2008 Better Newspapers Competition

December is quickly approaching, and that means it’s time to gear up for the Canadian Community Newspapers Association’s 2008 Better Newspapers Competition (BNC) which kicks off on Monday, December 3, with the release of the entry book, rules, and forms.

Every year the BNC Awards recognize the achievements of its member and campus newspapers through a variety of categories that focus on General Excellence, editorial, photography, advertising and special promotion.

For the second year, the BNC committee is pleased to provide the earlybird prize draw to one CCNA member who will receive a voucher worth up to $1,500 toward the cost of attending the CCNA national convention. In order to be eligible, members must submit their BNC entries by Wednesday, January 9.

The winners’ subsidy will also return for the 2008 BNC and will be available to all first-place winners in the Premier Award categories and the Campus Division. The subsidy includes one night’s accommodation and a complimentary day pass at the 89th national convention in Toronto for Friday, May 10.

A few changes and updates have been introduced for this year’s competition, which includes the following:

BNC entry fees will increase as follows: General Excellence fee will be $60 per entry, and Premier and Special Competition entry fee will now be $10 per entry. The General Excellence fee has not changed since 2004, and the Premier and Special Competition entry fee hasn’t been changed in over 15 years. The base entry fee for Premier and Special Competition will remain at $55.

General Excellence
The General Excellence entry process will change slightly this year, with the CCNA selecting two months from the year, and members having the opportunity to select their best issue from each month.

Scoring for General Excellence will also be adjusted to the following:

Editorial ÔÇô Range of Coverage 35 points; Quality of Writing 15 points; Photography 15 points; Typography and Design 10 points; Print quality 5 points; Ad design and Copy Editing 15 points; Layout and Effective use of colour 5 points; total 100 points.

Best News Story
This category will now include a total of three classes:

  • Class 2011 – Circulation up to 3,999;
  • Class 2012 – Circulation 4000 to 12,499; and
  • Class 2013 – Circulation 12,500 and over.

Best Feature Story
Covering letters will no longer be considered.

Best Sports Photos
Scoring for this category will no longer include points for “News or feature value.” Total possible score is now 40 points.

Best Photo Essay
The criteria for this category has changed to read that, “Any image created or manipulated with computer software is not acceptable beyond basic lighting or cropping changes.”

Best Sports Coverage
Formerly known as Best Sports Pages. Points will now be awarded for Scope and excellence of editorial content and statistics page, 20 points.

Best Special Section
Rules for this category now include “A special section is a stand-alone piece on a specific subject not produced regularly by the newspaper.”

Best Web Site Design
Scoring for this category will