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Changes to timeframe, lower entry fess just some changes in store for 2015 contest

The annual contest has too many categories.

It needs to be more competitive.

The awards show goes on for far too long.

This was some of the feedback from Colorado Press Association members who took a recent online survey, and they said they wanted change.

In addition, with the 2016 annual convention moving its time frame by nearly two months, the annual Better Newspaper Contest will also have a shift in time frame — about two months.

The Contest Committee has listened and made changes, including how to make the contest more competitive. Here are 10 things to know about those changes:

Time frame for 2015 contest extended

The contest period for when entries can be submitted will be from Sept. 1, 2014 to Oct. 31, 2015, which adds two months to the 2015 contest for one year. The 2016 contest will run Nov. 1, 2015, to Oct. 31, 2016, to bring the contest back to an annual cycle.

Later date to submit entries

Historically, newspapers submitted entries into the contest starting in September.

Entries for the 2015 contest will be accepted from Nov. 9 through Dec. 15. CPA members will be notified of the names of award winners — but not their places — in March 2016.

Fewer classes to compete in

In the survey, members said they would like fewer classes in which newspapers could compete in order to make the contest more competitive.

There are currently 10 contest classes based on circulation — five weekly classifications, four daily, and one monthly. The new breakdown has eight classes members — four weekly, three daily classifications and one monthly classification.

The CPA Board of Directors is scheduled to look at different classification proposals at its Sept. 11 board meeting.

Lower entry fees with early bird registration

Fees for this year’s contest have been lowered to $5.50 per entry if turned in by Dec. 7 — a savings of $1.50 per entry over last year’s entry fees. On Dec. 8 fees will be $7.50 per entry.

It should be noted, the CPA tried this last year, and it did not work due to system errors. Those errors should be fixed.

Easier payment method The 2015 contest will feature an online payment option so members who want to pay by credit card can. Members also can still pay by check if they want.

Fewer categories

The majority of the CPA membership stated they wanted fewer categories in the contest in the survey.

The 2014 contest had 64 categories members could enter. This year’s contest will have 49 total categories.

Eliminated categories include: editorial cartoon, public service, editorial layout and design, best web promotion, best ad slogan, best circulation promotion, best advertising layout and design, and online breaking news update.

Other changes include combining health enterprise and feature into one category, and business enterprise and feature into one category. Online “breaking news or non-deadline video” will be changed to simply “online video,” and moving “online video interview” into that category. Best Web Site will be just one category instead of six.

Two categories were added: Best medium sized ad, and Best large ad.

More entries per paper

In most categories, the maximum number of entries per paper per category is being increased from three to five.

Different approach to awards

There will only be first- and second-place awards in the 2015 contest. Historically, awards were handed out for first, second and third place.

Different approach to sweepstakes awards

There must be at least three papers competing from the same class for a sweepstakes award to be handed out in that specific division — editorial, advertising, photo & design, and/or online. If not, a sweepstakes award for that division — such as Online Excellence — will not be handed out.

The reason is to ensure the sweepstakes awards have meaning.

Last year, a sweepstakes award in one class was handed out when there was only one entry into that entire division.

What about AP contest?

The Associated Press still plans to have its awards ceremony during the CPA annual convention, but at this point, AP plans to keep the contest period for accepting entries the same.



2013 Colorado Better Newspaper Contest Results

2013 Contest Results Spreadsheet

Rising Star Award Paul Berry, The Fort Collins Coloradoan

Editorial Innovator of the Year Josh Awtry, The Fort Collins Coloradoan

Sweepstakes Awards

Advertising

Class 1 – Tri-Lakes Tribune

Class 2 – The Citizen Telegram

Class 3 – The Pagosa Springs SUN

Class 4 – Golden Transcript

Class 5 – Highlands Ranch Herald

Class 6 – Craig Daily Press

Class 7 – Steamboat Pilot & Today

Class 8 – The Pueblo Chieftain

Class 9 – No awards in the advertising category.

Monthly – North Forty News

Editorial

Class 1 – Windsor Beacon

Class 2 – The Citizen Telegram

Class 3 – The Colorado Springs Business Journal

Class 4 – Sky-Hi News

Class 5 – Denver Business Journal

Class 6 – Craig Daily Press

Class 7 – Steamboat Pilot & Today

Class 8 – The Daily Sentinel & The Tribune

Class 9 – The Denver Post

Monthly – Redstone Review

Photo/Design

Class 1 – Tri-Lakes Tribune

Class 2 – Middle Park Times

Class 3 – The Pagosa Springs SUN

Class 4 – Sky-Hi News

Class 5 – Denver Business Journal

Class 6 – Cortez Journal

Class 7 – Steamboat Pilot & Today

Class 8 – Daily Camera

Class 9 – The Denver Post

Monthly – Southern Ute Drum

Online

Class 1 – The South Fork Tines & The Windsor Beacon

Class 2 – High Timber Times

Class 3 – The Pagosa Springs SUN

Class 4 – Sky-Hi News

Class 5 – Denver Business Journal

Class 6 – Craig Daily Press

Class 7 – Steamboat Pilot & Today & Durango Herald

Class 8 – The Daily Sentinel

Class 9 – The Daily Sentinel

Monthly – The Southern Ute Drum

General Excellence Awards

Class 1 – Tri-Lakes Tribune

Class 2 – The Citizen Telegram

Class 3 – The Pagosa Springs Sun

Class 4 – Sky-Hi News

Class 5 – Denver Business Journal

Class 6 – Craig Daily Press

Class 7 – Steamboat Pilot & Today

Class 8 – The Daily Sentinel

Class 9 – The Denver Post

Monthly – North Forty News