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The Society of Professional Journalists' Florida Pro Chapter is pleased to announce the 2019 Sunshine State Awards competition, recognizing oustanding journalism from calendar year 2018. The contest, now in its 25th year, is open to all professional print, broadcast and online journalists in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Spanish-language division is presented in partnership with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. The contest also offers a Student division for students at Florida colleges and universities.

Professional journalists and journalism educators from outside the Florida market will judge all entries and may award first-, second- and third-place honors in each category. The finalist list will be emailed to all entrants in May. Winners will be announced at the annual Sunshine State Awards ceremony this summer.


♦   Early Bird Rate (enter by Feb. 3): Professionals $29, Students $20

♦   Standard Rate (enter Feb. 4-24): Professionals $35, Sudents $25

♦   Late Rate (enter Feb. 25-March 3): Professionals $40, Students $25

Final Entry Deadline: Sunday, March 3, at 11:59 p.m.


All entries must be submitted online; no hard-copy entries are accepted. Read the category descriptions and follow all instructions carefully. If you have questions, please contact Contest Administrator Tim Dodson at tim@timdodson.com or 305-756-6763.

SPJ & NAHJ MEMBER BENEFIT: get one entry FREE with your first paid entry. Submit your paid entry first, then submit a single free entry. Any remaining entries must be paid in full at the prevailing rate. The free entry must list a current, dues-paying individual SPJ or NAHJ member as one of the entrants. If you have questions about individual membership status of your organization's entrants, contact SPJ or NAHJ membership staff at their respective headquarters.


Following is a list of contest categories. Download the complete list of 2019 categories and descriptions.

Special Categories

A01       James Batten Award for Public Service

A02       Gene Miller Award for Investigative Reporting

A03       Diversity Award

A04       First Amendment Foundation Freedom of Information Award

A05       Journalist of the Year

A06       Anchor of the Year

A07       Photojournalist of the Year

A08       Excellence in Disaster Reporting

A09       Outstanding New Journalist

A10       Editor of the Year

Newspapers (See the Special Categories and Digital divisions for additional categories open to print journalists.)

B01       Breaking News Reporting

B02       Non-Deadline News Reporting (Large Papers)

B03       Non-Deadline News Reporting (Small Papers)

B04       Feature Reporting (Large Papers)

B05       Feature Reporting (Small Papers)

B06       Series

B07       Commentary & Criticism - General

B08       Commentary & Criticism - Arts

B09       Profile Reporting

B10       State and Local Election Reporting

B11       Federal Election Reporting

B12       Data Reporting

B13       Editorial Writing

B14       Editorial Cartoon

B15       Headline Writing

B16       Beat Reporting - Arts

B17       Beat Reporting - Business

B18       Beat Reporting - Community

B19       Beat Reporting - Consumer Issues

B20       Beat Reporting - Crime & Courts

B21       Beat Reporting - Education

B22       Beat Reporting - Environment, Health & Science

B23       Beat Reporting - Food & Travel

B24       Beat Reporting - Government & Politics

B25       Beat Reporting - Hardship Issues

B26       Beat Reporting - Minority Issues

B27       Beat Reporting - Faith & Values

B28       Beat Reporting - Sports

B29       Special Publication or Section

Photography & Design (See the Special Categories division for additional categories open to photographers.)

C01       Breaking News Photography

C02       Feature Photography

C03       Drone Photographty

C04       Photography Story

C05       Art/Photo Illustration

C06       Infographic

C07       Front Page Design (Large Papers)

C08       Front Page Design (Small Papers)

Magazines (See the Special Categories and Digital divisions for additional categories open to print journalists.)

D01       Public Service Reporting

D02       Investigative Reporting

D03       Feature Story

D04       Profile Story

D05       Commentary & Criticism

D06       Food and Travel Writing

D07       Trade or Special Interest Publication

D08       Cover Design

D09       Inside Design

D10       Best Single Issue

Television (See the Special Categories and Digital divisions for additional categories open to broadcast journalists.)

E01       Best Newscast

E02       Investigative Reporting - Single Report

E03       Investigative Reporting - Series

E04       Spot News Reporting

E05       Breaking News

E06       General Assignment Report

E07       Special Reporting

E08       Political Reporting

E09       Light Feature Reporting

E10       Serious Feature Reporting

E11       Sports Reporting

E12       Weather Reporting

E13       Best Non-Newscast Program

Radio (See the Special Categories and Digital divisions for additional writing categories open to broadcast journalists.)

F01       Best Newscast

F02       General Coverage

F03       Investigative Reporting

F04       Government & Politics Reporting

F05       Feature Reporting

F06       Public Affairs

Digital (See the Special Categories and Newspaper divisions for additional categories open to digital journalists.)

G01       Blog

G02       News Web Site

G03       Online Breaking News

G04       Multimedia Feature

G05       Package

G06       Infographics and Data Visualization

G07       Online Video - up to three minutes

G08       Online Video - three minutes or longer

G09       Podcast

G10       Blog Writing

G11       Social Media Package

Spanish Language

H01       Mejor trabajo de investigación en televisión/radio

H02       Mejor trabajo de investigación en prensa escrita/digital

H03       Mejor reportaje especial (features) en televisión/radio/podcast

H04       Mejor reportaje especial en prensa escrita/medio digital

H05       Mejor cobertura de noticias de última hora (breaking news) en televisión/radio/digital

H06       Periodista del año en televisión/radio/digital

H07       Periodista del año en prensa escrita/digital

H08       Mejor infografía y/o visualización de dato del año

H09       Mejor cobertura de desastres naturales en televisión/radio

H10       Mejor cobertura de desastres naturales en prensa escrita/digital

H11       Mejor trabajo estudiantil (todo tipo de medios)


J01       College Journalist of the Year

J02       Best Student Publication

J03       Best Website

J04       Best News Story

J05       Best News Photo

J06       Best Feature Story

J07       Best Profile

J08       Best Review

J09       Best Sports Story

J10       Best Sports Photo

J11       Best Opinion Column

J12       Best Page Design

J13       Best Video

J14       Best Multimedia Feature

J15       Best Coverage of LGBT Issues

J16       Best Coverage of Race and Minorities

J17       Best Disaster Reporting

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