Q. What is the deadline to enter?
Submissions close on Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 11:59 pm EDT (3:59 am UTC).
Q. Our organization is a subsidiary of a bigger entity. What size category should we choose?
A. It depends. If the smaller organization received no material support — editorial, financial, technical or otherwise — or benefits of the larger entity, and the organizations truly are separate production operations, for example, the way the Mayberry Times would be separate from Global Amalgamated Media, then you can base your decision on the size of the smaller organization.
However, if your organization is really just a division within a company — for example, the web team for the Metro Times — or you received some other form of editorial, financial, technical or other support from the larger group, then you should take into account the whole organization.
Remember, the size includes reporters, editors, designers, newsroom coders, etc. at the entire organization that support your work and production (even indirectly), including corporate affiliates. If your site is a sub-URL or subdomain of another site and shares the design, cms and commenting platform, and somebody can buy ads for your site and another site in a “run of network” deal, you need to include the larger organization when determining your size.
Make sure you explain your rationale when you make your entry, as the judges will make the final determination as to which size category your entry belongs.
Q. How should we handle partnerships when determining what size category to enter?
A. You should add up the total staff members of both organizations and use that number to determine your category size.
Q. The University of Florida Award for Investigative Data Journalism has a Small/Medium and a Large category. How does that impact how I submit my entry?
A. If you fit the Small category or Medium category as outlined in the eligibility section, simply submit your entry accordingly.
Q. Are students eligible to submit their work to the Online Journalism Awards?
A. Yes! Students are encouraged to submit their work in the category, Student Journalism Award. Work submitted in this category must have been produced for academic credit by full- or part-time graduate, undergraduate or high school students. Work produced for pay is not eligible for this category. There is also a discounted rate available for students submitting to the Student Journalism Award category ($15 for ONA student members and $30 for non-ONA member students). This rate may only be used by students submitting their work in the Student Journalism Award category. Professional, academic or associate members submitting work on behalf of students will still be charged the non-student rate.
Q. My professor helped me with my project. Can it still be considered for a student award?
A. Probably. We expect students to receive guidance and support from their professors. The question is, how significant was the assistance? If the professor provided feedback or helped troubleshoot problems, that’s fine. If the professor edited your video or provided material used in the project, that could be a problem. Make your best judgment and then describe exactly the role your professor(s) played in the project so the judges can take that into consideration.
Q. How should I count staff?
A. You should include anyone who works for and supports your organization, including those who support in a business, advertising or technical manner. You do not need to include people who do not contribute to the final digital product (ie, presspeople), though you should include producers who work on legacy and digital platforms. For part-time staff, you are welcome to base your number on “full-time equivalents.” If a submission includes the work of freelance or contract workers, please include them in the count.
Be sure to explain the reasoning behind your size choice when you make your entry.
Q. We have 40 people on our staff, but we used 20 freelancers on our project, in addition to our staff. Are we still “small”?
A. Probably not. If the project you are submitting included people who are not part of your staff, then you should add up all the contributors and enter into the appropriate size category, based on full-time equivalency.
Q. Which category should I enter my award into?
A. That is totally up to your reading of the categories and we are unable to provide guidance on that subject. Note: Judges will not move entries from one category to another.
Q. Can I enter the same project into multiple categories?
A. Yes. You can submit the same project in up to two categories. Judges will not move projects between categories.
Q. I entered a project last year, and then updated it. Can I enter it again?
A. Yes, but be sure to explain what’s new about the project for this year. The judges will focus on that element of the project. Entries for the 2021 awards are reviewed based on work produced between June 1, 2020 and May 31, 2021.
Q. I’ve changed my project since it first launched. Is it still eligible?
A. Yes, just be sure to explain when and how the entry has changed. Judges must be able to evaluate the project as it was entered based on work done during the eligibility window. If judges are unable to do that, your entry may be disqualified. For the 2021 awards, that window is June 1, 2020 through May 31, 2021.
Q. If we submit a project in one category, can we reference it in General Excellence or another category?
A. Yes. General Excellence isn’t about one story, it’s about the entire site, including anything you might otherwise enter. You may enter the same project into two categories and you may reference entries in other entries if submitting as part of a series, but one project/story may not be the main part of more than two entries.
Q: If I submit a project that was published in a different language, will you have judges available who are able to translate?
A: We do our best to select a diverse set of judges from around the world, including English, Spanish and French; however, we are unable to guarantee that those reviewing your work will be fluent in a non-English language. They will do their best using automated translation tools, but we strongly encourage you to submit your project in English.
Q: Are pieces that appeared both online and in print eligible for the Online Journalism Awards?
A: Yes, the online publishing had to be first or contemporaneous with other media publication.
Q: Are all categories focused on a single topic or news story?
A: We have tried to be very explicit on which categories are considered “portfolio” categories, where we want to see the breadth of your organizations work using a particular digital storytelling technique or media. Unless noted, please restrict your entries to those covering a topic, news story, or event.
Q. I want to submit a dissent for work that may be submitted and recognized by the Online Journalism Awards.
A. Please read the Online Journalism Awards dissent process. You may submit a formal dissent by filling out the form on the dissent process page. We ask that you briefly describe the issue with the work, share links to any public-facing counterpoints, and provide contact information so the OJA committee can reach out for additional details.
Q. My question isn’t addressed here. Whom can I call or email to ask about my issue?
A. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to help.