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Welcome to the 2019 News Leaders Association Awards website and thanks for participating!


The American Society of News Editors and the Associated Press Media Editors announce the first annual News Leaders Association Awards. The News Leaders Association Awards reflect the merging of these tradition-rich organizations in honoring excellence and innovation in journalism. They will replace the ASNE Awards and APME Awards, blending hallmarks of both contests.

All news websites, news services (including radio, TV stations and magazines) 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 or APME are also eligible. Each nominating organization must create its own account to enter.

In five categories, there will be two awards, recognizing accomplishments by large and small news organizations. Those categories are:

  • Frank A. Blethen Award for Local Accountability Reporting
  • Punch Sulzberger Award for Innovative Storytelling
  • Deborah Howell Award for Writing Excellence
  • Burl Osborne Award for Editorial Leadership and Community Engagement
  • Visual Journalism Award

Size is determined by the number of full-time-equivalent employees in a newsroom — all those involved in reporting, editing, visuals, multimedia, design and production, and will be defined as:

  • Large (News organization with staffs of 51 or more)
  • Small (News organization with staffs of 50 or fewer)

In the following categories, one person, team or organization will be honored, without regard to news operation size:

  • Al Neuharth Breaking News Reporting Award
  • Batten Medal for Courage in Journalism
  • O’Brien Fellowship Award for Impact in Public Service Journalism
  • Dori J. Maynard Award for Justice in Journalism
  • Mike Royko Award for Commentary and Column Writing
  • First Amendment Award

To begin an entry submission, please click here to register your organization's information. If you participated in the 2018 ASNE contest and are submitting on behalf of the same organization this year, then you can simply log in without creating a new account. 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.

Note your email address (username) and password so that when you return, you can log in and complete the submission process.


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 and complete your submission.
Step 3: On the submit page, start with the "Contact information" form, followed by "Entry information" and "Entry submission." You need to complete all three forms per entry. Your "Entrant Type" is either large or small based on the parameters stated in the rules.
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.


Please follow the rules and procedures below carefully 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 2018, except for the Batten Medal and O’Brien Fellowship Award, which can include work published over a two-year period (Jan. 1, 2017, to Dec. 31, 2018). 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.

Organizations can submit up to three entries per category. Individuals from eligible organizations may self-enter even if the organization submits three entries. No minimum number of articles/digital components is required in each category. Be sure to read all of the rules and category descriptions before submitting entries. Entrants in the News Leaders Association Awards should read each category closely to make sure rules are followed. Deviations from the rules may result in disqualification.

Deadline: All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019.

Team Entries: The awards for Writing Excellence and for Commentary and Column Writing accept only work by an individual. All other awards accept team entries. 

Multiple Entries: A news organization can submit up to THREE entries in each of the 11 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, APME and NLA 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 Innovative 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 visual journalism 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. All video entries should be entered via URL. 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 of $75 per entry

Support: Questions can be answered from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST Monday-Friday. Contact ASNE Senior Information Specialist Megan Morrison at mschumacher@asne.org or ASNE Senior Communications Assistant Deena Kahn at dkahn@asne.org or 573-882-2430.