Divisions & Categories


Student –  Print / Broadcast
Publication  – Daily / Weekly
Periodical Division
Photography Division
Online Division
Television Division
Audio Division
Public Relations Division
All Media Awards

Student Print/Broadcast Division

General Excellence: Entry consists of one publication issued in November 2021.

General News Story: Will be judged on clarity, enterprise, and significance. One story per entry.

Headlines: Selection of three. Emphasis on clarity, creativity, and accuracy. Include stories. Please specify whether the headlines are print or online.

Page Design: Selection of three. Emphasis on presentation, attractiveness, and effectiveness.

Column Writing: Three columns by one writer. Emphasis on the writer’s ability to entertain, move, or educate the reader with good writing that has personality. Should be distinct from news writing.

Review: Selection of three. Reviews should express an opinion in any of a variety of areas including TV, movies, performing arts, restaurants, etc. Will be judged on the use of evidence, style, and fairness. Emphasis on lively writing, knowledge of the topic, and interest and/or usefulness to the reader.

Watchdog⁄Investigative: A report that uncovers new information that could significantly change the conventional wisdom about anything or anyone of public interest. Emphasis on originality and in-depth research.

Serious Feature: A serious profile or news feature. Emphasis on strong writing, education of the reader about something important, and the writer’s ability to put a local situation into perspective.

Light Feature: Human interest or humorous feature story. Emphasis on lively writing, reader interest in the subject, and originality of approach.

Editorial: Submit one editorial per entry. Emphasis will be on lively writing and strong reasoning that moves the reader.

Sports News Report: Can be a sports or sports feature story.

Photography: Submit three examples.

Graphics: Submit three examples.

Student TV or Radio – General News Report: A story, planned or unplanned. It can be an issue or event-oriented.

Student TV or Radio – Public Affairs Program – Studio or field: May focus on an issue, subject, situation, or problem. Emphasis on creativity, energy, focus, and balance.

Publication – Daily/Weekly

General Excellence: Entry consists of three issues from 2021. Dates will be chosen at random by the Idaho Press Club and will be announced on the website on January 15th. For additional information, call (208) 389-2879.

General News Story: Non-deadline news story. Will be judged on clarity, enterprise, and significance.

Spot News Coverage: A breaking news story; first-time coverage. Will be judged on clarity, enterprise, significance, and immediacy. WEEKLIES: Since a weekly may have more time to develop a spot story, thorough coverage of the subject and its ramifications will be considered.

Watchdog/Investigative Report: A report uncovering new information that could significantly change the conventional wisdom about anything or anyone of public interest. Emphasis on originality and in-depth research. Will be judged on the initiative, depth of research, significance, and effectiveness.

Serious Feature Report: A serious profile or news feature. Emphasis on strong writing, education of the reader about something important, and the writer’s ability to put a local situation into perspective. May include sidebars.

Light Feature Report: Human interest or humorous feature story. Emphasis on lively writing, reader interest in the subject, and originality of approach. May include sidebars.

Series: A series of well-written, well-researched, well-coordinated pieces on one single topic worthy of a series, appearing on more than one day. May include same-day sidebars.

Outdoor Feature: Column, profile, or news feature on an outdoor topic. Emphasis on strong writing, education of the reader about the topic, and the ability to put a local or regional situation into perspective. May include sidebars.

Sports News Coverage: A sports story on an event, breaking news, or issue.

Sports Feature Story: A sports human interest or humorous story.

Sports Prep Story: A high school sports story on an event, breaking news, issue, or human-interest piece.

General Column: Three columns by a writer not assigned to a specific topic (see specialty column). Emphasis on the writer’s ability to entertain, move, or educate the reader with good writing that has personality. Should be distinct from news writing.

Specialty Column: Three columns on a single topic (i.e., arts, sports, food, outdoors, politics). May include reviews. Emphasis on the writer’s expertise and ability to entertain and educate the reader.

Editorial: Submit one staff-written editorial per entry. Emphasis will be on lively writing and strong reasoning that moves the reader.

Opinion: Opinion writing or op-ed piece; submit one. May include guest opinions.

Headlines: Emphasis on clarity, creativity, and accuracy; include stories. Please specify if the headlines are print or online. Submit three headlines per entry.

Page Design: Submit one example per entry. A same-day package of up to 3 pages on a single topic may qualify as one example. Emphasis on attractiveness and effectiveness.

Graphics: Original work; one example. Emphasis on clarity and journalistic value. May include maps, charts, informational graphics, or illustration.

Arts / Entertainment Report: A report on arts or entertainment.

Political Report: A report on politics or government.

Election Report: A report specific to the 2021 primary or general election.

Pandemic Report:  A report on COVID-19

Education Report: A report on education.

Business Report: A report on business.

Agriculture Report: A report on agriculture.

Crime/Courts Report: A report on crime/courts.

Religion Report: A report on religion or related topics.

Environmental Report: A report on environmental issues.

Health/Medical Report: A report on health or medicine.

Special Section / Publication: Special section or publication on a single topic produced by the news staff. Distributed with the paper or on a dedicated page online on a single day.

Rookie of the Year: Given to one person in daily and weekly publications. The individual must be in his/her first full-time professional job and have been working for no more than a year at the end of December 2021. Please include a letter of endorsement from the entrant’s editor and the entrant’s resume. Submit three best stories.

Periodical Division

General Excellence: Must be produced and distributed in Idaho, and have as few as two or as many as 12 issues per year. Entry is one issue published in 2021.

Periodical Writing, Serious Feature: Submit one article.

Periodical Writing, Light Feature: Submit one article.

Periodical Cover: Excellence in design. Submit one.

Column: Can include editorials, editor letters, or opinions. Submit one.

Photo Division

Spot News Photography: Emphasis on breaking news, a combination of action and emotion.

Feature Photography, light: A feature photograph, light topic.

Feature Photography, serious: A feature photograph, serious topic.

General News Photography: A general news photograph.

Sports Photography: A sports photograph.

Photo Essay: At least three photos that, together, illustrate an issue, concept, or point of view.

Photo Package: At least three photos on one topic.

Portrait: At least one portrait of a subject or subjects.

Food Photography: At least one photograph of food.

Online Division

Best Blog: Award will focus on the overall content and quality of the blog, which may be attached to a traditional news outlet, or an independent effort focused on Idaho-related topics. Entrant should submit home page link, and may also highlight individual entries from 2021 by including permalinks to those items.

Best Online-Only Video news story: Video news story published online only. The judge will focus on the quality of production, interest, and value to the viewer.

Best Online-Only Video feature story: Video feature story published online only. The judge will focus on the quality of production, interest, and value to the viewer.

Best Online-Only Video Program- Public Affairs: A single video Public Affairs program that aired only online. May focus on an issue, subject, situation, or problem. Judging will focus on the quality of production, interest, and value to the viewer.

Best Online-Only Video Program- General: A single video program, not news or public affairs oriented, that aired only online. Judging will focus on the quality of production, interest, and value to the viewer.

Best Web Graphics: Includes a static or animated graphic presentation to illustrate an idea, concept, or other function. The focus will be on clarity of message, presentation, and design.

Best Multimedia Report: This includes audio slideshows or informational flash presentations.

Best Audience Engagement: This award focuses on the best use of audience involvement in a program or other activity. A short, no more than one page, a description should be included.

Best Use of Social Media: This award focuses on the best use of a Facebook page and/or Twitter account or other social media effort. Please provide a URL for your accounts and a short letter describing your efforts.

Web Site General Excellence: This award will focus on the quality of a site as a whole. Emphasis will be on news content, overall presentation, and service to users. You must include the URL (Web address) of the site on the entry form. Judged in the following divisions:

  • Daily Publication
  • Weekly Publication
  • TV
  • Audio
  • Student
  • Online-Only Publications
  • Periodical
  • Public Relations

Web Site Special Purpose: Special-purpose sites may focus on a single topic or cover a broad spectrum of topics, but may not be the entrant’s primary Web site (those are entered in General Excellence, above). Emphasis will be on content, overall presentation, and service to users. You must include the URL (Web address) of the site on the entry form. Judged in the following divisions:

  • Daily Publication
  • Weekly Publication
  • Audio
  • TV
  • Student
  • Online-Only Publications
  • Public Relations

Television Division

DIVISION SIZES: Division A – Boise market, Division B – All other market sizes.

General Excellence: Judged in two market size divisions – Division A – Boise market, Division B – All other market sizes. An entry consists of a 15-minute compilation of the station’s best work during the calendar year 2021.

Best Morning News Program: Judged in two market size divisions – Division A – Boise market, Division B – All other market sizes. An entry consists of one program broadcast during 2021 submitted by the entrant.

Best Evening News Program: Judged in two market size divisions – Division A – Boise market, Division B – All other market sizes. An entry consists of one program broadcast during 2021, submitted by the entrant.

General News Report: Judged in two market size divisions – Division A – Boise market, Division B – All other market sizes. A story, planned or unplanned. It can be an issue or event-oriented.

Spot News Report: Judged in two market size divisions – Division A – Boise market, Division B – All other market sizes. Coverage of a single, unplanned breaking event aired the same day or on the next available newscast. Judges will focus on spontaneous and comprehensive coverage of the event.

Best Live Shot: Judged in two market size divisions – Division A – Boise market, Division B – All other market sizes. Coverage aired within a daily newscast or special news segment. Judges will focus on spontaneous “on the scene” coverage and the value of the live report.

Watchdog/Investigative Report: Judged in two market size divisions – Division A – Boise market, Division B – All other market sizes. A report uncovering new information that could significantly change the conventional wisdom about anything or anyone of public interest. May be a single story or series that reflects in-depth reporting efforts and creativity beyond the scope of general news coverage. Entry may include a brief letter outlining the research, presentation, and impact of the report.

Serious Feature Report: Judged in two market size divisions – Division A – Boise market, Division B – All other market sizes. A single-story aired within a program. Emphasis on information and presentation. Preparation may take place over several days.

Light Feature Report: Judged in two market size divisions – Division A – Boise market, Division B – All other market sizes. Human interest or humorous story aired within a program. Preparation may take place over several days.

Series: Two or more well-coordinated stories on a single topic worthy of a series.

Public Affairs Program – Studio: Public affairs program based from a studio with in-studio guests. May focus on an issue, subject, situation, or problem. Emphasis on creativity, energy, focus, and balance.

Public Affairs Program – Field: Public affairs program reported and/or produced from the field. May focus on an issue, subject, situation, or problem. Emphasis on creativity, energy, focus, and balance.

Documentary: A non-regularly scheduled program; not a newscast. May document an individual subject, issue, situation, or problem. This may be a joint news crew effort or that of an individual reporter.

Sports News Story: Judged in two market size divisions – Division A – Boise market, Division B – All other market sizes.  A sports news report within a newscast. May be a spot or feature story.

Sports Program:  A sports program produced for broadcast outside of a newscast, i.e., full-length pre-game shows, special topic shows, prep sports night shows. At least 60% must be new content or content newly re-edited. Shows made up of segments previously broadcast within a newscast are not eligible.

Sportscast: Judged in two market size divisions – Division A – Boise market, Division B – All other market sizes. Excellence in sports reporting aired within a daily newscast. It should be a regularly scheduled sports segment, not to exceed six minutes. Submit a single sportscast from one date.

Weathercast: Judged in two market size divisions – Division A – Boise market, Division B – All other market sizes. Excellence in weather reporting aired within a daily newscast. It should be a regularly scheduled weather segment, not to exceed six minutes. Submit a single weathercast from one date.

Outdoor ⁄ Environment Report: Judged in two market size divisions – Division A – Boise market, Division B – All other market sizes. Story on an outdoor topic or environmental issue. Emphasis on information and presentation about the topic and the ability to put a local or regional situation into perspective.

Arts and Entertainment Report: A report on arts or entertainment. Submit a single story aired on one date.

Consumer Report: A locally produced report that helps consumers understand potential concerns or benefits associated with certain products or services.

Health ⁄ Medical Report: Judged in two market size divisions – Division A – Boise market, Division B – All other market sizes. A locally produced report that examines current medical or health issues.

Crime ⁄ Courts Report: Judged in two market size divisions – Division A – Boise market, Division B – All other market sizes. A report that examines a particular court case, crime, or legal issue.

Government ⁄ Political Report: Judged in two market size divisions – Division A – Boise market, Division B – All other market sizes. A locally produced report examining and/or highlighting local, regional, or state government or politics.

Election Report: Judged in two market size divisions – Division A – Boise market, Division B – All other market sizes. A locally produced report specific to the 2021 primary or general election.

Pandemic Report:  Judged in two market size divisions – Division A, Boise market, Division B, All other market sizes. A locally produced report specific to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Education Report: Judged in two market size divisions – Division A – Boise market, Division B – All other market sizes. A report on education and educational issues.

Television Writing, Single story: Emphasis on ability to write to video, clarity, and overall report presentation.

Television Writing, Program length: Emphasis on ability to write to video, clarity, and overall report presentation.

Videography, Segment: Excellence in visual storytelling of a single story aired within a daily or special newscast or program. The entry will be judged on video, sound, and editing. It cannot exceed 15 minutes in length.

Videography, Program length: Excellence in visual storytelling. The entry will be judged on video, sound, and editing.

Video Essay: Entry judged on overall presentation, which can include the use of music, natural sound, and editing. It can be a single story or part of a longer form program. It may not be an entire program.

Best TV Graphics: Best graphic used within a story, report, documentary, or public affairs program.

Best TV Sports Graphics: Best graphic used within a sports program or report.

Rookie of the Year: Given to one person in television media, whether on- or off-camera. The individual must be in his/her first full-time professional job and have been working in television for no more than a year at the end of December 2021. Please submit a letter of endorsement from the entrant’s editor or station manager and the individual’s resume. Submit three best stories.

Audio Division (Includes radio, podcast, or other audio reports)

General Excellence: Entry consists of a compilation or clip of up to 15 minutes, from a radio broadcast, podcast, or other regular audio news or feature presentation. This award is intended to showcase the best work over the course of the year from a continuing program.

General News Report: Reporting of a news story, planned or unplanned. May be a series or comprehensive coverage.

Election Report:  A locally produced report specific to the 2021 primary or general election.

Pandemic Report: A locally produced report specific to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spot News Report: Coverage of a single breaking, spontaneous event aired the same day or on the next available newscast. May include live coverage.

Watchdog⁄Investigative Report: A report uncovering new information that could significantly change the conventional wisdom about anything or anyone of public interest. May be a single report or series that reflects in-depth reporting efforts and enterprise beyond the scope of general news coverage. Entry may include a brief letter outlining the research, presentation, and impact of the report.

Serious Feature Report: Single piece or series. Emphasis on information and presentation. It can be a human interest or issue-oriented. Preparation may take place over several days.

Light Feature Report: Single piece or series. Human interest or humorous story. Preparation may take place over several days.

Interview: An audio interview. Will be judged on presentation, interest, and overall quality.

News Talk Show: Submit one episode. The program must be Idaho produced and will be judged on presentation, interest, audience interaction, and overall quality. May be a call-in program or a general news program with call-in elements.

Sports Talk Show: Submit one episode. The program must be Idaho produced and will be judged on presentation, interest, audience interaction, and overall quality.

Sports News Report: Coverage of a sports news story, whether as a regular daily sportscast or special coverage of an event or story. May include human-interest sports stories.

Public Affairs Program: May include documentaries.

Use of Sound: Most creative use of sound in the reporting of a story aired within a daily newscast or special report.

Public Relations Division

Editorial Writing: Selection of three published editorials on a related topic or separate topics. Submissions may be in the form of guest columns, opinion-editorials, or letters to the editor.

Opinion Writing: A piece of opinion writing or op-ed piece.

News Release: Selection of three news releases and if available, up to five clippings from each of them.

Feature Writing: Original material written for a particular communication project. Submit text of feature article as well as documentation of publication and placement. The feature article should have been written by the practitioner and submitted and published through his/her efforts.

Media Kit: Entry should include the entire kit contents and/or URL.

Annual Report: Publications that report on an organization’s annual performance.

Newsletter, Internal: Entry must be intended for an internal audience. Submit one issue.

Newsletter, External: Entry must be intended for external audiences. Submit one issue.

Special Purpose Publication: A single-issue publication designed for a special purpose.

Media Campaign: A series of communications related to a single project, product launch, or event. Include a copy of campaign materials and a brief description of the campaign. May include online, print, audio, or broadcast materials.

Public Affairs Campaign: Entrant may include a brief campaign description. Includes programs specifically designed to influence public policy and/or to affect legislation, regulations, or political activities. May include online, print, audio, or broadcast materials.

Public Service Campaign: May include audio, television, Web, and/or print PSA’s or other community outreach to advance public understanding of a charitable or public organization or event.

Brand Management: Program to promote or improve the reputation of an organization with its publics, either proactively or in response to an issue or event. Include relevant work samples and a brief campaign description.

All Media Awards (Publications, TV, Audio, Photo, Periodicals, etc.)

First Amendment Award: This award is given for work by Idaho journalists, in any medium, that advances the cause of freedom of information in Idaho in the public interest. Submit a copy of an article, broadcast, or publication, along with a letter explaining the project or article and its impact.

Reporter of the Year Awards – Print & Broadcast: An honor bestowed on two Idaho journalists, one in print and one in broadcast media, for outstanding reporting. Individuals must submit three of their most enterprising stories. Entry must also include a letter of support from their news director or editor describing why this individual deserves the award.

Photographer of the Year Award – Print & Broadcast: An honor bestowed on a single Idaho photojournalist and a single Idaho videographer for outstanding visual reporting. Individuals must be full-time working photographers or videographers. For photographers, submit up to ten images with captions. For videographers, submit a composite of up to 15 minutes in length. Entry must also include a letter of support from an editor or manager describing why this individual deserves the award.

Best Use of Drone: This award will recognize the best use of a drone in reporting in Idaho, on any platform, which may include print, broadcast, or online. Submit a copy of the article, broadcast, URL, or publication.

Media Innovation Award: This award is given for work by Idaho journalists, in any medium, that best makes use of innovative ways of reporting and presenting the material to the audience in ways that couldn’t be done in the past. Submit a copy of an article, broadcast, or publication, along with a letter explaining the project or article and its impact.

Special Coverage: Comprehensive coverage of a special event, unusual circumstance, or issue that goes above and beyond normal news coverage. Please submit highlights of coverage along with a letter explaining the coverage and any supporting documents that help describe the news organization’s approach. Entry may include a special section.