Annual National Contest


*PLEASE NOTE! ENTRIES NOW SUBMITTED ONLINE! (No more emails! Read below!)*

Download the complete rules as a PDF: 2020 SCJ Contest Rules

2020 Rules for the Society for Collegiate Journalists

Publications and Broadcasting Contest for College Newspapers, Online Media, Yearbooks, Magazines, Radio and Television Stations


ENTRY DEADLINE: January 31, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EST

General Contest Rules:

1. Only active chapters of SCJ and their initiated members are eligible to participate. To be eligible for Organizational Awards, the chapter must be an active chapter prior to the contest deadline. To be eligible for Individual Awards, the person who created this work MUST be a dues-paying SCJ member who was inducted before the contest deadline. Eligibility will be verified by the National Office prior to judging. Non-members and honorary members are not eligible to compete.

2. All entries must have been published or broadcast in the calendar year 2019.

3. All categories except yearbook are online entry.

4. No more than three entries from each chapter may be submitted in any individual category. Submit only entries of high quality, which merit attention.

5. Entry deadline is January 31, 2020. For yearbook, all entries must be postmarked by this date. Improperly prepared and/or late entries will be disqualified.

6. No entries will be returned to chapters or individual members. Where possible, judges’ comments will be published with awards listings on on or after May 1 and disseminated to advisers via email.

7. The SCJ Contest Director has final say over contest decisions. For example, if too few entries are received in any category the contest director may choose to eliminate the category.

8. All work must have been produced by a student member of an SCJ chapter and must have appeared in a student publication or website or aired on a student broadcasting facility. The contest is not for faculty or staff of the university or for work that has been edited or worked on by outside professionals.

9. If appropriate, include a brief statement (no more than 100 words) explaining unusual circumstances under which an entry was published or broadcast. For example, you may want to put a news story in context, describe action that resulted from it, or detail difficulties encountered in gathering information.

Copy of Copy of organizational awards

Organizational award categories are for works created by the efforts of a team of students. In these categories, the school and/or publication will be recognized as the winner, not individual student members. We refer to this type of award as an Organizational Award. Organizational Awards must be submitted by active chapters, not individual SCJ members.

Newspaper Organizational Award | Submit .pdfs of complete issues published (must have been printed and distributed on campus on or nearest the dates of March 15, October 15 and December 1.

NP 1.          Newspaper Overall Excellence

Magazine Organizational Awards | Submit a URL to or a .pdf of each issue. You may submit up to three issues for review.

MAG 1.     Literary Magazine Overall Excellence

MAG 2.     Special Interest Magazine Overall Excellence

MAG 3.     General Interest Magazine Overall Excellence

Online Media Organizational Awards | Submit a URL. Websites will be visited at least twice during the judging period (February/March).

OL 1.          Online News Website Overall Excellence (This category is for news outlets that do not have a print or broadcast presence. They must operate as stand-alone news websites.)

OL 2.         Broadcast Website Overall Excellence (These websites can include online versions of a broadcast channel and /or materials meant to complement a radio or television station.)

OL 3.          Online Magazine Website Overall Excellence (This category is for magazines that do not have a print edition. These sites must operate as stand-alone online magazines. This category is for all types of magazines including general interest, literary and special interest.)

OL 4.          Internet Radio Overall Excellence (This category is for radio stations that broadcast exclusively on the radio. These sites must operate as stand-alone radio stations.)

Television Organizational Awards | Submit a URL of your best show for each category. Submit no more than 30 minutes of each show.

TV 1.          Television News Show Overall Excellence

TV 2.          Live Event Broadcast (ex. election night coverage)

TV 3.          Live Sports Broadcast

Radio Organizational Awards | Submit a URL of your best show for each category. Submit no more than 30 minutes of each show.

RD 1.         Live Radio News Show Overall Excellence

RD 2.         Live Radio Sports Show Overall Excellence

Social Media Organizational Award | Submit URLs for all social media accounts for a media single outlet. Platforms will be visited at least two times during the judging period (February/March).

SM 1.         Social Media Presence Overall Excellence

Copy of Copy of organizational awards(1)

Yearbook Organizational Awards | Submit one hard copy of your yearbook. No tear sheets. Books will be judged in all six categories. Complete and include the form below on the inside cover of your book.

YB 1.          Yearbook Overall Excellence

                    YB 1A. Small School (Less than 7,000 enrollment)

                    YB 1B. Large School (More than 7,000 enrollment)

YB 2.          The Terry Vander Heyden Award for Coverage of the Year

YB 3.          Concept of the Book (Judges will look at theme, idea and structure.

YB 4.          Writing

YB 5.          Photography

YB 6.          Display (Judges will look at layout, design, graphics.

IMPORTANT: Print and complete the Yearbook Entry Form and insert into the cover of your book.

Yearbook entries must be submitted in hard copy by snail mail to:

Andrea Frantz, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Society for Collegiate Journalists National Office
610 W. Fourth St.
Buena Vista University
Storm Lake, IA 50588

Copy of organizational awards

Individual awards are given only to members who have been inducted into the Society. Entries must be submitted by individual SCJ members. Each chapter is allowed no more than 3 entries per category.

Individual Newspaper Awards | Upload a .pdf of each page selected for contest entry (must have been printed and distributed on campus; if you are an online only publication, please see the online media category). Items will be judged as a print publication only. Pages will be judged on both design and quality of content.

NP 2.          Front Page

NP 3.          Editorial Page

NP 4.          Sports Page

NP 5.          News Page (No front pages in this category.)

NP 6.          Feature Page

NP 7.          Photo Essay (Can be news, feature or sports with at least three photos.)

Individual Writing Awards | Upload a .pdf or submit a URL. You may NOT enter the same story in more than one category. In each category, you may enter only one article/column except for IW 3, 4 and 5.

IW 1.         News Stories (excluding Sports)

IW 2.         Breaking News

IW 3.         Enterprise Series (Two or more investigative or in-depth news or feature stories on a single issue.)

IW4.          Beat Reporting (Three examples of news coverage in a specific beat i.e. crime, student government, etc.)

IW 5.         Continuing Coverage (Coverage of a single news story over an extended number of stories. Submit at least 3 stories.)

IW 6.         Editorial (Staff editorials)

IW 7.         Column or Commentary (Individually bylined opinion writing)

IW 8.         Feature (excluding Sports)

IW 9.         Sports News

IW 10.      Sports Feature

IW 11.      Sports Column

Individual Imaging Awards | Submit a URL or both a .pdf (to show context) and a .jpeg of the original.

II 1.  News Photography

II 2.  Feature Photography

II 3.  Sports Photography

II 4.  Cartoon Strip or Panel

II 5.  Editorial Cartoon

II 6.  Infographic

Individual Multimedia Awards | Submit a URL. The judges will visit the urls during the judging period (February/March). The stories should remain active at the site during this time.

IM 1.          Multimedia news story (Any type of multimedia, including video, audio, text, graphics.)

IM 2.          Multimedia feature story (Any type of multimedia, including video, audio, text, graphics.)

IM 3.          Multimedia sports story (Any type of multimedia, including video, audio, text, graphics.)

IM 4.          Photo slideshow (Slideshows that feature still photography as the main form of storytelling.)

IM 5.         Multimedia Series (Three or more multimedia stories—feature or news—on a related topic or issue.)

IM 6.         Podcast (Best episode of a regular audio series in any genre.)

Individual Television Awards | Submit as URL, .mov, or .mp4.

TV 4.          Television News Package

TV 5.          Television Feature Package

TV 6.          Television Sports Package

TV 7.          Commercial, Promotion and Public Announcement (Entries should be no longer than 60 seconds.)

Individual Radio Awards | Submit as .mp3.

RD 3.         Radio News Package

RD 4.         Radio Feature Package

RD 5.         Radio Sports Package

RD 6.         Commercial, Promotion and Public Announcement (Entries should be no longer than 60 seconds.)


cropped logo 2Have contest questions? Send them to our Contest Director, Lindsey Wotanis, at