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SPJ Mark of Excellence Awards - Question

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Matt Stephens, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. Matt Stephens

    Matt Stephens Well-Known Member

    So I was very excited to find out that I won first place for sports column writing with the SPJ Mark of Excellence Awards. My former college paper (The Rocky Mountain Collegian - Colorado State) often takes home plenty of best overall student daily awards, but sports accolades have never been the strong suit.

    As the SE for a year and a half, I was really excited to learn that not only myself received first place, but one of my staffers as well for general sports writing -- it gave me confidence that I helped turn that desk around while I was there.

    Then I jumped on the SPJ website to look at the list of winners, and while both my staffer and I won first place, there were no second or third place awards given out.


    Were we competing against ourselves?

    With other papers winning accolades for sports photography and over 4,000 total entries, I can't imagine that schools like CU, Metro State, BYU, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming didn't submit anything in the sports categories.

    I understand that the regional conference is like the second cut of entries and now our pieces will go on to the national level, but could anyone help shine a light on this for me?

  2. Matt Stephens

    Matt Stephens Well-Known Member

  3. Harry Doyle

    Harry Doyle Member

    You're a high-level Jayson Blair for caring about awards. [/crossthread]

    Anyway, I won some of these in college. Feels good, eh? Not sure what the answer is to your question, though. I'd say be glad your stuff has the chance to go head-to-head with the rest of the top-notch stuff from around the country and not worry about how it got there.
  4. MartinonMTV2

    MartinonMTV2 New Member

    Congrats on the awards and finding a way to mention them here.

    To answer your "question," some contests don't require a certain number of awards to be given for each category. If they think only one deserved an award, then they might go that route. I've yet to see a "mainstream" category where nothing was awarded, but maybe they do that, too, and just don't mention it.

    You do realize, though, that if you don't care about awards, then you suck? That's what some say.
  5. Matt Stephens

    Matt Stephens Well-Known Member

    Good point. Thanks for the insight.
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