Don’t wait to enter BNC


Several HSPA member newspapers are getting a jump on their Better Newspaper Contest entries this year.

So far seven papers have entered the contest using the new digital entry method ahead of the July 29 deadline, said Karen T. Braeckel, HSPA Foundation director.

“Though a few categories are still mail-in, the digital entry system will save newspapers staff time and postage,” Braeckel said.

Newspaper contest

This year’s Better Newspaper Contest entries will be nearly all digital for the first time. Entry packets have been sent to newsrooms. For information, visit and click on “Better Newspaper Contest.”

The HSPA Foundation Bet­ter Newspaper Contest rules committee sees the upgrade to a digital entry method as a convenience to members, she said. 

To enter individual stories and photos, staff merely need to upload electronic tear sheets to the contest website,

Most categories for sections and design, the Blue Ribbon and three special awards and one photo category still require mailing or delivering entries to the HSPA Foundation office.

A mailbox icon marks these categories in the rules brochure that newsrooms received.

“The new contest software really doesn’t work well for sections or full-paper categories,” Braeckel said.

Other changes include:

• Revising the fee structure so all divisions may submit three entries in each category unless otherwise noted in the rules.

• Increasing the cost of additional entries above the flat-fee allowance to $10 each for all divisions.

• Limiting to four the number of categories eligible for Story of the Year.

• Combining soundslides and video categories into one.

One thing remains constant: To avoid disqualification, HSPA must receive all entries – both mail-in and uploaded – by 5 p.m. Friday, July 29.

Braeckel encouraged papers to begin uploading before the last week of the contest.

“We stick to the deadline,” she said. “The rules committee doesn’t believe it’s equitable to allow one member additional time when others scramble to make it as well.”

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