MIAMI, Florida (November 10, 2008)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today issued an invitation for submission of entries for its 2009 Excellence in Journalism Awards. The annual awards contest attracts the cream of journalism in the Western Hemisphere. Publications and news agencies in some 33 nations in the Americas and the Caribbean enter their best works in English, Spanish and Portuguese in the contest, with a deadline on this occasion of January 15, 2009.
This year again entries may be submitted online.
"The IAPA Awards have great prestige among journalists of the region," said Fabricio Altamirano, editor of the El Salvador newspaper El Diario de Hoy and chairman of the IAPA’s Awards Committee. "Proof of that is the fact that in 2008 we received more than 700 entries. This year we intend to increase the presence of online journalism even further."
An adjudication panel will evaluate the entries and choose 10 finalists and the winner in each of the 11 categories during the IAPA’s Midyear Meeting in Asunción, Paraguay, in March 2009. The winners will each receive a certificate and a cash prize, to be presented during the organization’s General Assembly in Buenos Aires, Argentina, next November.
The 11 prize categories are: inter-American relations, human rights, news coverage, features, in-depth reporting, photography, cartoons, infographics, opinion, the newspaper in education, and best online coverage. Also awarded is the IAPA Grand Prize for Press Freedom, given to a person or organization with significant achievements on behalf of the cause of freedom of the press. In general, the awards consist of $2,000, plaques and diplomas.
"Although participation overall has been enormous there are countries that are still little represented, despite the fact they have a magnificent press. This year we must improve that," said Cristina Aby-Azar, managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, New York, and vice chairman of the Awards Committee.
The IAPA is an organization of more than 1,300 publications represented by publishers, editors and other professionals that for over 60 years has been dedicated to defending and extending freedom of the press in the Western Hemisphere.Contest entry forms and rules are available for downloading from the IAPA’s Web site, www.sipiapa.org. It is not necessary to be a member of the IAPA to participate.