Contest Rules
2018 Associated Press Media Editors Awards Honoring Journalism Excellence and Innovation

 
General Rules
  • Nominations can be submitted online only. We prefer PDF documents for submissions. If your entry is a series of articles, we ask that you combine them into a single PDF. We encourage entrants to include photographs and multimedia with their submissions, if applicable. These can be either included in the PDF (in-text for photographs, or as links for video and interactive content) or submitted as supplementary files. (See note below regarding web links.)
  • Broadcast entries can be submitted either by uploading a video or audio file, or submitting a link to the desired clip. Submission entries are limited to 50MB in size.
  • Note: Web links should be listed on one of the PDF documents uploaded. Links themselves cannot be uploaded to the site.
  • All entries must be accompanied by a cover letter, the specific requirements for which vary from category to category. Details can be found below.
  • All awards will be presented for journalism published or launched between Jan. 1, 2017, and Dec. 31, 2017
  • The deadline for all entries is March 10, 2018.

Entry Fees

  • The entry fees are $75 per entry for APME members and $100 per entry for non-members. Both APME members and non-members are eligible for a $15 discount if they have three or more entries.
  • The entry fee for the College Innovator of the Year Award is $25.
  • To see if you are an APME member, click here to login. If your name is not listed, consider enrolling or renewing your membership. Benefits of membership include reduced fees to attend the annual APME/ASNE conference, the APME News magazine and reduced contest entry fees. See this page for further details.This contest is open to media outlets that are members or customers of The Associated Press.

Awards will be presented at the 2018 APME-ASNE Conference, Sept. 11-12, in Austin, Texas. A highlight of the conference: Finalists for the Innovator of the Year Award will make presentations, with the winner selected on-site by attendees.

For more information, contact Laura Sellers (lsellers.newstrain@gmail.com) or Paula Froke (pfroke@ap.org).
 
Additional information about each category can be found below.
 
 

 
47th Annual Public Service Awards (Including the APME Foundation Sweepstakes)
 
  • Criteria: Entries will be judged by how resources were used in serving the public good through high quality journalism, with demonstrable benefits to the public and/or its institutions.
  • Eligibility: Journalists with Associated Press or Canadian Press member or customer organizations, or the organizations themselves, are eligible.
  • Categories: There will be three awards, recognizing accomplishments by small (0-25 employees), medium (26-75 employees), and large (76 or more employees) news organizations. A grand prize of $1,000, sponsored by GateHouse Media, will be awarded to the best overall entry. Wire service work should be entered in the large category.
  • Prize: The best of the three winning entries will receive the APME Foundation Sweepstakes Award.
  • Nominations: Individuals, news organizations, professional societies, journalism schools, state AP associations and others may submit nominations.
  • Submissions: Entries should include electronic files of stories, series, visuals and/or editorials and community reaction. Up to 20 electronic files may be submitted, as well as a letter outlining the background, execution and accomplishments of the effort. The letter should discuss significant challenges to the accuracy or approach of the entry, and steps the organization took to address those concerns. The entry must include all published corrections or clarifications.
  • Judging: Judging will be done by the president and two past presidents of APME plus a senior editor of The Associated Press. Judges will select the sweepstakes winner from the three division winners.

 
First Amendment Award (Including the Tom Curley Sweepstakes)
 
  • Criteria: Entries will be judged by how they protect or advance freedom of information principles, and/or overcome significant resistance to the application of the First Amendment. Consideration will be given to work that widens the scope of information available to the public, and advances understanding of the importance of public access to that information.
  • Eligibility: Journalists with Associated Press or Canadian Press member or customer organizations, or the organizations themselves, are eligible.
  • Categories: There will be three awards, recognizing accomplishments by small (0-25 employees), medium (26-75), and large (76 or more) news organizations. A grand prize will be awarded to the best overall entry. Wire service work should be entered in the large category.
  • Prize: The best of the three winning entries will receive the Tom Curley Sweepstakes Award.
  • Nominations: Individuals, news organizations, professional societies, journalism schools, state AP associations and others may submit nominations.
  • Submissions: Entries should include electronic files of stories, series, visuals and/or editorials and community reaction. Up to 20 electronic files may be submitted, as well as a letter outlining the background, execution and accomplishments of the effort. The letter should discuss significant challenges to the accuracy or approach of the entry, and steps the organization took to address those concerns. The entry must include all published corrections or clarifications.
  • Judging: Nominations will be judged by members of the APME Executive Committee, the chairman of the APME First Amendment Committee and distinguished experts on public access issues. 

 
Innovator of the Year Award
  • Criteria: Entries will be judged by how journalists or their organizations create, execute and sustain a cutting-edge concept that could be successfully be adopted by other news media. The innovation can be in product development, organizational change, audience advancement, or any other effort that enhances the viability of news organizations.
  • Eligibility: Journalists with Associated Press or Canadian Press member organizations, or the organizations themselves, are eligible.
  • Nominations: Individuals, news organizations, professional societies, journalism schools, state AP associations and others may submit nominations.
  • Submissions: Entries should include electronic files of stories, series, visuals and/or editorials and community reaction. Up to 20 electronic files may be submitted, as well as a letter outlining the background, execution and accomplishments of the effort. The letter should discuss significant challenges to the accuracy or approach of the entry, and steps the organization took to address those concerns. The entry must include all published corrections or clarifications.
  • Judging: The selection of three finalists will be made by a panel of APME board members. The finalists will make presentations at the ASNE/APME conference in September, and a vote of attendees will determine the winner.

 
Innovator of the Year Award for College Students
 
  • Criteria: Entries will be judged by how university students or their organizations create, execute and sustain a cutting-edge concept that could be successfully adopted by other college media. The innovation can be in product development, organizational change, audience advancement, or any other effort that enhances the viability of student journalism.
  • Eligibility:  Students enrolled at a U.S. or Canadian college or university, or departments within the school, or programs within the school (i.e. a student newspaper or broadcast station), are eligible.
  • Nominations: Journalism schools, individuals, news organizations, professional societies, state AP associations and others may submit nominations.
  • Submissions: Entries should include electronic files of stories, series, visuals and/or editorials and community reaction. Up to 20 electronic files may be submitted, as well as a letter outlining the background, execution and accomplishments of the effort. The letter should discuss significant challenges to the accuracy or approach of the entry, and steps the organization took to address those concerns. The entry must include all published corrections or clarifications.
  • Judging: Judging will be done by a panel of APME board members.
  •  

 
Investigative Reporting (The Al Neuharth Award)
 
  • Criteria: Entries will be judged by how they advance the role of community watchdog in helping a community understand and address important issues. Consideration will be given to innovative use of interactivity, new tools and creative use of any digital medium.
  • Eligibility: Journalists with Associated Press or Canadian Press member or customer organizations, or the organizations themselves, are eligible.
  • Categories: There will be two awards, recognizing accomplishments by small (0-50 employees) and large (51 or more) news organizations. Wire service work should be entered in the large category.
  • Prize: The best entry in each category will receive the Al Neuharth Award.
  • Nominations: Individuals, news organizations, professional societies, journalism schools, state AP associations and others may submit nominations.
  • Submissions: Entries should include electronic files of stories, series, visuals and/or editorials and community reaction. Up to 20 electronic files may be submitted, as well as a letter outlining the background, execution and accomplishments of the effort. The letter should discuss significant challenges to the accuracy or approach of the entry, and steps the organization took to address those concerns. The entry must include all published corrections or clarifications.
  • Judging: Judging will be done by a panel of APME board members.
 

 
News Reporting
 
  • Criteria: Entries will be judged by how they report on a breaking news event or issue by combining urgent, compelling reporting with innovative tools that advance and enhance the audience experience.
  • Eligibility: Journalists with Associated Press or Canadian Press member or customer organizations, or the organizations themselves, are eligible.
  • Categories: There will be three awards, recognizing accomplishments by small (0-25 employees), medium (26-75), and large (76 or more) news organizations. Wire service work should be entered in the large category. A grand prize will be awarded to the best overall entry.
  • Nominations: Individuals, news organizations, professional societies, journalism schools, state AP associations and others may submit nominations.
  • Submissions: Entries should include electronic files of stories, series, visuals and/or editorials and community reaction. Up to 20 electronic files may be submitted, as well as a letter outlining the background, execution and accomplishments of the effort. The letter should discuss significant challenges to the accuracy or approach of the entry, and steps the organization took to address those concerns. The entry must include all published corrections or clarifications.
  • Judging: Judging will be done by a panel of APME board members.
 

 
Storytelling
 
  • Criteria: Entries will be judged by how they combine feature and/or explanatory reporting in a compelling narrative that integrates a range of digital tools into the full experience of the story.
  • Eligibility: Journalists with Associated Press or Canadian Press member or customer organizations, or the organizations themselves, are eligible.
  • Categories: There will be three awards, recognizing accomplishments by small (0-25 employees), medium (26-75), and large (76 or more) news organizations. A grand prize will be awarded to the best overall entry. Wire service work should be entered in the large category.
  • Nominations: Individuals, news organizations, professional societies, journalism schools, state AP associations and others may submit nominations.
  • Submissions: Entries should include electronic files of stories, series, visuals and/or editorials and community reaction. Up to 20 electronic files may be submitted, as well as a letter outlining the background, execution and accomplishments of the effort. The letter should discuss significant challenges to the accuracy or approach of the entry, and steps the organization took to address those concerns. The entry must include all published corrections or clarifications.
  • Judging: Judging will be done by a panel of APME board members.

 
International Perspective Awards (The Sally Jacobsen Award)
 
  • Criteria: Entries will be judged by how they provide effective and thoughtful coverage that demonstrates the interconnectedness of our world. This could be reflected in a discriminating selection of wire service coverage; stories that shed light on international connections to a local audience; articles involving people living or traveling abroad; or the use of local expertise to shed light on international developments.
  • Eligibility: Journalists with Associated Press or Canadian Press member or customer organizations, or the organizations themselves, are eligible.
  • Categories: There will be two awards, recognizing accomplishments by small (0-50 employees) and large (51 or more) news organizations. Wire service work should be entered in the large category.
  • Nominations: Individuals, news organizations, professional societies, journalism schools, state AP associations and others may submit nominations.
  • Submissions: Entries should include electronic files of stories, series, visuals and/or editorials and community reaction. Up to 20 electronic files may be submitted, as well as a letter outlining the background, execution and accomplishments of the effort. The letter should discuss significant challenges to the accuracy or approach of the entry, and steps the organization took to address those concerns. The entry must include all published corrections or clarifications.
  • Judging: Judging will be done by a panel of APME board members, and a senior Associated Press editor.

 


Mobile Platform

  • Criteria: Entries will be judged by a news organization’s ability to produce or make significant improvements to a mobile (smartphone or tablet) application or platform in 2016. Consideration will be given to entries that advance the state of the art in utility and engagement, including improvements in content, design, functionality and technology.
  • Eligibility: Journalists with Associated Press or Canadian Press member or customer organizations, or the organizations themselves, are eligible.
  • Nominations: Individuals, news organizations, professional societies, journalism schools, state AP associations and others may submit nominations.
  • Submissions: Entries should include electronic files of stories, series, visuals and/or editorials and community reaction. Up to 20 electronic files may be submitted, as well as a letter outlining the background, execution and accomplishments of the effort. The letter should discuss significant challenges to the accuracy or approach of the entry, and steps the organization took to address those concerns. The entry must include all published corrections or clarifications.
  • Judging: Judging will be done by a panel of APME board members.

 

 
  • Criteria: Entries will be judged by a news organization’s ability to provide a forum for effective dialogue with its community, play a supportive and contributing role in that dialogue, and seek partnerships that sustain that dialogue.
  • Eligibility: Journalists with Associated Press or Canadian Press member or customer organizations, or the organizations themselves, are eligible.
  • Categories: There will be two awards, recognizing accomplishments by small (0-50 employees) and large (51 or more) news organizations. Wire service work should be entered in the large category.
  • Nominations: Individuals, news organizations, professional societies, journalism schools, state AP associations and others may submit nominations.
  • Submissions: Entries should include electronic files of stories, series, visuals and/or editorials and community reaction. Up to 20 electronic files may be submitted, as well as a letter outlining the background, execution and accomplishments of the effort. The letter should discuss significant challenges to the accuracy or approach of the entry, and steps the organization took to address those concerns. The entry must include all published corrections or clarifications.
  • Judging: Judging will be done by a panel of APME board members.

APME Associated Press Staff News, Multimedia and Photography Awards 

APME Awards for the AP staff are due on March 1, 2018.

Deadline Reporting

The APME Deadline Reporting award recognizes the best coverage in all formats of a major breaking story. Entries should demonstrate urgency and competitiveness. The winner receives $500 and a plaque from APME. The entry can be for an individual or team.

Enterprise Reporting (investigative or enterprise package)

The enterprise award recognizes hard-hitting investigative journalism by AP staff. The winner receives $500 and a plaque from APME. Judges are especially interested in the significance of the enterprise effort. This should be reflected in the cover letter. What was the impact? Did the story or stories cause action to be taken? Entries should embrace multi-format storytelling, and include video, photo and interactive materials employed to tell the story. The entry can be for an individual or a team.

Feature Writing, Single Story or Series

The feature writing award recognizes excellence in writing and reporting. It is for a single story or a series of stories on a single subject (including narratives), NOT a body of work. Length is not a factor. The winner receives $500 and a plaque from APME. If the entry had a multimedia element, please provide URLs to the presentations. In addition, screen grabs showing the play of a story online, if available, may be submitted with the nominating letter. The entry is for an individual.

John Winn and Margo C. Miller Award

The John Winn and Margo C. Miller Award honors exemplary work by an AP staff member in any format who is 30 years old or younger as of Dec. 31, 2017. It is named for a longtime editor of the Gannett newspapers in Rochester, New York, who played an active role in APME and worked hard to promote good writing. The winner receives $1,000 and a plaque from APME. The entry must include at least three stories, photographs, interactives, videos or other work, but MUST NOT exceed five and focus on work largely done between Jan. 1, 2017 and Dec. 31, 2017.

State News/Charles Rowe Award

The award recognizes distinguished reporting in the state bureaus. The winner receives $1,000 and a plaque from APME. Entries can be for individuals or teams. Each entry should include enough stories to give a fairly complete picture of the individual's or bureau's coverage of the subject, but should not exceed 10 items of content.

Best Use of Video

The award recognizes material that tells all or part of the story in video and either advances the story further by providing material to put complexities in context or contains exclusive visual information. The winner receives $500 and a plaque from APME. Entries can be for individuals or teams. Each entry should include enough work to give a fairly complete picture of the coverage of the subject, but should not exceed 10 stories.

Global Sports Accountability Reporting

The sports accountability award recognizes strong investigative or enterprise journalism by AP staff on sports topics. The winner receives $1,000 and a plaque from APME. The story or package should have had a significant impact on the sports issue it addresses.  This should be reflected in the cover letter. What happened as a result of the story or package? Did the story or stories cause action to be taken? Entries should embrace multi-format storytelling, and include video, photo and interactive materials employed to tell the story. The entry can be for an individual or a team.

Best Digital Storytelling

The award recognizes material that tells the story in a unique online format and either advances the story further by providing material to put complexities in context or contains exclusive video, audio, graphic or multimedia content. The winner receives $500 and a plaque from APME. Entries can be for individuals or teams. Each entry should include enough work to give a fairly complete picture of the coverage of the subject, but should not exceed 10 stories.