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2013 Contest Categories

The Education Writers Association National Awards in Education Reporting honor exceptional work covering stories that add to the understanding of education from early childhood through college and beyond. Entries will be judged on criteria that include the quality of writing, clarity, insight, innovative presentation, deadline pressures, and explanation of issues. Please note that the categories have changed and that applicants should review them all before entering their submissions. For example, we have added a category designated exclusively for data reporting.

* In calculating the staff size, please consider all the FTE employees in the newsroom who contribute to a finished product. In addition to reporters, the calculation should include, among others, all editors, designers, online producers and multimedia content producers, such as photographers, data analysts and videographers. 

I. GENERAL NEWS OUTLETS, SMALL NEWSROOM

Print or online journalism publications with 25 or fewer FTE newsroom staffers. Written sources of education news, such as dailies and news blogs, are eligible. 

A. Single-Topic News or Feature: One or more pieces of news or human interest coverage–including series–that are focused on a single topic, event or general theme. Up to five articles may be submitted.

B. Beat Reporting: Up to seven pieces showing breadth and depth in beat reporting by individual journalists throughout the year. Entries will be judged as a package that may include breaking news, features, in-depth reporting, news blogging, and data analysis. Up to three pieces may have bylines shared with other reporters.

C. Investigative Reporting: Up to seven articles on the same subject, demonstrating ingenuity in uncovering a problem or condition that otherwise may not have come to public attention.

II. GENERAL NEWS OUTLETS, MEDIUM NEWSROOM

Print or online journalism publications with a FTE newsroom staff of 26 to 99 employees. Written sources of education news, such as dailies and news blogs, are eligible.

A. Single-Topic News or Feature: One or more pieces of news or human interest coverage–including series–that are focused on a single topic, event or general theme. Up to five articles may be submitted. 

B. Beat Reporting: Up to seven pieces showing breadth and depth in beat reporting by individual journalists throughout the year. Entries will be judged as a package that may include breaking news, features, in-depth reporting, news blogging, and data analysis. Up to three pieces may have bylines shared with other reporters.

C. Investigative Reporting: Up to seven articles on the same subject, demonstrating ingenuity in uncovering a problem or condition that otherwise may not have come to public attention.

III. GENERAL NEWS OUTLETS, LARGE NEWSROOM

Print or online journalism publications with a FTE newsroom staff of more than 100 employees. Written sources of education news, such as dailies and news blogs, are eligible.

A. Single-Topic News or Feature: One or more pieces of news or human interest coverage–including series–that are focused on a single topic, event or general theme. Up to five articles may be submitted.

B. Beat Reporting: Up to seven pieces showing breadth and depth in beat reporting by individual journalists throughout the year. Entries will be judged as a package that may include breaking news, features, in-depth reporting, news blogging, and data analysis. Up to three pieces may have bylines shared with other reporters.

C. Investigative Reporting: Up to seven articles on the same subject, demonstrating ingenuity in uncovering a problem or condition that otherwise may not have come to public attention.

IV. EDUCATION-ONLY NEWS OUTLETS

Print, online or broadcast journalism outlets that cover exclusively education, maintain editorial independence and are not published or produced by advocacy groups, professional organizations, higher education institutions, alumni periodicals or think tanks. There are no size restrictions. Examples of such outlets include Education Week, Inside Higher Ed, Learning Matters, and Chalkbeat.

A. Single-Topic News or Feature: One or more pieces of news or human interest coverage–including series–that are focused on a single topic, event or general theme. Up to five articles may be submitted. 

B. Beat Reporting: Up to seven pieces showing breadth and depth in beat reporting by individual journalists throughout the year. Entries will be judged as a package that may include breaking news, features, in-depth reporting, news blogging, and data analysis. Up to three pieces may have bylines shared with other reporters.

C. Investigative Reporting: Up to seven articles on the same subject, demonstrating ingenuity in uncovering a problem or condition that otherwise may not have come to public attention.

V. BROADCAST

Entries may include spot news, feature segments, special programs, newscasts, streamed online stories, or podcasts for television or radio journalism organizations that maintain editorial independence and are not produced by lobbying groups, professional organizations, educational institutions, alumni periodicals, advocates or think tanks. Please do not forget to supply a transcript of the audio.

A. Single-Topic News or Feature: One or more pieces of news or human interest coverage–including series–that are focused on a single topic, event or general theme. Up to five pieces may be submitted. 

B. Beat Reporting: Up to seven pieces showing breadth and depth in beat reporting by individual reporting teams (including one reporter, producer and/or camera person) throughout the year. Entries will be judged as a package. Credit for up to three pieces may be shared with other staff.

C. Investigative Reporting: Up to seven pieces on the same subject, demonstrating ingenuity in uncovering a problem or condition that otherwise may not have come to public attention.

D. Audio/Video from Non-Broadcast Outlet: Up to four video/audio items that ran independently or in conjunction with a print or online story. Entries with multiple items should be focused on a single topic, event or general theme.

VI. MAGAZINES AND WEEKLIES

Print and online magazines and weekly newspapers that are editorially independent and not published by advocacy groups. Examples of such outlets include The Atlantic, Miami New Times, The Texas Observer and Chicago Reader.

A. Feature Reporting: Up to five pieces that exhibit strong narrative writing, deft explanatory reporting and/or commentary. Submissions may explain or explore a policy issue, controversy or theme and may include profiles of individuals or organizations. Individual journalists may submit pieces that appeared in different publications.

B. Investigative Reporting: Up to seven articles on the same subject or theme, demonstrating ingenuity in uncovering a problem or condition that otherwise may not have come to public attention. Individual journalists may submit pieces that appeared in different publications.

VII. DATA JOURNALISM

A story or series that features exceptional use of data gathering, analysis and/or data visualization produced by an independent print, online or broadcast journalism outlet. (Examples: interactive graphs, flash media and dynamic maps). Limit to five items.

Entries should not be submitted to other categories in this contest.

Education-only news outlets may also enter this set of categories.

A. Small Newsroom (1 – 25)

B. Medium Newsroom (26 – 99)

C. Large Newsroom (100 +)

VIII. OPINION JOURNALISM

Eligible entries are produced by journalists and appear in independent news outlets of any size. Such outlets are not published by lobbying groups, professional organizations, educational institutions, alumni periodicals, advocates, advocacy groups or think tanks.*

Entries may consist of a single signed or unsigned blog, broadcast item, editorial or column expressing the opinion of the author and/or the news outlet. Entries may also consist of a series of up to four pieces.

*Non-journalists writing opinion pieces should apply in the EDUCATION ORGANIZATIONS AND EXPERTS – Thought Piece/Opinion or Continuing Coverage of an Issue categories.

IX. EDUCATION ORGANIZATIONS AND EXPERTS

Content written or produced by advocacy groups, professional organizations, higher education institutions, alumni periodicals, think tanks, and individual advocates, academics, policy analysts, activists and bloggers are eligible. Examples include the American School Board Journal, New America Foundation, Thomas B. Fordham Institute and School Reform News.

A. Continuing Coverage of an Issue: Up to five pieces that provide incisive, provocative and/or research-based content on an education issue, policy or theme. Submissions are not limited to a single blog or publication within an organization; packages that include works from various individual blogs and publication titles affiliated with the organization are eligible. An additional two URLs may be submitted that feature datasets or innovative use of data.

B. Best Blog: Overall excellence for an education-related blog that provides fresh perspectives on education-related issues. Up to seven items may be submitted.

C. Stand-alone Feature: Single-item work that explores in engaging detail a topic, issue or trend in education. An additional URL may be submitted that features innovative use of data.

D. Thought Piece/Opinion: Single-item entry displaying strong use of argument and persuasion to convey a point of view and that has not run in an independent news media outlet. An additional URL may be submitted that features innovative use of data.