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Entry Deadline: Monday, March 12 at 11:59 p.m.


Pro entries: $40 each (includes late fee)  -  Student entries: $25 each

SPJ’s Florida Pro Chapter is pleased to announce the 24th annual Sunshine State Awards competition, 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. We also offer a Student division for students at Florida colleges and universities.

New this year: Disaster Reporting categories have been added to recognize work from the 2017 hurricane season. The Television division has been completely revamped with a new category lineup that better reflects current priorities in television journalism.

The 2018 Sunshine State Awards recognize quality journalism from calendar year 2017. Out-of-state journalists 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 late May. Winners will be announced at the annual Sunshine State Awards ceremony this summer.


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. 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 entrants, contact SPJ or NAHJ membership staff at their respective headquarters.


Following is a summary of the categories. Download the complete list of category 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


B01    Breaking News Reporting
B02    Non-Deadline News Reporting (Large)
B03    Non-Deadline News Reporting (Small)
B04    Feature Reporting (Large)
B05    Feature Reporting (Small)
B06    Series
B07    Commentary & Criticism - General
B08    Commentary & Criticism - Arts
B09    Profile Reporting
B10    State and Local Election Reporting
B11    Presidential 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 - Religion
B28    Beat Reporting - Sports
B29    Special Publication or Section

Photography & Design
(Note: Photojournalist of the Year category is available in the Special Categories division)

C01    Breaking News Photography
C02    Feature Photography
C03    Photography Story
C04    Art/Photo Illustration
C05    Infographic
C06    Front Page Design (Large)
C07    Front Page Design (Small)

D    Magazines

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

(Note: Anchor of the Year category is available in the Special Categories division)

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

(Note: Anchor of the Year category is available in the Special Categories division)

F01    Best Newscast
F02    General Coverage
F03    Investigative Reporting
F04    Government & Politics Reporting
F05    Feature Reporting
F06    Public Affairs


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
H04    Mejor reportaje especial en radio/podcast
H05    Mejor reportaje especial en prensa escrita/medio digital
H06    Mejor cobertura de noticias de última hora (breaking news) en televisión/radio/digital
H07    Periodista del año en televisión/radio
H08    Periodista del año en prensa escrita/digital
H09    Mejor infografía y/o visualización de dato del año
H10    Mejor cobertura de desastres naturales en televisión/radio
H11    Mejor cobertura de desastres naturales en prensa escrita/digital
H12    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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