(s) or news organization whose reporting efforts had a demonstrable impact on the high school or community they serve.
  • The PARTNER OF THE YEAR AWARD will go to a journalist or news organization that showed overall excellence in their work in 2018.

Winners will receive a certificate, a logo that can be placed on the winner’s website and/or print publication and a $150 gift card. The winner of the Partner of the Year Award will receive a $200 gift card.

ELIGIBILITY:

  1. The contest is open to current members of the NJ News Commons and NJ College News Commons.
  2. All reporting entries must focus on local topics related to New Jersey.
  3. All reporting entries must have been published, broadcast or otherwise disseminated in 2020.
  4. Work published or broadcast while working as a student or intern is eligible, as long as it was published or broadcast by a NJ News Commons or NJ College News Commons member organization.
  5. Unpublished manuscripts, classroom exercises and unaired news broadcasts do not qualify. Any work found to be unpublished, unaired or a classroom exercise will be disqualified. A classroom exercise is defined as work assigned for a grade or fulfillment of a course requirement and is not eligible for a Excellence in Local News award unless it was also published outside of class in the campus/local newspaper, campus/local broadcast stations or website.

GENERAL RULES:

  1. For entries not originally published or broadcast in English, please include an English translation.
  2. Entries that are incomplete will be disqualified.
  3. Material submitted will not be returned.
  4. Winning entries will be referenced and linked from the Center for Cooperative Media’s website and other digital properties for publicity, educational or other purposes.
  5. If it is not already apparent, please mark the date of publication or broadcast on all items submitted.
  6. Each entrant may enter as many categories as desired, but please submit no more than two entries per category per entrant.
  7. Be sure the name of each journalist who worked on the entry is listed as a collaborator on the entry form and that their name is spelled correctly.
  8. A maximum of four people can be named on a team entry. Otherwise, the entry should be submitted in the name of the newspaper, magazine, station or online news site.
  9. Scripts for broadcast entries are optional, but recommended.

If you have any additional questions, comments or concerns, please send an email to info@centerforcooperativemedia.org.

Joe Amditis is the associate director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University. Contact him at amditisj@montclair.edu or on Twitter at @jsamditis.

About the Center for Cooperative Media: The Center is a grant-funded program of the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University. Its mission is to grow and strengthen local journalism, and in doing so serve New Jersey residents. The Center is supported with funding from Montclair State University, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Democracy Fund, the New Jersey Local News Lab (a partnership of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Democracy Fund, and Community Foundation of New Jersey), and the Abrams Foundation. For more information, visit CenterforCooperativeMedia.org.

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