Four major journalism organizations — Associated Collegiate Press,
the Society of Professional Journalists,
the Society for News Design and
College Broadcasters Inc. —
have joined forces to recognize outstanding COVID-19 coverage by collegiate journalists.
It’s a distinctive weekly recognition program for all college students whose coverage of COVID-19 appears in student-run media, in professional publications or in publicly shared classroom projects.
Print, online and broadcast submissions are welcome. There is no cost to enter.
It is critical, however, that you do not put yourself or others in jeopardy of being infected with COVID-19 through your reporting.
The program offers two categories — General Content and Design, the latter including designs and visuals such as photo illustrations, illustrations, informational graphics and cartoons.
In its first week, stories were recognized, and in the second week, designers were added, as were photos, for one week before shelter-in-place regulations went into effect across the nation.
Reporting honorees receive a free year of SPJ membership, with SND memberships in the design categories. All recognized work will be touted on SPJ’s and ACP’s social media — a reach of more than 140,000 followers.
We don’t distinguish between news and feature, broadcast or written word. Submit up to three posts from the week about COVID-19 that informed your audience of students, faculty, staff, administration, and alumni. This content can include broadcasts and podcasts, news stories and Instagram stories, op-eds and photo galleries. Basically, anything excellent, whatever the delivery method.
All entries are evaluated by members of the Society of Professional Journalists and ACP. Honorees receive a free one-year SPJ membership. If they’re already a member, that’s extended a year.
Judges will look for
Accuracy and completeness
Enterprise and ingenuity
Significance and effectiveness
Clarity and insight
Creative use of the medium’s unique capabilities
Adherence to the SPJ Code of Ethics.
Submit one design of a story, package of stories, or COVID-19 news page. You can also submit individual photo illustrations, illustrations, informational graphics and editorial cartoons.
All entries are judged by members of the Society for News Design. In its own contests, SND values “daring and innovative” and chooses each recognized entry based on “how well it accomplishes its editorial and design objectives.” They’ll do the same here.
Here’s what SND judges will look for in the design and visual information.
1. Clarity of message with context and a memorable take-away.
2. Sophistication in typography, color and spacing.
3. A strong marriage of words and image.
4. Hierarchy: arranging elements in a way that implies importance.
5. Good use of photographs, charts or illustration.
6. Effectively layered information in pullouts, quotes and captions.
Weekly honorees will receive a 1-year SND membership.
March 23, 2020, press release announcing the awards
INDIANAPOLIS — Two of the nation’s largest and oldest journalism organizations — Associated Collegiate Press and the Society of Professional Journalists — are joining forces to recognize college journalists covering the COVID-19 pandemic.
ACP and SPJ are co-sponsors for a distinctive weekly recognition program for all college students whose coverage of COVID-19 appears in student-run media, in professional publications or in publicly shared classroom projects.
They’re the CCC, for college coronavirus coverage. Entering is free, and a rotating slate of judges — all professional journalists — will choose honorees and honorable mentions by noon each Monday until the pandemic has passed.
For this first week, stories participated. Next week, we launch additional standards for photo and for design/infographics.
Honorees receive a free year of SPJ membership, and their work will be touted on SPJ’s and ACP’s social media — a reach of more than 140,000 followers.
“With college journalists studying and working from home, they can quickly feel isolated because they aren’t collaborating with peers in the newsroom. The CCC Awards are one small way to counter that,” ACP Executive Director Laura Widmer said.
“We know college journalists are doing exceptional work while being kept out of their newsrooms,” Widmer said. “This program will recognize the great coverage student journalists are providing weekly to their audiences during this tumultuous time. ACP is excited to be teaming with SPJ for these awards.”
SPJ is doing all it can to help professional journalists face the double pressure of covering this health crisis while caring for their own families, SPJ National President Patricia Gallagher Newberry said. Newberry is area coordinator of the journalism program at Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio.
“College journalists face a triple whammy: They also need to attend online classes. And those are still being figured out on the fly.”
The CCC program is managed by SPJ’s Awards Committee. Its chair, Sue Kopen Katcef, says an open-ended weekly contest is a first for both venerable organizations.
“We’ve never done this before, but then again, no one living has been through anything like this before,” said Kopen Katcef, who is covering COVID-19 as a journalist and recently retired as an instructor at the University of Maryland’s Merrill College of Journalism.
“SPJ and ACP have been bedrocks for journalism, but our world was changing even before COVID-19. This is a chance for us to learn how to be more nimble even after the crisis is over.”
Associated Collegiate Press supports collegiate media through education, training and recognition programs. It promotes the standards and ethics of good journalism as accepted and practiced by print, broadcast and digital media in the United States. Here’s how to become a member.
The Society of Professional Journalists promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund or give to the SPJ Foundation.
College Broadcasters Inc. advocates for the nation’s college electronic media, including radio and TV stations, advising them on everything from FCC compliance to underwriting to newsgathering.