2016 Writing Contest Winners

The awards for 2016 articles will be presented April 24, 2017, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

NEWS

Judged by Patricia Klintberg,  a former Farm Journal writer and recipient of NAAJ’s Glenn Cunningham Award as farm writer of the year in 1995.

  1. Jeff McGaw, Reading Eagle, “Rabbits rule” — Judge: The lead is so good. The story spiced with humor — leaving the reader to seriously think about this old/new protein! The writing does not waste a word.
  1. P.J. Huffstutter, Thomson Reuters, “Falling Prices, Borrowing Binge Haunt Midwest ‘Go-Go Farmers'” — Judge: This story breaks the news that the agriculture sector is in trouble as it enters a bust cycle. The research is thorough and quotes show the reporter’s inquiries acted as a wake-up call to many who did not see the big picture.
  1. Virginia Harris, DTN/The Progressive Farmer, “100 Percent” — Judge: This is a wonderful story about the pluck of a cotton farming family to create a home-grown product: from dirt to shirt. Innovation has always been the sign of successful farmers.

Honorable Mention (eight stories listed in no particular order)

  • Jim Massey, The Country Today, “Tax assessment lower due to proximity to hog farm” — Judge: Here’s a story about a landowner who won his fight to lower his tax assessment arguing that his property values were negatively affected by a hog farm nearby. That’s even though the hog farm had passed a regulatory odor test. Will the rest of the country follow his lead?
  • Helena Bottemiller Evich, Politico, “Revenge of the Rural Voter” — Judge: Written five days after the election, the story picks apart the failings of the Clinton campaign for the Presidency in rural areas.
  • Alan Bjerga, Bloomberg, “Peas on the Prairie” — Judge: How some farmers adapt to stay in business by taking the road less traveled by.
  • Todd Neeley, DTN/Progressive Farmer, “EPA’s Glyphosate Boondoggle” — Judge: A look at EPA’s mistaken post regarding the negative assessment of glyphosate on humans.
  • PJ Griekspoor, Kansas Farmer, “When water conservation isn’t enough” — Judge: Great quotes to back up this complex saga of diminishing water.
  • Robert Arnason, Western Producer, “Herbicide Use spikes in Alberta” — Judge: The consequences of crop rotation that doesn’t include a crop equal in value to the one producer’s plant instead: Canola.
  • Gene Lucht, Iowa Farmer Today, “Farmers Respond to Changing Weather Patterns” — Judge: The story documents how farmers are changing their planting routines in response to changes in the growing season, regardless of whether they believe in climate change or not.
  • Emily Unglesbee, DTN/Progressive Farmer, “Going Generic: Monsanto Patent on RR1 beans has expired” — Judge:  A look at a new market for generic RR1 soybeans that can be saved. Excellent writing explaining a complex subject.

SPOT NEWS

Judged by Catharine Richert Jones, who is based in Rochester, Minn., and covers Southeast Minnesota for Minnesota Public Radio News. She previously covered politics and wrote PoliGraph, a fact-checking feature that got behind the spin in Minnesota politics. She has also contributed to MPR News coverage of the federal health care overhaul. Richert worked for PolitiFact.com and Congressional Quarterly, where she spent three years covering the 2008 farm bill debate. She was the recipient of NAAJ’s Glenn Cunningham Agriculture Journalist of the Year award in 2008.

  1. Lynn Brezosky, San Antonio Express-News, “Cartel-linked fruit fly spread has inspectors at war” — Judge: The lede on this story is top-notch! The reporter immediately drew me in with their vivid imagery, and the story unfolded like a mystery. I love that it connected two seemingly unrelated issues, and drew them together with great writing.
  1. Megan Durisin and Whitney McFerron, Bloomberg News”The British Are Coming – This Time With Cheap Wheat Imports”
  2. Gil Gullickson, Successful Farming, “How to Endure the New Reality of Low Crop Prices”

Honorable Mention

  • Pamela Smith, DTN/The Progressive Farmer, “Dicamba Restrictions”

FEATURES

Judged by Kent Warneke, award-winning editor of the Norfolk (Nebraska) Daily News.

  1. Lydia Mulvany, Monte Reel and Jason Gale, Bloomberg News, “How Antibiotic-Tainted Seafood from China Ends Up on Your Table” — Judge: In all honesty, I have little innate interest in antibiotic-tainted seafood, but yet this story made me interested. It was compelling and well-written, melding a technical topic with a style that made it highly readable. Very nice job.
  1. Jim Patrico, DTN/The Progressive Farmer, “The Cuban Question” — Judge: I’ve never been to Cuba, but this story was so well done that I felt like I was experiencing it for myself. The characters were vivid and the issues well-explained.
  1. Jamie Klein, Reading Eagle, “Can pheasants come back?” — Judge: “The way this story started made it relatable for so many readers. This is a topic that impacts many, whether involved in production agriculture or not. Excellent work.

Honorable Mention (in no particular order)

  • Mary Baxter, Better Farming, “Vandalism on the farm”
  • Amy Bickel, Hutchinson News, “Farmers Sow and Hope”
  • Lynn Brezosky, San Antonio Express-News, “Small ranchers at odds with big beef marketing”
  • Jenny Hopkinson, Politico, “How Vermont beat Big Food”
  • Gil Gullickson, Successful Farming, “Armed advocate for farm safety”
  • Barbara Soderlin, Omaha World-Herald, “This is your beef”

SERIES

Judged by Mike Toner,  retired Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter and 1993 Pulitzer Prize winner for “When Bugs Fight Back,” a series that explored the diminishing effectiveness of antibiotics and pesticides.

Overall comment by the judge: “Thanks for the opportunity to look at some really strong entries.”

  1. Gary Marx, David Jackson and Stacey Wescott, Chicago Tribune, “The Price of Pork” — Judge: Extraordinarily readable, exhaustively researched reports on large-scale pork production in Illinois—a disturbing, thoroughly documented  21st Century echo of Upton Sinclair’s muck-raking portrayal of  Chicago’s meat packing industry at the turn of the last century. From stomach-churning glimpses of large-scale hog-confinement operations to the exposure of widely used legal loopholes in the state regulatory system, the series documents the hidden costs – environmental, social and political – that make up the price of pork. Read it and you will never look at that tasty pork chop or pot roast in quite the same way again.
  1. Edward Maixner and Sara Wyant, Agri-Pulse, “Keeping Rural America Competitive” — Judge: Say “infrastructure” and most of us think city streets, highways and bridges. At the height of last year’s political campaigns oft-heard calls for improving the country’s infrastructure, this series took a comprehensive look, with emphasis on rural America, at the broader range of works and institutions that make up America’s infrastructure – from communications and information technology to the human capital must be overhauled if elected officials ever really do get around to making the promised improvements.
  1. Todd Neeley, DTN/The Progressive Farmer, “RIN Wrangling” — Judge: An insightful, balanced analysis of the byzantine trade in energy credits that has emerged in response to the U.S. Renewal Fuel Standard – a market whose regulations require refiners and importers to choose between actually using renewable fuels – or merely buying credits for their production from someone who does.

Honorable Mention

  • Barbara Soderlin, Omaha World-Herald, “What’s All the Clucking About? The Chicken Coup” — Judge: A dogged effort to document a major new development in Nebraska agriculture – successfully executed in spite of foot-dragging on the part of public officials who repeatedly declined to disclose the details. A reporting effort made better by a follow-up analysis of just how Nebraska’ largest chicken rearing operation is likely to alter the way farmers are used to doing business.

COLUMNS

Judged by George Edmonson, a retired newspaper reporter and editor. Among the papers still in business where he worked are USA Today, Omaha World-Herald and Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

  1. Ed White, Western Producer — Judge: These columns are a delight. White delves into issues that, while many may wonder about, few take the time to explore. Boots, radio stations and cemeteries all are grist for his entertaining mill. For those engaged in such a serious and assiduous enterprise, a chance to smile occasionally is a treat.
  1. Laura Rance, Manitoba Co-operator — Judge: Carefully researched, Rance’s columns present readers with deep information on provocative issues. She is neither doctrinaire nor preachy, whether discussing the role of science in agricultural decisions or the real cost of food.
  1. Jonathan Knutson, Agweek — Judge: Knutson’s columns speak both to and about those involved in agriculture with a depth of knowledge and an appealing approach. Whether urging his readers to expand their horizons or simply offering a humorous respite, the columns are well written and constructed.

Honorable Mention

  • Michael Raine, Western Producer — Judge: Written with a conversational style, the columns provide an engaging presentation of the writer’s view without dogmatism. Raine’s approach aptly mixes facts — notably in the column about the average age of Canadian farmers — with opinion
  • Robin Booker, Western Producer — Judge:  These columns are thought provoking and deal with important topics in a clear and easily understood manner. Booker raises significant questions for his readers’ consideration.

EDITORIALS

Judged by Nina Furstenau, who teaches food and wine writing in the University of Missouri Science and Agricultural Journalism program.  She has written a culinary memoir, “Biting Through the Skin: An Indian Kitchen in America’s Heartland” and “Savor Missouri: River Hills Food and Wine.” She has served as food editor of Missouri Life magazine.

Through her experiences in the Peace Corps and life-long travels, Furstenau developed a passion for great flavors and fresh ingredients and for the ways cultures entwine over food. She is fascinated with food story – its history and connection to land as well people – and the flavors of regions. This focus developed Furstenau’s enthusiasm for teaching students to craft clear, concise writing that stems from hands hands-on learning in the field, and from a knowledge base rooted in agricultural systems.

Judge’s overall comment: The collection of 27 editorials from nine writers in the editorial category were difficult to judge. I engaged the following in hopes of separating the best from this very impressive group: relevance to audience, importance of topic, writing flow and language use, balance, analysis of evidence, empowerment of readers/motivation to action, and engagement of issues not personalities. Thanks to all for the great reading.

  1. Urban Lehner, DTN/The Progressive Farmer — Judge on Lehner’s “Little Food’’ editorial and two others in the package of entries: Engaging lead with a keen cultural view used to enlighten and hook readers. The piece is persuasive particularly because it presents evidence to support its claims in an engaging style. Urban Lehner’s work as a package speaks directly to the audience with timely angles, and analysis that takes on issues of importance to not only to agriculture but most cultural segments, in my view. Lehner’s writing holds attention and is a pleasure to read.
  1. Barb Glen, Western Producer — Judge on Glen’s “Farmers Trump Scientists’’ and two others in the package of entries: The scene-based lead of this editorial is accessible and draws readers in. The angle of farmer’s finding their voice to generate trust and connection with their customers is timely and engaging to the publication audience, has broad impact, and serves as a persuasive interpretation of the state of public opinion. Barb Glen’s writing style enlightens and empowers skillfully.
  1. Laura Rance, Manitoba Co-operator and Winnipeg Free Press — Judge on Rance’s “Industry Must Get with the Program” and two others in the package of entries: This editorial creates an immediate connection to farm culture in the lead with its conversational style and content. In fact, the three-editorial package by Laura Rance has a strong pull for readers throughout: complex issues are explained with clarity, and readers are enlightened on issues of importance to agriculture with solid reporting and smooth writing flow.

Honorable Mention (listed in no particular order)

  • Brian MacLeod, Western Producer — Judge on MacLeod’s “Time to Look at Increased Eligibility for APP” and two others in the package of entries: This editorial clearly and concisely explains a complex issue. In fact, Brian MacLeod’s package of three editorials all use engaging writing style, are focused on timely issue-based topics, and have a solid analysis of evidence.
  • John Vogel, American Agriculturalist — Judge on Vogel’s “Three Ways a Farmer Will Survive the $15 Minimum Wage Hike,’’ one of three judged in the package: Clear, concise and spoke directly to the audience. The last line of this piece packed a punch.

BEST BLOG

Judged by Michael Bugeja, director and professor at the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication at Iowa State University. Teaches media ethics, magazine writing, news writing and new technologies. Worked as a reporter, correspondent and state editor for United Press International. Served as newspaper adviser for The Daily O’Collegian, Oklahoma State University. Held such academic positions as associate professor, Paul Miller School of Journalism and Broadcasting, Oklahoma State University; professor, E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University; and associate director, Scripps School of Journalism.

Judge’s Overall Comment: All the entries were informative. Some had a bit more substance. To engage the audience, use more visuals and multimedia, especially multimedia storytelling.

  1. Jacqui Fatka, Feedstuffs — Judge: Good service journalism with fact and visuals to engage the viewer. Quality of service journalism especially about agriculture has declined, but not here. Bravo.
  1. Jim Patrico, DTN/The Progressive Farmer — Judge: A concisely written, fact-based and informative blog. Quality here is in the insights and coverage.
  1. Pamela Smith, DTN/The Progressive Farmer — Judge: The best written blog of all entries. But writing is only one category. Could use more multimedia. If so, this would be the winner. Kudos nonetheless!

Honorable Mention

  • Emily Unglesbee, DTN/The Progressive Farmer

SPECIAL PROJECTS

Judged by Jane Schmucker, a copy editor at the Toledo Blade. Jane was the recipient of NAAJ’s Glenn Cunningham Award as agricultural journalist of the year in 1996 when she was a reporter at the Youngstown Vindicator. Judge’s Overall Comment: What a class! I think the top stories in this class draw on more sources than many whole newspapers do some days. My faith in the future of good journalism is bolstered.

  1. Helena Bottemiller Evich and Darren Samuelsohn, Politico, “The Great FLOTUS Food Fight” — Judge: I love everything about this piece. In a scan through the contest entries, it was the first one that grabbed my eye and the first one that I read in full. It’s a long in-depth story but a very easy read. The authors didn’t litter the story with references to all 60 sources interviewed, but rather used the information they gleaned to write authoritatively. The story does not get bogged down in detail. That said, one of my only qualms is that I might have liked to see a few more dollar signs in the story.
  1. Kelly House and Mark Graves, The Oregonian/OregonLive, “Draining Oregon” — Judge: A huge amount of information on a hugely important and controversial topic and still an easy read. I so appreciate how everything is made simple for the reader, despite the fact that this story is all about the intersection of science and politics — neither of which are at all simple.
  1. P.J. Huffstutter, Thomson Reuters, “Falling Prices, Borrowing Binge Haunt Midwest ‘Go-Go Farmers’” — Judge: “My favorite detail is easily the 2,555 percent annual interest rate on a cow-calf herd. And this story is full of good detail — without getting bogged down in it. On the copy-editing front, the cutline that starts “Cattle is auctioned off” bothered those worried about subject-verb disagreement.

Honorable Mention (listed in no particular order)

  • Alan Bjerga, Cynthia Hoffman and Laurie Meisler, Bloomberg News, “Family Farms Navigate Risk”
  • Ed White, Lisa Guenther, Barb Glen, Shannon VanRaes, Caroline Cooper, Paul Harris and Laura Rance, Glacier Farm Media, “CETA”

STUDENT

  1. Erin Wicker, Agweek, “Calving goes digital” — Judge: Erin Wicker’s story about a high school student who developed a calving book app was of interest to a general audience, not that in a particular region; and told me something about which I previously was unaware. Erin’s story also centered on a person, not a policy, or a building, or a process. It was interesting and readable. I wish she would have fleshed out the young app developer a little more by talking to her parents, teachers and even people who use the app. It essentially was a one-source story, always something to avoid.

Honorable Mention

Tennessa Wild, University of Regina INK, “Not so ‘Superbug’ on the Saskatchewan prairies’’

2017 NAAJ Writing Contest

Start compiling your best work from this year in a folder on your computer desktop. It’s NAAJ contest time again!

Contest entries must be published during calendar year 2016 (Jan. 1 to Dec. 31).  The deadline for all entries is Friday, Feb. 10, 2017.

Contest categories are unchanged: News, Spot News, Features, Series, Columns, Editorials, Best Blog and Special Projects. There also is a Student category. See below for detailed descriptions of each category.

The $10 fee per entry for members is unchanged. The fee for non-members also is unchanged at $75 (the same cost of becoming a member).

As usual, winners will be announced as the category judges turn in their results between mid-February and the March 12 judging deadline. The awards will be presented at an April 24 dinner at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., during NAAJ’s annual spring meeting April 23-25, 2017. Contact NAAJ executive secretary-treasurer Kathleen Phillips (979-845-2872 or ka-phillips@tamu.edu ) for membership and meeting information.

Below are directions for preparing and submitting entries. If you have contest questions, please contact contest coordinator David Hendee at 402-444-1127, or david.hendee@owh.com.

For more information about NAAJ, go to www.naaj.net

Again this year, entries to the NAAJ writing contest will be submitted using BetterBNC Media Awards Platform. The entry process is unchanged from last year

IMPORTANT: BetterBNC is optimized for the Google Chrome browser; and Firefox for PC and Macintosh/Apple. Please have a recent version downloaded and installed for the best contest experience.

How to start:

  1. Login.

a. Go to www.betterbnc.com.

b. Click contestant login

c. Select the appropriate contestant type:

1. If you are the single point of contact for your organization, select Contestant Manager, then skip to “d. Contestant Manager Login”.

2. If you have received an email authorizing you to submit entries on behalf of your media organization, select “Authorized Entrant” on the log in page, then skip to “e. Authorized Entrant Login” below

3. If you are an individual submitting your own entries (including nonmembers and freelancers), please see the “Open Call Contestant Only” instructions below

d. Contestant Manager Login:

  1. Select the contest you would like to enter
  1. Select your Media Organization
  1. Enter your password**
  1. Click “Login”

**Note: If it is your first time logging into your account, use the temporary password: bnc(lower case). After you log in using that temporary password, the system will require you to update your password. Going forward (including future years) you will log in with the password you set. If the designated Contestant Manager should leave your media organization, please contact your Contest Administrator to have the contact info in your account updated.

e. Authorized Entrant Login:

  1. Select the contest you would like to enter
  1. Select your Media Organization
  1. Enter your email address
  1. Enter your password
  1. Click “Login”

f. Open Call Login:

  1. Click “Open Call Login” in the blue bar at the top of the page
  1. If you already have an Open Call Contestant account, enter your email address and password, then click “Login” and skip to section “g.

Request to make entries in a contest” below

  1. If you do not already have an Open Call Contestant account, click

“Create your Open Call account”

  1. Fill out the form
  1. Click “Submit” at the bottom of the page

Once you fill out the form to create your Open Call Contestant account, the system will send you a validation email with a link that must be clicked before you can log into your account.

g. Request to make entries in a contest (Open Call Only):

  1. Hover over the red “Open Call Contestant” text in the blue bar at the top of the page
  1. Select “My Contests” in the menu that appears
  1. In the “Available Contests” section, check the box next to the contest you would like to enter
  1. Hover over the red “Open Call Contestant” text again
  1. Select “Manage Entries”

 

2.Submit Entries

a. Click “Submit Entry” from the Manage Entries page

b. Select a Division (group of Categories)

c. Select a Category

d. Select the Media Organization where the entry was published or performed

(Open Call Only)

e. Enter the entry headline or title

f. Add entry content (may vary by category)

  1. To upload digital file attachments (other than audio/video), click “Browse”, navigate to the desired file, and then click “Open”. Allowed file types are PDF, DOC/DOCX, TXT, JPG, GIF, and PNG. To upload additional attachments to a single entry, click the “Browse and Attach More Files” button. BetterBNC will allow up to about a 20MB file, however, we suggest keeping your files around 5MB in case the judges have a slow connection. For files larger than 20MB, you can click the “RealView” icon on the Submit Entry page to create a free account, upload your files, and then copy and paste the URL into the URL field on the Submit Entry page. You may also use a similar 3rd-party website that provides hosting services (scribd.com, issuu.com, etc.)
  1. To add web/audio/video content, copy and paste the content’s URL address into the provided Website URL field. To host your content online, either upload it to a free streaming content website (e.g.YouTube) or talk to your IT person about adding it to your publication’s website. Make sure the content will be accessible online throughout the duration of the contest and awards process.Here are some examples of free streaming content websites where you can upload audio and video content:

a. Audio: www.kiwi6.com, www.tindeck.com

b. Video: www.youtube.com, www.vimeo.com

  1. IMPORTANT: Please be sure that items are not behind a paywall or a password-protected area. If they are, you must provide username/password info in the Comments section of your entry.Judges may disqualify your entry if work samples are inaccessible.

g. Add Comments

h. Enter Credits

i. Click “Submit Entry”

  1. Pay for Entries

a. When all entries are submitted log into your account

b. Navigate to the Manage Entries page

c. Click “Calculate Entry Fees”

d. Follow the on-screen instructions to pay for your entries

 

NAAJ Contest Categories

News: Informs readers about a timely, important, interesting agricultural issue or event in an objective, thorough manner.

Spot News: Covers breaking news–news that is time-sensitive and written under tight deadline. Entries in this category would include (but not be limited to) stories written for wire services and the Internet. A statement of 100 words or less describing the conditions under which the story was written and/or the time significance of the story MUST accompany entries in the spot news category.

Feature: Takes a broader or more human look at an important or interesting agricultural issue, event or experience. It may be longer and more in-depth than a news story. This category includes human interest and technical articles.

Series: Contains multiple stories focused on an agricultural issue or event. The series objectively explores the subject in great depth from various points of view.

Column: Allows the writer to express personal observations, humor or feelings on a topic. Include three selected examples to submit as a single entry.

Editorial: Requires the writer to build arguments on fact and logic to address a certain issue. An editorial should state a position and convince the reader of the need for action. Include three selected examples to submit as a single entry.

Best Blog: Can be on any agricultural topic posted by one writer and updated regularly. A blog can include various writing styles to share the writer’s insight and expertise, but should encourage audience reaction. Blogs must have appeared on a media website or standalone, and were first online rather than in a publication. Blogs generally have features such as reader feedback and links to other sites. Include three examples of blog posts, along with any reader comments, to submit as a single entry.

Special Projects: Takes reporting to a higher level. The overall entry shows careful planning and enterprise. The entry also shows that time, talent, and in some cases, monetary commitments were made to produce the project. May be a team effort.

Student: There are no sub-categories for students. Each student may submit up to two entries, published in 2016 in a student publication or a publication that would have employees eligible for NAAJ membership.

 

NAAJ 2017 Annual Meeting – Register NOW!

The 64th annual meeting of the North American Agricultural Journalists will be April 23-25 in Washington, D.C.

The meeting will be headquartered at The Cosmos Club. To reserve a room at the Cosmos Club, 2121 Massachusetts Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC, call 202-387-7783. The room block is under North American Agricultural Journalists. The rates are $195 to $225.  Reservations will be accepted through March 23.

The NAAJ-Sonja Hillgren Scholarship and Writing Awards Banquet will be April 24 at the National Press Club.

Watch for updates here. Our organizers are lining up speakers as best they can while the new administration takes shape.

(Note: The Cosmos Club has a dress code. Male members and visitors must wear a coat and tie at all times except upon arrival. Women members and visitors are expected to dress accordingly.)

 Sunday, April 23

1:30 p.m. — Business meeting – time and location to be determined.

Event To be determined, including dinner together (pay your own)

Monday, April 24

Cosmos Club, Crentz Room

 

To be determined

Cosmos Club, Old Dining Room

Noon – Lunch and Speaker: Pending, the U.S. Secretary Agriculture

Cosmos Club, Crentz Room

To be determined

National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW

NAAJ-Sonja Hillgren Scholarship Benefit and Awards

5:30 p.m. – Cash‑bar reception

6:30 p.m.– Dinner, awards and music by the “Second Amendments” band led by U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D‑Minn.

 

Tuesday, April 25

Capitol Visitor’s Center, the Capitol

            10 a.m. –  U.S. Sen. Pat  Roberts, R-Kansas

11 a.m. – U. S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D‑Minn.

11:30 a.m. – U. S. Rep. Michael Conaway, R‑Texas

Noon – U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D‑Mich.

 

2016 NAAJ WRITING CONTEST

The 2016 NAAJ Writing Contest is open!

We are using the same online platform as in recent years, so most of you should be more or less familiar with the process. Basic instructions and deadlines are below. The instructions (and your previous contest experience) should be adequate to get you launched.

The main chore to complete early is to gather your best work in an electric folder or file so the stories are easy to find and grab when submitting entries.

There are no new contest categories. The categories and descriptions are here.

The only change is a return to prohibiting entering a story in more than one category. That is, it is no longer possible to enter the same story in News and Features (or whatever categories).

This is a return NAAJ’s earlier, longstanding policy of requiring entrants to make a decision where a story belongs. It also, obviously, gives more members an opportunity to win an award for their good work. This rule change is noted in the general instructions for our contest on the BetterBNC site.

Good luck! Enter early and often!

David Hendee
Staff Writer, Omaha World-Herald
NAAJ Contest Coordinator
1314 Douglas St. Suite 700
Omaha, NE 68102

Desk: 402-444-1127
www.Omaha.com<http://www.Omaha.com>

NAAJ 2016 WRITING CONTEST INSTRUCTIONS FOR CONTESTANTS

This year again, entries to the 2016 NAAJ Writing Contest will be submitted using BetterBNC Media Awards Platform.

Below are directions for preparing and submitting entries. If you have questions, please contact contest coordinator David Hendee at 402-444-1127, david.hendee@owh.com

IMPORTANT: BetterBNC is optimized for the Google Chrome browser; and Firefox for PC and Macintosh/Apple. Please have a recent version downloaded and installed for the best contest experience.

The deadline for all entries is 11:59:59 p.m. EST, Feb. 8, 2016.

1. Login.

a. Go to www.betterbnc.com.

b. Click contestant login

c. Select the appropriate contestant type:

1. If you are the single point of contact for your organization, select Contestant Manager, then skip to “d. Contestant Manager Login”.

2. If you have received an email authorizing you to submit entries on behalf of your media organization, select “Authorized Entrant” on the log in page, then skip to “e. Authorized Entrant Login” below

3. If you are an individual submitting your own entries (including nonmembers and freelancers), please see the “Open Call Contestant Only” instructions below

d. Contestant Manager Login:

1. Select the contest you would like to enter

2. Select your Media Organization

3. Enter your password**

4. Click “Login”

**Note: If it is your first time logging into your account, use the temporary password: bnc (lower case). After you log in using that temporary password, the system will require you to update your password. Going forward (including future years) you will log in with the password you set. If the designated Contestant Manager should leave your media organization, please contact your  Contest Administrator to have the contact info in your account updated.

e. Authorized Entrant Login:

1. Select the contest you would like to enter

2. Select your Media Organization

3. Enter your email address

4. Enter your password

5. Click “Login”

f. Open Call Login:

1. Click “Open Call Login” in the blue bar at the top of the page

2. If you already have an Open Call Contestant account, enter your email address and password, then click “Login” and skip to section “g. Request to make entries in a contest” below

3. If you do not already have an Open Call Contestant account, click “Create your Open Call account”

4. Fill out the form

5. Click “Submit” at the bottom of the page

Once you fill out the form to create your Open Call Contestant account, the system will send you a validation email with a link that must be clicked before you can log into your account.

g. Request to make entries in a contest (Open Call Only):

1. Hover over the red “Open Call Contestant” text in the blue bar at the top of the page

2. Select “My Contests” in the menu that appears

3. In the “Available Contests” section, check the box next to the contest you would like to enter

4. Hover over the red “Open Call Contestant” text again

5. Select “Manage Entries”

2. Submit Entries

a. Click “Submit Entry” from the Manage Entries page

b. Select a Division (group of Categories)

c. Select a Category

d. Select the Media Organization where the entry was published or performed (Open Call Only)

e. Enter the entry headline or title

f. Add entry content (may vary by category)

1. To upload digital file attachments (other than audio/video), click “Browse”, navigate to the desired file, and then click “Open”. Allowed file types are PDF, DOC/DOCX, TXT, JPG, GIF, and PNG. To upload additional attachments to a single entry, click the “Browse and Attach More Files” button. BetterBNC will allow up to about a 20MB file, however, we suggest keeping your files around 5MB in case the judges have a slow connection. For files larger than 20MB, you can click the “RealView” icon on the Submit Entry page to create a free account, upload your files, and then copy and paste the URL into the URL field on the Submit Entry page. You may also use a similar 3rd-party website that provides hosting services (scribd.com, issuu.com, etc.)

2. To add web/audio/video content, copy and paste the content’s URL address into the provided Website URL field. To host your content online, either upload it to a free streaming content website (e.g.YouTube) or talk to your IT person about adding it to your stations/publications website. Make sure the content will be accessible online throughout the duration of the contest and awards process.

Here are some examples of free streaming content websites where you can upload audio and video content:

a. Audio: www.kiwi6.com, www.tindeck.com

b. Video: www.youtube.com, www.vimeo.com

3. IMPORTANT: Please be sure that items are not behind a paywall or a password-protected area. If they are, you must provide username/password info in the Comments section of your entry. Judges may disqualify your entry if work samples are inaccessible.

g. Add Comments

h. Enter Credits

i. Click “Submit Entry”. For hardcopy/mail-in entry categories, print and attach the entry label (which automatically appears after each entry is submitted) to each hardcopy item and follow contest shipping instructions (contact the contest administrator for more info).

3. Pay for Entries

a. When all entries are submitted log into your account

b. Navigate to the Manage Entries page

c. Click “Calculate Entry Fees.” You will be directed to NAAJ’s website for payment.

d. Follow the on screen instructions to pay for your entries.

Revised Jan. 12, 2016

North American Agricultural Journalists - Upcoming Events :
2016 Writing Contest Winners

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2017 NAAJ Writing Contest

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NAAJ 2017 Annual Meeting – Register NOW!

North American Agricultural Journalists - Award Spotlight

2016 Writing Contest Winners

The awards for 2016 articles will be presented April 24, 2017, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. NEWS Judged by Patricia Klintberg,  a former Farm Journal writer and recipient of NAAJ’s Glenn Cunningham Award... More...