Category 1: NEWS STORY

  • Sharp, attention-getting lead that underscores news story importance
  • Uses inverted pyramid
  • Emphasizes news elements, i.e. timeliness, nearness, impact, and prominence
  • Shows thorough reporting skills
  • Effective use of facts/quotes from both primary and secondary sources
  • Avoids opinion unless properly attributed
  • Sentences, paragraphs of varied length; written clearly, concisely, and vividly
  • Proper diction/grammar; use of third person

 

Category 2: NEWS ANALYSIS

  • Sharp, attention-getting lead that underscore the why/how elements of the news
  • Clarifies the news elements, i.e. timeliness, nearness, impact and prominence
  • Clarifies through research the background necessary to understand current news
  • Develops an understanding of the issues/problems through interviews with varied and balanced sources
  • Avoids personal opinion unless properly attributed
  • Sentences, paragraphs of varied length, written clearly, concisely and vividly
  • Effective use of facts/quotes from both primary and secondary sources
  • Proper diction/grammar; use of third person

 

Category 3: EDITORIAL

  • Topic relevant to interests and/or welfare of school or students
  • Wins reader interest with impelling lead
  • Presents evidence/interpretation in logical sequence
  • States issue; uses effective examples, facts, and comparisons to clarify
  • Deals with specific issue: avoids preaching, rhetoric, and cliches
  • Shows sufficient thought and research
  • Sentences, paragraphs of varied length; written clearly,concisely, and vividly
  • Proper diction/grammar

 

Category 4: BY-LINED OPINION ARTICLE

  • Topic relevant to interests and/or welfare of school or students
  • Wins reader interest with impelling lead
  • Presents evidence/interpretation in logical sequence
  • States issue; uses effective examples, facts and comparisons to clarify
  • Deals with specific issue; avoids preaching, rhetoric and cliches
  • Shows sufficient thought and knowledge of subject, developed with personal style
  • Sentences, paragraphs of varied length; written clearly, concisely and vividly
  • Proper diction/grammar

 

Category 5: REVIEW

  • Sharp, attention-getting lead that clarifies subject
  • Gives a short summary or adequate information about subject
  • Discusses strengths and weaknesses of subject
  • Uses specific examples to support opinion
  • Displays knowledge of subject
  • Shows thought and research
  • Colorful, lively presentation; effective form/style
  • Proper diction/grammar

 

Category 6: FEATURE COLUMN

  • Entry consists of two columns from different editions of the newspaper
  • Sharp attention-getting leads
  • Expresses personal opinions; uses consistent style
  • Reflects thought/research, freshness, individuality
  • Effective use of facts/quotes or supporting material
  •  Informative, interesting, entertaining
  • Upholds journalistic integrity
  • Sentences, paragraphs of varied length; written clearly, concisely and vividly
  • Proper diction/grammar

 

Category 7: PRO/CON EDITORIAL COLUMNS

  • Topics relevant to interests and/or welfare of school or students
  • Two pieces, while offering opposing views, are consistent in style and tone
  • Both pieces win reader interest with impelling leads
  • Present evidence/interpretation in logical sequence
  • State issue; uses effective examples, facts and comparisons to clarify
  • Deal with specific issue; avoids preaching, rhetoric and clichés
  • Show sufficient thought and knowledge of subject, developed with personal style
  • Sentences, paragraphs of varied length; written clearly, concisely and vividly
  • Proper diction/grammar

 

Category 8: IN-DEPTH FEATURE

  • Lead captures attention, arouses curiosity
  • Topic relevant to interests and/or welfare of school or students
  • Extensive, intensive and thorough investigation
  • Effectively combines basics of good news and feature writing
  • Effectively organized with smooth transitions; carefully outlined
  • Sentences, paragraphs of varied length; written clearly, concisely and vividly
  • Proper diction/grammar
  • Balanced and fair presentation

 

Category 9: INFORMATIVE FEATURE

  • Leads capture attention, arouses curiosity
  • Topic relevant to interests and/or welfare of school or students
  • Thorough investigation through research and interviews
  • Combines basics of good news and feature writing
  • Organized with smooth transitions
  • Sentences, paragraphs of varied length; written clearly, concisely and vividly
  • Uses proper diction and grammar
  • Balanced and fair presentation

 

Category 10: HUMAN INTEREST FEATURE

  • Lead captures attention, arouses curiosity
  • Emphasizes new element, fresh angle
  • Colorful, lively presentation;effective form/style
  • Reflects adequate research, sound interviewing techniques
  • Avoids summaries of published materials
  • Effective use of facts/quotes
  • Interesting; appeals to the emotions
  • Proper diction/grammar

 

Category 11: PERSONAL NARRATIVE

  • A first-person account depicting a personal experience
  • Lead captures attention, arouses curiosity
  • Topic relevant to interests and/or welfare of school or students
  • Effectively combines basics of good news and feature writing
  • Effectively organized with smooth transitions; carefully outlined
  • Sentences, paragraphs of varied length; written clearly, concisely and vividly
  • Proper diction/grammar
  • Should have byline, which could include mug shot of writer

 

Category 12: PERSONALITY PROFILE

  • Lead captures attention, arouses curiosity; reason for sketch is made clear early in story
  • Emphasizes fresh angle; individualizes person
  • Colorful, lively presentation; effective form/style
  • Reflects adequate research, sound interviewing techniques from a variety of sources
  • Avoids encyclopedic listing of subject’s accomplishments
  • Effective use of quotes
  • Interesting; appeals to the emotions
  • Proper diction/grammar

 

Category 13: DIVERSITY COVERAGE

  • Topic relevant to the school or students and reflects lifestyles, challenges and potentials of those from a diverse background
  • Sharp, attention-getting lead grabs reader and arouses curiosity
  • Shows thorough reporting skills through research and interviewing
  • Effective use of facts/quotes from both primary and secondary sources
  • Balanced, fair and sensitive presentation
  • Sentences, paragraphs of varied length; written clearly, concisely and vividly
  • Proper diction/grammar; use of third person

 

Category 14: ENVIRONMENTAL, HEALTH OR SCIENCE STORY

  • Topic relevant to the school or students and covers health, science or environmental story that is informative
  • Sharp, attention-getting lead grabs reader and arouses curiosity
  • Shows thorough reporting skills through research and interviewing
  • Effective use of facts/quotes from both primary and secondary sources
  • Balanced, fair and sensitive presentation
  • Sentences, paragraphs of varied length; written clearly, concisely and vividly
  • Proper diction/grammar; use of third person

 

Category 15: ALTERNATIVE STORY FORM

  • Should be a story told in a unique, alternative way.
  • This is not a traditional story as in inverted pyramid, news,
  • anecdotal, analysis or feature narrative.
  • Story is told with quick facts—it’s a quick read that provides
  • readers with a unique approach to a story.
  • While the read is quick, ASF should provide reader with complete
  • information. Readers should not be left asking questions.
  • Organization is such that story is easy to follow and logical, even
  • though it’s in an alternative way.
  • ASF is visually engrossing, bringing readers in through strong use of
  • typography and other types of visuals.
  • Should not be packaged with another story or part of another story.
  • Stands totally alone as a storytelling device.
  • Submission only considered if submitted with entire page on which it was featured.

 

Category 16: SPORTS FEATURE STORY

  • Lead captures attention, arouses curiosity
  • Emphasizes new element,fresh angle
  • Colorful, lively presentation; effective form/style
  • Reflects adequate research,sound interviewing techniques
  • Avoids summaries of published materials
  • Effective use of facts/quotes
  • Interesting; appeals to the emotions
  • Proper diction/grammar

 

Category 17: SPORTS COLUMN

  • Sharp attention-getting lead
  • Expresses personal opinion; uses consistent style; demonstrates knowledge of sports
  • Reflects thought/research, freshness, individuality; avoids cliches
  • Effective use of facts/quotes or supportive material
  • Informative, interesting, entertaining
  • Upholds journalistic integrity
  • Sentences, paragraphs of varied length; written clearly, concisely and vividly
  • Proper diction/grammar

 

Category 18: SPORTS NEWS STORY

  • Lead features interesting, important angle
  • Uses colorful, lively style
  • Avoids cliches, editorializing
  • Displays knowledge of sports; uses understandable terms
  • Shows research/interviewing skills; emphasizes how & why
  • Effective use of facts/quotes
  • Proper diction/grammar; use of the third person
  • Unity/coherence

 

Category 19: SPORTS ACTION PHOTO

  • Effective cropping to center of interest
  • Clear, sharp details
  • Good, sharp contrast with varied levels of grays, black, and white or colors
  • Attracts, holds reader’s attention
  • Avoids distracting back/foreground
  • All elements in photo combine with caption to tell story
  • Action, rather than posed photo
  • Captures dramatic moment

 

Category 20: SPORTS FEATURE PHOTO

  • Effective cropping to center of interest
  • Clear, sharp details
  • Good, sharp contrast with varied levels of grays, black, and white or colors
  • Attracts, holds reader’s attention
  • Avoids distracting back/foreground
  • All elements in photo combine with caption to tell story
  • Action, rather than posed photo
  • Visually tells another side of a sports story, rather than game action
  • Is not posed

 

Category 21: NEWS/FEATURE PHOTOGRAPH

  • Effective cropping to center of interest
  • Clear, sharp details
  • Good, sharp contrast with varied levels of grays, black, and white or colors
  • Attracts, holds reader’s attention
  • Avoids distracting back/foreground
  • All elements in photo combine with caption to tell story
  • Action, rather than posed photo
  • Underscores news/feature importance

 

Category 22: ENVIRONMENTAL PORTRAIT

  • Effective cropping to center of interest
  • Clear, sharp details
  • Good, sharp contrast with varied levels of grays, black, and white or colors
  • Attracts, holds reader’s attention
  • Avoids distracting back/foreground
  • Setting and props used for portrait gives insight into the subject(s)
  • Emphasizes personality of subject(s) (no more than two in photo)
  • While photo is posed, subject(s) have a natural appearance

 

Category 23: EDITORIAL CARTOON

  • Appears on editorial page
  • Simple in design
  • Shows high technical quality
  • Centered on one topic
  • Timely
  • Subject familiar to reader in his everyday life
  • Displays artistic talent
  • Message succinctly stated

 

Category 24: COMIC STRIP

  • Entertaining
  • Simple in design
  • Shows high technical quality
  • Centered on one topic
  • Timely
  • Subject familiar to reader in his everyday life
  • Displays artistic talent
  • Message succinctly stated

 

Category 25: ILLUSTRATION

  • Clearly develops a theme or mood to enhance story
  • Displays artistic talent within potential for expression using art, photography or computer
  • Photos offer good, sharp contrast with varied levels of grays, black and white. Art shows knowledge of composition, line and shading
  • Attracts, holds reader’s attention
  • Uses color, screens, typography and detail effectively
  • Sizes and placement draw reader’s attention to story without overwhelming content
  • Shows thought and creativity

 

Category 26: INFORMATION GRAPHIC

  • Clearly enhances the story
  • Visuals help clarify, simplify or visualize information
  • Visually attractive
  • Avoids excessive lines and/or illustrations that might confuse the reader but shows effective detail
  • Entertaining and/or informative
  • Clear lines and even strokes as opposed to retraced or broken lines
  • Takes advantage of art or computer technology
  • Uses color, screens, typography and placement effectively

 

Category 27: ADVERTISING LAYOUT

  • Copy provides desired information
  • Copy appropriate; concise, specific, and fast moving
  • Copy attempts to motivate the reader
  • Illustrations/photos clear
  • Parts of the ad assembled to give interesting appearance (balance)
  • Gaze motion or eye movement arranged properly
  • Distinctive: simplicity, action, emphasis, color, photography
  • Standing details attractively arranged (trademark, name, address)

 

Category 28: FRONT PAGE/NEWSMAGAZINE STYLE

(REGARDLESS OF SIZE)
  • Attractive nameplate, harmonizes with design, includes date, issue, volume, school, city, and state
  • Cover should be considered work of art
  • Strongly relate to the inside contents
  • Maintains visual interest
  • Cover illustration (if used) may be compelling in size with a possible teaser headline depicting the mood of the story
  • Photos effectively cropped, of varied size, shape, emphasizing action
  • Cover can refer readers to inside pages

 

Category 29: FRONT PAGE/NEWSPAPER STYLE

(REGARDLESS OF SIZE)
  • Attractive nameplate, harmonizes with design, includes date, issue, volume, school, city, and state
  • Page generates reader interest; showcases important content
  • Sound, journalistic style of writing
  • Maintains visual interest in lower half of page
  • Consistent use of headline styles/type faces
  • Photos effectively cropped, of varied size, shape, emphasizing action
  • Demonstrates effective graphic style, with graphic devices contributing to impact of page
  • Clear relationships demonstrated between story and related pictures/art
  • Cutlines stand out from body copy; effective lead-ins used for longer cutlines

 

Category 30: STORY PACKAGE

  • Package generates reader interest; showcases strongest content
  • One dominant story element and graphic element, packaged with secondary elements in the form of stories and graphics
  • Visual elements tie package together to create cohesiveness, even if package extends to another non-consecutive page or does not fill an entire page.
  • Graphic devices, if used, contribute to overall impact of package
  • Design reflects effective graphic style, personality of publication
  • Consistent use of headline styles/type faces
  • Content covers appropriate, timely issues/topics
  • Stories written in sound, journalistic style
  • Headlines get smaller in relation to importance of elements in package

 

Category 31: EDITORIAL-OPINION PAGE/SPREAD

  • If editorial page, includes masthead with statement of responsibility for publication
  • Graphic devices, if used, contribute to overall impact of page
  • Cartoon, illustrations are attractive, understandable, using shadings/screenings
  • Design reflects effective graphic style, personality of publication
  • Ads not included on editorial page
  • Strong visual center of interest
  • Consistent use of headline styles/type faces
  • Editorial should be unsigned but clearly identifiable through standing heads and page I.D., column width and/or type size
  • Content covers appropriate, timely issues/topics
  • Stories written in sound, journalistic style
  • Opinions supported by facts, research and examples

 

Category 32: FEATURE PAGE/SPREAD

  • Page generates reader interest; showcases strongest content
  • Strong visual center of interest; page maintains visual interest throughout
  • Consistent use of headline styles/typefaces; special types restricted to unique packaging of a single element
  • Photos effectively cropped, of varied size, shape, emphasizing action
  • Demonstrates effective graphic style with graphic devices contributing to impact of page
  • Clear relationships demonstrated between story and related pictures, art
  • Cutlines stand out from body copy; effective lead-ins used for longer cutlines
  • Content reflects student interests
  • Stories written according to sound journalistic style

 

Category 33: SPORTS PAGE/SPREAD

  • Avoids sports jargon, cliches
  • Strong visual center of interest; visually attractive top and bottom
  • Demonstrates knowledge of subject
  • Consistent use of headline styles/type faces; head sizes indicate importance of story
  • Cutlines stand out from body copy; effective lead-ins used for longer cutlines
  • Graphic devices and ads, if used, contribute to impact of page, are attractively packaged, and encourage readership
  • Clear relationship between story and related pictures/art; potential for each story to draw readers
  • Photos effectively cropped, of varied size, shape, and emphasizing action
  • Page design reflects personality, contributes to attractiveness of page

 

Category 34: NEWS PAGE/SPREAD

  • Most important story is in top half of page
  • Graphic devices, if used, contribute to overall impact of page
  • Design reflects effective graphic style, personality of publication
  • Strong visual center of interest
  • Consistent use of headline styles/typefaces
  • Strong visual center of interest
  • Content covers appropriate, timely issues/topics
  • Stories written in sound, journalistic style
  • Headlines get smaller as they go down the page

 

Category 35: ENTERTAINMENT PAGE/SPREAD

  • Page generates reader interest; showcases strongest content
  • Strong visual center of interest; page maintains visual interest throughout
  • Includes logos/labels to separate types of entertainment (books, videos, music, etc)
  • Consistent use of headline styles/typefaces; special types restricted to unique packaging of a single element
  • Photos effectively cropped, of varied size, shape, emphasizing action
  • Demonstrates effective graphic style with graphic devices contributing to impact of page
  • Clear relationships demonstrated between story and related pictures, art
  • Cutlines stand out from body copy; effective lead-ins used for longer cutlines
  • Content reflects student interests
  • Stories written according to sound journalistic style

 

Category 36: PHOTO STORY

  • Page includes at least three or four photos on related theme
  • Headline and cutlines are evident
  • Byline is included
  • Copy, if used, is well-written and appropriate
  • Photos are of good quality
  • Dominant photo is evident
  • Pictures work together to tell the story

 

Category 37: PROFESSIONALLY PUBLISHED PAGE

  • Shows balance of news, sports, feature, opinion, in-depth
  • Presents evidence of good design (modular, dominant element, visually appealing, etc.)
  • Page is clearly identified as school/student page
  • Flag is evident with name of school, address, date, etc.
  • Distinctive style is apparent
  • Editorial is placed in a distinctive location on page
  • Consideration of audience is evident (relevant topics, issues covered)