College Rules

2011 College Journalism Contest


Entries in the Best of the West college contest must have been published in 2010 in a student newspaper, either print or online, that serves an accredited college (four-year or community) in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington or Wyoming.

All entries must be submitted exactly as they originally appeared. Rewriting and re-editing are grounds for disqualification.

Any entry found to violate contest rules will be disqualified and will forfeit entry fees.

Entries in languages other than English will be accepted if accompanied by an English transcript.

There are no limits on the number of entries a person may make.

Contest Categories

1. General Reporting: A single story and up to two sidebars, published on the same day, of general news and analysis. Judged for reporting quality, writing quality, clarity, completeness and balance.

2. Feature Writing: A single feature story and up to two sidebars published on the same day. Judged for literary quality, originality, creativity and flair.

3. Sports Reporting: A single story and up to two sidebars, published on the same day, on any sports event, person or situation. Judged for reporting quality, writing quality, clarity, completeness and balance.

4: Multimedia Reporting: A single multimedia report that demonstrates strong storytelling, using any of the following: text, audio, video, photos, graphics, animation and/or interactivity. Judged for storytelling ability, overall presentation, ease of navigation, technical and aesthetic quality and creative use of the medium.

General Rules

Entries will be judged by journalists from outside the West. A copy of the rules is provided to the judges, and the judges are asked to choose first-, second- and third-place winners and critique the winning entries. For contest results, check this Web site in May.

Judges’ decisions are final, unless winning entries are found to violate contest rules. In that case, the entries will be disqualified and the prize awarded to the next-place winner. Disqualified entries will forfeit entry fees.

Winners will receive Best of the West certificates.

Best of the West reserves the right to reproduce winning entries for publicity and promotional purposes.

Although all reasonable care will be taken in the handling and processing of entries, Best of the West is not responsible for lost, mislaid or damaged entries.

Entry Procedures

The entry procedures have been revised because the contest has moved to an online-only submission process that uses Better Newspaper Contests software.

Here are general instructions on entry procedures from PDF document with general instructions or Powerpoint with general instructions Both are large files, so they take awhile to download.

To submit an entry, you should start at the Better Newspaper Contest’s website.

First, choose the 2011 Best of the West college contest from the dropdown menu.

Then, contest coordinators entering on behalf a publication should select their publication from the second dropdown menu and enter the password provided. (To get your password, contact contest coordinator Cathy Burch at (520) 573-4642.) If your publication isn’t listed, send Burchl an e-mail at

A college journalist who is entering as an individual needs to send Burch an e-mail at to request a login and password.

We accept URLs for entries, plus a variety of digital files. Allowable file types are PDF, txt, doc, jpg, gif and png. For best results make a PDF at 72dpi with full compression. Distilling it as ‘Grayscale’ will significantly reduce file size. Total maximum upload size is 5 MB per file.

All articles should be submitted as URLs if they will be available to our judges on your website. If your website is behind a firewall, then you may submit a PDF of your article from the newspaper or magazine. Word doc files will accepted only as a last resort and with proof that the article in the Word document was the same as what was published.

Photos should be submitted as jpg files, along with a URL or a PDF of the printed page to show proof of publication.

Videos and other multimedia must be submitted as URLs only. They can be posted on your website or a separate website such as

If more than one person contributed to an entry, each contributor should be listed on the entry form. However, entries with numerous contributors may be submitted as “Staff.” Duplicate the entry form as needed. An electronic version is available at the Web site.

Letters of explanation are acceptable in all categories and should be submitted as doc or pdf files. However, supporting materials are not allowed.

The software we are using will ask you to upload an attachment early in the process. You’ll need to do that for any categories that require PDFs or jpgs (design and photo categories, for example) or if you are submitting a PDF of an article that is not available online. However, you can skip that step and click on “next” if you are submitting an entry as a URL or URLs, such as the URL for an article, video or multimedia entry that is available to judges online.

Entry Fee & Deadline

The entry fee is $10 per entry.

Entry fees can be paid in two ways:

• By check: Make checks payable to: Best of the West and mail to Best of the West, P.O. Box 13367, Phoenix, AZ 85002.

• By credit card: Pay your entry fees through the Better Newspaper Contest website as you submit your entries. As an alternative, you can pay your entry fees on this website. We are using Google Checkout, which accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.

Be sure to include the name of your publication on the check or on the address you list for Google Checkout so that we can match up your payment with your entries.

A single check or credit card payment for multiple entries from the same journalist or news organization is appreciated.

Entries must be submitted electronically no later than midnight Eastern Time on April 15, 2011. No late entries will be accepted.

Judging & Prizes

Entries will be judged by professional journalists from outside of the region. Judges’ decisions are final unless a winning entry is found to violate contest rules, in which case the entry will be disqualified and the prize awarded to the next-place winner.

The winners will receive Best of the West certificates.

For complete contest results, return to this website in late May. Or sign up for our Facebook page, where we will send out a note when the results are posted.


Call contest coordinator Cathy Burch, (520) 573-4642, during normal business hours. Or send an e-mail to with your questions.