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All entries must be submitted by 6 pm EST Friday, April 21, 2023.


The News Leaders Association awards are geared to reflect the extraordinary journalism produced in 2022, with categories that take into account the massive stories that unfolded across the past twelve months. We urge news organizations of all sizes to enter, and judges will take into consideration the special circumstances that many or most outlets, including smaller ones, had to face to produce excellent journalism.

All news websites, news services (including radio, TV stations and magazines) and newspapers in the United States are eligible to enter. Each nominating organization must create its own account to enter.

The categories for this year's awards are:

  • Dori J. Maynard Justice Award
  • Batten Medal
  • Deborah Howell Award for Writing Excellence
  • Frank A. Blethen Award for Local Accountability Reporting
  • Burl Osborne Editorial and Opinion Award
  • Punch Sulzberger Innovative Editor of the Year Award
  • Mike Royko Award for Commentary and Column Writing
  • Al Neuharth Breaking News Editor of the Year
  • First Amendment Award
  • Robert G. McGruder Award for Diversity Leadership 

Thanks to our generous sponsors, all of our awards will come with a cash prize. Please see the categories page for details.
To begin an entry submission, please click here to register your organization's information. Please check to see if your organization has an account before registering, as each organization should only have one account for entering submissions. You will need your nominating editor’s login and password to access an existing account. (Note: if you are an NLA member, this is not the same account you use to access the NLA membership portal.) If you participated in the 2019, 2020, 2021 or 2022 NLA Awards and are submitting on behalf of the same organization this year, then you can simply log in without creating a new account.
Note your email address (username) and password so that when you return, you can log in and complete the submission process.

Steps to Follow:

Step 1: Make sure to review the categories and rules by clicking on their tabs in the menu bar.

Step 2: Start entering by clicking here to create one account for your organization. If you already have an account, then you can log in (need nominating editor login and password) and complete your submission.

Step 3: On the submit page, you will be asked to complete three forms per entry. You need to complete all three forms per entry in order to complete your submission.

Step 4: When you finish uploading your entry, click "Add to Cart," and you'll be directed to the "Review and Checkout" page. Review your entry and make changes if necessary. Click "Checkout" to pay and complete your submission. If you have more entries to submit, then click "Make Another Entry," and repeat the process. If you need to submit the same entry to a different category, then you'll have an option to copy the entry at the end of each "Entry submission" form. Once you complete adding all of your entries, you can then pay for everything at once. 

Step 5: Once you pay for your entry, you can review in the read-only mode by clicking "My Entries" under the "My Account" tab, but you won't have access to make changes.

Awards Rules:

Please follow the rules below to ensure that your entry is accepted. 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 entries must have been published originally, whether in print or online, in 2022 (unless otherwise specified). 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.

Note: All digital and print outlets that submit for the Dori J. Maynard Justice Award and the Robert G. McGruder Award for Diversity Leadership agree to participate in the next News Leaders Association annual diversity survey or conduct and publish their own newsroom's survey for NLA to share. The NLA diversity survey submission period will be announced later this year. To learn more about NLA's diversity efforrts and to view past surveys click here. Broadcast outlets, which are not part of the NLA survey at this time, are currently exempt from diversity survey participation and can apply for this award.

Deadline: All entries must be submitted by 6 pm EST Friday, April 21, 2023.

Team Entries: All awards categories accept team entries except the Mike Royko Award for Commentary and Column Writing. 
Multiple Entries: A news organization can submit up to three entries in each category. Individual journalists may self-enter in the same category however, even if their organization submits three entries to that category.

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

Entry Format: If your entry is available online, please submit your piece via the URL(s). If there are multiple components to your story, you may submit an accompanying PDF that details the instructions for how those URLs should be viewed/accessed (order, "only count this part of the column," etc.). If you would prefer to submit your entry via PDF, we ask that you do so in a clear, easily legible format, with all components clearly labeled. Your nominating letter (optional) should be uploaded as a PDF.

If uploading via PDF, you should submit one PDF file that contains the entire entry and then another PDF file that contains the optional nominating letter. You may submit multiple PDFs if the entry is large. Each article must include its published date and be formatted for easy 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 you are entering via URL and 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 NLA website if it is a winning entry.

Any entry including images should have a JPEG file type and should have a caption. To establish context, PDFs and/or links to 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. All video entries should be entered via URL. Please refer to the categories page for more specific rules.

For Innovative Editor of the Year entries: Multimedia packages containing elements, such as text, video and graphics, should be entered via their URLs. No PDF formatting is required.
No minimum number of articles/digital components is required in each category, but there is a maximum number allowed that is dependent on the category. Please see the specific rules under each category for further instructions.

Enter online: Nomination letters (optional) and submission of entries must be completed online. Click here to set up an account for your organization and start entering. Please check with your nominating editor to see if your organization has an account before registering, as each organization should only have one account for entering submissions. (Note: if you are an NLA member, this is not the same account you use to access the NLA membership portal.) All entries must be submitted by 6 pm EST Friday, April 21, 2023. No late entries will be accepted.

Entrant Type/Fees: There is a nonrefundable handling fee of $75 per entry.

Support: All questions should be emailed to contact@newsleaders.org.

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