The Society of American Business Editors and Writers’ 18th annual Best in Business Awards Competition opened to start receiving entries on Dec. 3, 2012, more than a month earlier than it did last year. The entry deadline is 8 p.m. Eastern time Friday, Feb. 1, 2013.
Some answers to commonly asked questions are below; this list is updated regularly as new questions come in.
ALSO, please read the rules carefully as the answers to many questions may also be found there.
Still have questions? Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 602-496-7862.
Q: How do I enter?
A. You have to be a SABEW member to enter the contest (see “Do I have to be a SABEW member to enter?” below). Go to the homepage of sabew.org and click on “Members Only” found in the upper right-hand corner. Log in to the membership system. On the resulting page that opens, under “Best in Business 2011″ click on the link “Start your entry here” — or go to the rail of links along the left side of the page and under “BIB Contest” click on the link “Enter Contest.”
Q: What’s different about the contest entry process this year?
A. We think it will be easier to use. Our designers worked to make the steps clearer and expand the amount of information available to you as you enter. Please give us feedback on the process at our new email address created just for the contest, email@example.com.
Q: What’s new this year?
A. We have several changes to this years contest that we think you’ll find exciting. We have new divisions for coverage of Small Business, Technology – and a new division called Innovation. Innovation entries could be packages that combine multimedia elements in unique, interesting ways. It could be mobile app or a data visualization project. It could be a story that uses nontraditional narrative techniques. We will now only allow one story or project to be entered into a maximum of two categories. (The contest previously allowed unlimited categories for one piece of journalism.) We have combined the Blog category with Opinion/Column to form Commentary. To see other additional changes, visit out BIB page.
Q: Do I have to be a SABEW member to enter?
A. Yes. At the time they file their entries into the SABEW entry system, entrants must be either an individual member of SABEW or be a journalist listed under the institutional membership of a business-news medium, in good standing. Good standing is defined as being current in membership dues. If you are part of an institutional membership, please contact your medium’s representatives to learn its membership status. Or you can inquire by writing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What about multiple bylines?
A. In the case of work involving multiple bylines or creditlines, so long as each component’s bylines/creditlines contain the name of at least one SABEW member, the entry will be accepted. Bylines must match on each component of the entry.
Q: What is a “publication,” “category” and “size group” as defined by the contest?
A. “Publication” doesn’t only mean something that appears in print. “Publication” refers to any media outlet where your work might appear, in print, broadcast or online. Each SABEW member has been assigned one or more “publications” from which to submit his or her work to the contest. Each member is also assigned one or more “categories” that member is eligible to enter. Daily newspapers are also divided into size groups based on M-F circulation as determined by the Audit Bureau of Circulations’ latest report on its e-Circ website. You may also choose other publications you’re associated with, or other contributors, if they are not listed by us. If you have a question or concern about your assigned publication, category or size group, please write to email@example.com and a member of the SABEW staff will be in touch.
Q. As a print weekly how can I submit an entry for the breaking news category when it calls for same day coverage?
A. You are welcome to enter the Weekly/ Biweeklies- Breaking News category by submitting content from your website that satisfies the “same day” requirement.
Q: Can I upload broadcast entries?
A. No. Unfortunately, the bandwidth necessary to upload such entries reduces the likelihood that we actually receive them. Radio/TV entrants are required to provide a permalink to a URL where judges can access their entries over the Internet.
Q: What is the “Submission Summary” in the upper-right-hand corner of each entry page?
A. The Submission Summary documents each step you have completed in the entry process. No matter where you are in the process, you’ll be able to see what you’ve already done – and travel back and forth to different steps, in case you’d like to make changes before finalizing and submitting the entry.
Q: Can I “park” an entry in mid-submission and go back to it later?
A. Absolutely. They will rest in the Submission Summary under “My Contest Entries” if you need to take a break or get more information. Then you can return later and resume entering. What you’ve done so far will have been saved.
Q: Are non-U.S. media eligible for other categories beyond the international division?
A. Yes. They may compete in the same categories by circulation or unique online visits that their U.S. counterparts.
Q: Why are there no enterprise or project categories?
A. Enterprise, we learned, means different things to different people. Last year, we introduced more specific categories to make it easier for entrants to know where to submit your work. We added Investigative and Explanatory categories, and we also modified the Breaking News to include reactive or proactive coverage.
Q. What does that mean, reactive or proactive breaking news?
A. Traditionally, breaking news has been defined as reactive coverage of an unplanned event. We believe it’s important to reward those enterprising reporters who endeavor to dig up and break news that gets widespread attention as well as those who are able to react to stuff that happens on their watch. And we think that digging up and breaking news that people need to know should carry more weight in the judges’ decisions.
Q. So, can the dot-com associated with a daily newspaper enter the digital categories?
A. Generally, no. For instance, because charlotteobserver.com is largely powered by content from The Charlotte Observer and its staff, digital entries from charlotteobserver.com must be entered in the Print Division, EVEN IF THEY ONLY RAN ONLINE.
The Digital division is reserved for online-only enterprises that are powered by their own staff and content.
Q: You have categories that are open to all platforms and sizes such as International, Personal Finance, Real Estate, Innovation and Technology. How come?
A. We created the International category for two reasons: To open the contest to our colleagues outside the United States, where the business journalism world is growing significantly, and to recognize the interesting work about the global economy done by U.S. based publications. Others are specialty areas within business journalism that we didn’t feel were getting enough recognition in our existing categories.
We made them platform-agnostic because we were testing the waters. This is only the first few years for these categories. Depending on the response, we’ll look at dividing the categories further in the future.
Q. Can freelancers enter the Best in Business contest?
A. Yes. Freelancers who enter must be SABEW members. The entry process for freelaners is a little more complicated, so contact the staff in Phoenix (firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-496-7862) and we’ll walk you through it.
Q. When will I find out if I won?
A. Winners will be notified during the second or third week of February. We’ll hand out certificates at the BIB Award Ceremony at our annual conference in Washington DC in April, and you’ll receive plaques probably some time in May.
Society of American Business Editors and Writers
Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication,
Arizona State University
Suite 416, 555 North Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004-1248
Phone: (602)-496-7862 Fax: (602) 496-7041
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