UM Contest entries due March 1

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Hello teachers and advisers,


We’re so excited to be connected to you and to fill you in on details about the annual Montana High School Journalism Contest. In the attached document, you’ll find all the information in order to enter your students’ work.


DEADLINE: All entries and payments must be received by Thursday, March 1, 2018.

Whether you mail in submissions or opt to submit digitally, the cost to enter is included with a $35 membership fee that makes you a part of the 2017-18 Montana Journalism Education Association. To find out more or to get in touch with your MJEA leaders, please visit


PAYMENT: Make check payable to Montana Journalism Education Association, or MJEA, and include it with your mailed submissions.


If submitting electronically, send the check separately to:

Beth Britton, MJEA

c/o C. M. Russell High School

228 17th Ave. NW

Great Falls, MT 59404


MAILED SUBMISSIONS: (You can also just write the web link on the entry form, rather than a tear sheet) should be mailed to UM and arrive in our offices by March 1.


Montana High School Journalism Contest

c/o The School of Journalism

University of Montana

32 Campus Drive

Missoula, MT 59812


ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS: By March 1, create a folder with your high school’s name. In that folder place PDFs or word documents of all entries. Those files should be named:




Once you have all files in the folder, just drag the folder to


Along with those entries, submit a single entry form where you check off each category you’re entering:



Any questions about the contest should be directed to:

Associate Professor Jule Banville

UM School of Journalism


[email protected]





  1. For most categories, students will compete in their schools’ respective enrollment-determined class levels: AA, A, B or C.
  2. Judges include working journalists and journalism professors.
  3. Each school may submit one entry in any category. Shared bylines for entries in individual categories are accepted.
  4. Individuals may compete in more than one category.
  5. Attach a completed Competition Entry Form to each entry if you are mailing. Otherwise, submit the Google form linked above.
  6. All entries must have been completed in the 2017‐2018 academic year.
  7. The adviser’s submission of materials for competition will indicate a verification of all individual work.

General Categories

Newspaper Pacesetter

This award honors the best all‐around newspaper. Award will be given for each enrollment class (AA, A, B and C) only if there are at least three entries for that class. Otherwise, no award will be given.

Entries must include two complete, consecutive issues. Entries will be judged on the quality of coverage, reporting, writing, photography, editing, headlines and design. Second and third place will also be designated.

Website Pacesetter

Entries will be judged on the quality of content, design and interactivity. Judges will evaluate the site on its ability to draw readers in and help them navigate easily and logically. All enrollment classes will be judged together. A second and third place will be designated if there are a sufficient number of entries.

Video Broadcast Pacesetter

This Pacesetter awards outstanding achievement in visual broadcast. Entries will be judged on overall content, presentation, enterprise, writing, format, teases, etc. Entries may be submitted on CD, external hard drive, or online. All schools will be judged together. A second and third place will be designated if there are multiple entries from multiple schools. Time Limit: 30 minutes.

Student Free Press Award

This award recognizes and honors the efforts of a high school publication to promote First Amendment awareness. NOTE: Advisers must describe and document such efforts or explain how their publications prevailed in a project despite threats of censorship. The award will be presented to the paper’s staff and adviser. Only one award will be issued from all entries.

Newspaper Overall Design

Best design of a single issue of a student newspaper. Send only one complete issue. Judges will consider the effectiveness of the design, its cohesiveness and use of photos, text, headlines, illustrations and graphics. An overriding concern for judges is the design’s ability to draw readers to subject matter and help them navigate easily through the publication. NOTE: Please do not nominate individuals in this category. Up to three places will be awarded to each enrollment level if multiple entries are submitted for consideration.



Please submit a published tear sheet, online link or CD.


News Writing Coverage of serious, developing news. Judges will look for stories with impact, timeliness, accuracy, clarity, organization and fairness. Writers will have used primary sources: interviews with people or news from previously unreleased documents, no books, magazines, Web.

Feature Writing Profiles of interesting, news-making personalities or stories about light trends or issues. Stories will be judged on tone, structure, scenes, telling detail, use of multiple sources.

Opinion Writing Includes editorials or columns. Entries will be judged on writing quality, timeliness, significance, relevance and persuasiveness. May be explanatory or argumentative, using logic, analogies or appeals to fairness or justice.

Sports Event Coverage Best coverage of a single game or competition. Stories will be judged on writing (accuracy, clarity, organization and fairness) and reporting that uses multiple sources.

Sports Feature Writing Season previews, profiles of coaches and athletes or features about sports trends or issues. Articles will be judged on newsworthiness, effective storytelling and reporting that uses multiple sources.

Editorial Cartooning Judges will look for a simple and clear editorial statement; evidence of artistic ability; a novel approach; absence of trite and melodramatic imagery; wit; effective conveyance of a message; quality of drawing; simplicity of line.


Advertising Design Best original student‐designed display ad. Judges will consider the blending of text and graphics to create memorable, credible ads that effectively promote a product, service or behavior. Send tear sheets.

Photo Illustration Judges will look for an illustration that follows current design trends, visually communicates an idea, shows originality and innovation, shows creativity and artistic details, clean and well‐executed work, sophisticated use of software.

Infographic Judges will look for proper attribution for information. The infographic makes a point visually using an appropriate format. Typography and artistic details fit topic or content. The graphic follows current design trends


News: General Assignment For outstanding reporting achievement in a regularly scheduled presentation of timely news, information and current events. Entries may contain spot news coverage, investigations and feature stories on any newsworthy subject. Coverage of controversial issues is welcome. Entries will be judged on editorial content and awareness of journalistic broadcast journalistic standards. Time Limit: 10 minutes

Arts & Entertainment For outstanding reporting achievement in a presentation of content devoted to cultural or artistic significance, or a compilation of up to three unedited pieces. Time Limit: 10 minutes.

Public Affairs/Community Service (PSA) For outstanding achievement in a presentation or compilation consisting of up to three unedited pieces of content with current social, civic or other issue‐oriented subject matter. Advocacy of a point of view is encouraged. Time Limit: 10 minutes

Sports For outstanding achievement in a presentation or compilation of up to three unedited pieces of sports news and information. Time Limit: 10 minutes.


Please submit a published tear sheet.

News Photography Judges will look for entries that exhibit impact and carefully considered composition, imaginative subject matter, technical quality and excellence, storytelling, simplicity, cropping and lighting. Quality of caption may also be considered.

Feature Photography Entries will be judged on originality, creativity and professional photojournalism standards. Quality of caption may also be considered.

Sports Photography Imaginative subject matter, technical quality and excellence, photo composition, visual impact, story told in each photograph, simplicity, cropping, lighting, quality of caption














Instructions: Fill in the identification information below and check categories you are entering.

School Class (circle one): AA A B C

School Name: ________________________________

Adviser’s Name: ______________________________

School Address:_____________________________

City: ___________________________ Zip: ________

Phone: _________________________

Newspaper/Website Name:_______________________

Website URL:__________________________________

Frequency of Publication: _______________________

Broadcast Name: _______________________________


  • Each school may submit only one entry per category.
  • Shared bylines in individual categories are acceptable.
  • Place a checkmark beside the categories.

Note: Advisers may attach a statement explaining any special situations, problems or considerations this year that affected publication.






_____ Newspaper Pacesetter

_____ Online Pacesetter

_____ Broadcast Pacesetter

_____ Student Free Press Award

_____ Newspaper Design


_____News Writing

_____ Feature Writing

_____ Opinion Writing

_____ Sports Event Writing

_____ Sports Feature Writing

_____ Editorial Cartooning

_____ News Photography

_____ Feature Photography

_____ Sports Photography

_____ Photo Illustration

_____ Infographic

_____ Advertising Design

_____ Video Newscast

_____ Video Broadcast: Arts & Entertainment

_____ Video Broadcast: Sports

_____ Video Broadcast: PSA

Individual Entry and Award Forms

INSTRUCTIONS: Duplicate the form below as needed and attach to each individual entry. Please be certain the information is correct and legible. Attach the form to each entry in the upper left‐hand corner. If the newspaper entry is a tear sheet, outline the entry story, photo or advertisement with a bright marker to distinguish it from other items on the page.





Circle Class: AA A B C

Category Title: _________________________________
(also include Newspaper, Website, Broadcast when applicable.)

Student(s) Name: ________________________________________

School Name: __________________________________

Name of Publication: ____________________________

Date of Publication: _____________________________

Title of Entry: __________________________________

Link to Entry: __________________________________
(Can include URL instead of tear sheet. Please write web address clearly and correctly.)


Print Friendly, PDF & Email