CALL FOR ENTRIES FOR 2015 INTER AMERICAN PRESS ASSOCIATION (IAPA) EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM AWARDThe best in journalism in the Americas is submitted in the annual excellence in journalism contest of the Inter American Press Association (IAPA).
The Inter American Press Association Excellence in Journalism Award has no comparison in volume and relevance to other journalism awards. Newspapers and news agencies in more than 33 nations of the Americas and the Caribbean enter their best works in English, Spanish or Portuguese. There is no doubt that the prestige of the IAPA and the quality of the works that are submitted each year give this contest world renown.
In this 2015 call for entries, which has a January 15, 2015 deadline, there continues in force the same procedure for submission online. The adjudication panel, made up of leading hemisphere press figures, will evaluate the entries and choose finalists in each of the 13 categories. From the group of finalists the panel will select the winners, who will be presented with certificates and cash awards during the next annual General Assembly, to be held in in Charleston, South Carolina, in October 2015
The awards are distributed among 13 categories – inter-American relations, human rights, news coverage, features, in-depth reporting, photography, cartoons, infographics, opinion, newspaper in education, online news coverage, and multimedia coverage. This year there is a new category – Roberto Eisenmann Jr. Reporting on the Environment Award. The Panama newspaper La Prensa is sponsoring this award, which is in honor of the reporter, editor and founder of that paper. 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 determining what to enter journalists should take into account the adjudication panel’s evaluation criteria. In most of the categories – inter-American relations, human rights, news coverage, features, in-depth reporting, opinion and best online news coverage – what the panel is looking for is newsworthiness (impact, relevance, timeliness, actuality); argumentation (depth, accuracy, context); balance; use of sources (number, quality and diversity); style (use of journalistic genre, synthesis, amenity, clarity); good use of complementary material (photos, graphics and infographics); hypertext, multimedia, interactivity (in the case of online material).
As for those categories that imply visual images – multimedia, photography, cartoons and infographics – the adjudication panel will be looking for originality, esthetic worth, social impact, journalistic value and use of appropriate language.
It is worth making clear that the multimedia coverage category proposes to highlight the best works – big reports and features – that in an intelligent and creative manner use the various media (text, photography, audio, video, infographics) and social media. Thus the news coverage on the Internet category will be reserved for strictly news topics, more linked to the immediacy of everyday occurrences.
Similarly, the newspaper in education category does not cover works on educational topics in general, but specifically those that support the “Newspaper in Education” program that newspapers conduct in benefit of the schools and teachers of our countries.
It is essential that the work entered has been published during 2014, but it is not necessary that a publication be a member of the IAPA in order to participate. Nevertheless, we insist that all publications take a close look at our mission with a view to joining it. We have a formidable professional network from which arise professional relationships that often become lifelong friendships.
We urge you to take part in this great contest, the pride of the press of the hemisphere!