Rules and Procedures

Please follow the rules and procedures below carefully to ensure that your entry is accepted. Please note there are some important changes in the rules and categories this year. Entries that do not conform to these rules may be disqualified. In addition, be sure to follow the specific requirements for each category found in the category descriptions.

Eligibility: All websites, news services and newspapers in the United States are eligible to enter. Outside the United States, news organizations that are headed by an active member of ASNE are also eligible.

  • Except for the Batten Medal and the O'Brien Fellowship Award for Impact in Public Service Journalism, which can include reporting for public service journalism projects over a two-year period, all entries must have been published originally, whether in print or online, in 2017. For the Batten Medal and the O'Brien Fellowship Award, all pieces submitted must have been published between Jan. 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2017.
  • News services must submit a published version of the entry.
  • All entries must be submitted in English.
  • The work of a journalist or team can be entered in more than one category but will be selected as a winner in no more than one.
  • The work of both employees and freelance contributors is eligible.  
  • A ranking editor of the organization must nominate and approve the entry.

Deadline: All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018.

Team Entries: Categories that accept team entries are Batten Medal, Editorial Leadership, Justice in Journalism, Local Accountability Reporting, O'Brien Fellowship, Online Storytelling, Photojournalism and Breaking News Writing. The two other categories accept only work by an individual.

Multiple Entries: A news organization can submit up to THREE entries in each of the 10 categories. Individual journalists from eligible organizations may self-enter even if the organization submits three entries. Self-entered work still needs to be nominated and approved by an editor of the organization.

Reprint Rights: Reprint rights are granted to ASNE by virtue of entry in this contest.

Entry Format: Each entry submitted for judging must be uploaded as follows: one PDF file that contains the nominating letter (optional, except for the O'Brien Fellowship Award) and then another PDF file that contains the entire entry. You may submit multiple PDFs if the entry is large. Each article must include its published date and be formatted in either a one- or two-column format for readability. A sidebar can be submitted as a separate article to be counted toward the maximum articles allowed per category. If the articles are part of a series, then only submit the articles that will be judged up to the maximum allowed per category. The articles can be prefaced with the original play of the articles. If it is a series, then the articles submitted for judging need to be in the one- or two-column format as required in the PDF format for ease of judging.

For Online Storytelling entries: Multimedia packages containing elements, such as text, video and graphics, should be entered via their URLs. No PDF formatting is required.

Other entries can also be entered via their URLs but must include the articles submitted for judging in the one- or two-column format as required in the PDF format for ease of judging. If there is a paywall, then use the "paywall instructions" box in the entry submission form to upload instructions for access. The URL needs to be available as a link on the ASNE website if it is a winning entry.

An entry in the photojournalism category can have up to 15 images (file type: JPEG). Each image should have a caption. To establish context, PDFs and/or links to the relevant web pages must be included in the entry. It's understood that this supporting material might include photographs that are not part of the entry. You may also enter a URL instead of uploading images. Please refer to the categories page for more specific rules.

Enter online: Nomination letters (optional, except for the O'Brien Fellowship Award) and submission of entries must be completed online. Click here to setup an account for your organization and start entering. As a reminder, each organization is allowed only ONE account for submitting entries with the main editor as the nominating lead. If you’re self-entering, you can make your own account, but you still need to list a nominating editor.

Entrant Type/Fees: There is a nonrefundable handling fee for each nomination entered in the competition:

  • Large (News organization with 1 million monthly unique visitors or more): $75/category
  • Small (News organization with less than 1 million MUVs): $40/category

Support: ASNE is available to answer any questions from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST Monday-Friday. Contact ASNE Senior Information Specialist Megan Morrison at or 573-882-3792 or ASNE Communications Coordinator Jiyoung Won at or 573-882-2430.