2014 RTDNAC/AP Awards contest

RTDNAC and The Associated Press have teamed up for an expanded awards contest in 2014, recognizing the best of TV, radio and website work in North Carolina and South Carolina. RTDNAC continues to recognize the work of professionals and students in the Carolinas, while AP will offer awards in three categories for each state.

The deadline for professional entries is Aug. 20, and the deadline for student entries is Sept. 15.

Finalists will be posted in early October, and winners will be announced at the RTDNAC/AP annual luncheon at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Nov. 15.

Contest rules

Station awards
Student awards
Individual achievement awards

Contest rules
Online entry forms
Submitting payments
Have questions?

Station awards (RTDNAC & AP)

Divisions

  • Radio: All stations in North Carolina and South Carolina.

  • TV Division I: Stations with news departments in these markets: Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point, Raleigh-Durham, Greenville-Spartanburg, Asheville and Columbia. Public television also will compete in this division. Stations in these markets with fewer than 20 full-time news staff will have the option of competing in Division II.

  • TV Division II: All other stations. News departments in these markets with news staffs of 20 or more full-time employees have the option of competing in Division I.

Categories (RTDNAC)

  • Best Newscast: Submit one newscast that you feel represents your best effort. State on the form accompanying the entry what hour and date the newscast was broadcast and recorded. Newscasts entered must be complete and unaltered from the way that they were broadcast and recorded. No retakes allowed. Judges will consider the quality of reporting and content, news judgment, writing, delivery and technical quality. Entry limited to 35 minutes. The same newscast can also be entered for AP Best Newscast.

  • Sports Special: A special program either outside or inside a regularly scheduled newscast or program. Entry limited to 30 minutes.

  • Sports Reporting: Best treatment of a single sports story for which advance planning was possible. No play-by-play is permitted. Entry limited to 10 minutes.

  • Best Photography: Best video photography in a single report or series. Entry limited to 15 minutes.

  • Consumer/Economic: A story or series of stories that will help a consumer make choices in the marketplace and/or understand the forces that shape the marketplace. Entry limited to 15 minutes.

  • News Documentary: A news documentary exclusive of a regularly scheduled newscast, dealing cohesively with a single subject. Entry limited to 30 minutes.

  • Education: Best treatment of an educational issue presented as a story or series. Entry limited to 10 minutes.

  • General News: A single story or combination of related stories of which advance planning was possible. Entry limited to a 15-minute segment.

  • Hard News Feature: A human interest story that is serious in subject and tone. Entries will be judged on writing style, photography, and human qualities expressed. Entry limited to 5 minutes.

  • Light Feature: A human interest story that is light in subject and tone. Entries will be judged on writing style, photography, and human qualities expressed. Entry limited to 5 minutes.

  • Entertainment: A story or segment that focuses on entertainment. Entry limited to 5 minutes.

  • Health-Medicine: Best treatment of a health or medical issue presented as a story or series. Entry limited to 10 minutes.

  • Investigative: Story or series of stories on the same topic in which the reporter uncovered facts that otherwise might not have become public knowledge. You may accompany your entry tape with materials outlining steps taken to prepare reports and ensure accuracy. Entry limited to 20 minutes and other materials to 2 pages.

  • Political-Election: Best election coverage. May include composite coverage or an individual story. Entry limited to 15 minutes.

  • Political-General: Best individual story or series dealing with the political process, not including Election Day coverage. Entry limited to 15 minutes. May include composite coverage.

  • Radio News Block: Entry must include a locally produced newscast and may also include weather, sports interviews, etc. The entry must be an off-air recording of a live program with no editing or alteration. Judges will consider the quality of the overall presentation, writing, sound, information and impact. Entry limited to 15 minutes.

  • Series: A series of stories about a single topic. Entries will be judged on presentation, relevance of topic and quality of research. Entry limited to 20 minutes.

  • Special Report: An expanded presentation of a breaking news event or current news issue . Entry limited to 30 minutes.

  • Spot News: A specific story, unscheduled and for which no prior or advance planning was possible. Entries will be judged on immediacy (whether broadcast live or after the event), quality of reporting, use of actualities and style. Judges will be asked to keep in mind that spot news is outside the control of the broadcaster and that treatment of the individual story, rather than the nature of the story, is to be evaluated. Entry limited to 20 minutes.

  • News Website: Site will be reviewed during an unannounced one-week period. Sites will be judged based on the amount and depth of original local information content, as well as original design. Division (market size/staff) for the News Website award is the same as for the Station Awards.

Categories (AP)

The Associated Press will award winners in both North Carolina and South Carolina in each division (Radio, TV 1 and TV 2) for each of the below categories.

  • Outstanding News Operation: Station also must enter AP best newscast category to be considered. Narrative and video highlighting a station's best efforts of the year, including spot, investigative, weather, feature and sport reporting. Maximum length is 20 minutes. Entry should include a letter for the judges explaining the station’s resources, challenges overcome, major news coverage breaks or exclusives and any other reasons why it should receive the award.

  • Best Newscast: Entries must be two regularly scheduled newscasts from the same time period on different days during the same week. The week shall be Monday through Sunday, at any point in the year, but it will not be a week during the sweeps months of February, May, July or November. Judges will consider the quality of reporting and content, news judgment, writing, delivery, technical quality and overall appeal to the audience. Newscasts entered must be complete and unaltered from the original broadcast and recording. No retakes or editing are allowed. Radio stations can include 30 minutes of a radio news block. (The same newscast can also be entered for the RTDNAC Best Newscast.)

  • Public Service: A locally produced program or a series of reports on a single topic that should display outstanding enterprise in reporting of a significant social problem or issue. Maximum length is 30 minutes; series or program may be edited for length. It should be interpretive, may use investigative reporting and may include editorial conclusion if clearly noted. Film or tape from an outside source may be used, but the clear majority of the program must be locally produced. Entry should include a letter for the judges explaining how the report uncovered new information, any effect it had or change it prompted and what, if any, non-locally produced film or tape was used and why.

Return to top

Student awards (RTDNAC)

Student awards will be judged by the RTDNAC Board of Directors. They will judge the content and editorial quality of the entry. To level the criteria, consideration is given to the production limitations of many educational institutions.

  • Best Student Newscast: Submit one newscast produced, reported and anchored by students. This includes both radio and television newscasts. They must have aired in the past year on your college or university station, cable system or other outlet. Entry limited to 30 minutes.

  • Best Student News Reporting: Submit a single report covering a hard news event, spot news or serious topic. The story can be investigative in nature. Humorous or soft-topic stories should not be submitted in this category. Report must have appeared in a regularly scheduled news program. Entry may not be entered in Feature Reporting category. Entry limited to 10 minutes.

  • Best Student Feature Reporting: Submit a single report covering a human interest or profile subject that is not spot news or investigative in nature. Report must have appeared in a regularly scheduled news program. Entry may not be entered in News Reporting category. Entry limited to 10 minutes.

  • Best Student News Producing: Submit one newscast that exemplifies story selection, story placement, writing, teases, and graphics. The newscast must have aired in the past year on your college or university station, cable system or other outlet. Entry limited to 30 minutes.

  • Best Student Weathercast: Submit one weathercast that you feel represents your best effort. This applies to TV only. The weathercast must be part of a regularly scheduled newscast, not continuing coverage. State on the form accompanying the entry with hour and date the weathercast was broadcast and recorded. Weathercasts entered must be complete and unaltered from the way they were broadcast and recorded. No retakes allowed. Entry limited to 10 minutes.

  • Best Student Sportscast: One television or radio sportscast that you feel represents your best effort. Sportscasts entered must be complete and unaltered from the way they were broadcast and recorded. No retakes allowed. Entry limited to 10 minutes.

  • Best Student Sports Story: This radio or television story must have aired in the past year. Entry limited to 10 minutes.

  • Best Student Photography: Best video photography in a single report, which must have appeared in a regularly scheduled news program. Entry limited to 10 minutes.

  • D. Haney Howell Student Journalist of the Year: Submit best examples of an individual's broadcast work. Entry limited to 20 minutes.

Return to top

Individual achievement awards (RTDNAC)

  • Best Weathercaster (Division I): Submit one weathercast that you feel represents your best effort. Entry (20-minute maximum) must be part of a regularly scheduled newscast, not continuing coverage. State on the form accompanying the entry the hour and date the weathercast was broadcast and recorded. Weathercasts entered must be complete and unaltered from the way they were broadcast and recorded. No retakes allowed. Individual must work as a weathercaster in a full-time capacity.

  • Best Weathercaster (Division II): Submit one weathercast that you feel represents your best effort. Entry (20-minute maximum) must be part of a regularly scheduled newscast, not continuing coverage. State on the form accompanying the entry the hour and date the weathercast was broadcast and recorded. Weathercasts entered must be complete and unaltered from the way they were broadcast and recorded. No retakes allowed. Individual must work as a weathercaster in a full-time capacity.

  • Best Sportscaster (Division I): One sportscast that you feel represents your best effort. Entry (20-minute maximum) must be complete and unaltered from the way they were broadcast and recorded. No retakes allowed. Individual must work as a sportscaster in a full-time capacity.

  • Best Sportscaster (Division II): One sportscast that you feel represents your best effort. Entry (20-minute maximum) must be complete and unaltered from the way they were broadcast and recorded. No retakes allowed. Individual must work as a sportscaster in a full-time capacity.

  • TV News Reporter of the Year (Division I): A composite achievement record for the calendar year. Entry (30-minute maximum) must contain at least three examples of aired material for which the entrant had primary responsibility. Individual must work as a reporter in a full-time capacity.

  • TV News Reporter of the Year (Division II): A composite achievement record for the calendar year. Entry (30-minute maximum) must contain at least three examples of aired material for which the entrant had primary responsibility. Individual must work as a reporter in a full-time capacity.

  • TV News Photographer of the Year (Division I): A composite achievement record for the calendar year. Entry (30-minute maximum) must contain at least three examples of aired material for which the entrant had primary responsibility. Individual must work as a photographer in a full-time capacity.

  • TV News Photographer of the Year (Division II): A composite achievement record for the calendar year. Entry (30-minute maximum) must contain at least three examples of aired material for which the entrant had primary responsibility. Individual must work as a photographer in a full-time capacity.

  • TV News Anchor of the Year (Division I): A composite achievement record for the calendar year. Entry (30-minute maximum) must contain at least three examples of aired material for which the entrant had primary responsibility. Individual must work as an anchor in a full-time capacity.

  • TV News Anchor of the Year (Division II): A composite achievement record for the calendar year. Entry (30-minute maximum) must contain at least three examples of aired material for which the entrant had primary responsibility. Individual must work as an anchor in a full-time capacity.

  • TV News Producer of the Year (Division I): A composite achievement record for the calendar year. Entry (30-minute maximum) should contain a full newscast or three examples of aired material, either for which the entrant had primary responsibility. Individual must work as a producer in a full-time capacity.

  • TV News Producer of the Year (Division II): A composite achievement record for the calendar year. Entry (30-minute maximum) should contain a full newscast or three examples of aired material, either for which the entrant had primary responsibility. Individual must work as a producer in a full-time capacity.

  • Radio Reporter of the Year: A composite achievement record for the calendar year. CD/DVD (30-minute maximum) must contain at least three examples of aired material for which the entrant had primary responsibility. Individual must work as a reporter in a full-time capacity.

  • News Director of the Year: The Margaret Murchison News Director of the Year award is presented to the News Director of the Carolinas who the RTDNAC Board of Directors selects from nominations and supporting documents. Any person who has served as a news director in the Carolinas during the award year is eligible. The nomination must be made by someone other than the news director. Supporting letters and other materials are encouraged. There is no entry fee.

Contest rules

  • Entrants must submit only one URL to their piece in the designated space on the online entry form. URLs may be from a station website or social media site, such as YouTube or Vimeo.

  • The entry period opens April 1, 2014. The entry deadline is Aug. 20 for professionals and Sept. 15 for students.

  • Entry fee is $25 per entry for professionals and $10 per entry for students.

  • For entries to be considered in the competition, online payments must be made by the deadline. Mailed payments must be postmarked by the deadline.

  • Entries must have aired between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014.

  • A particular story may only be entered in one category.

  • Simulcast material must be entered under the medium of origination.

  • There is no limit on the number of entries a station or school may submit in each category.

  • For station awards, entries must be in the name of the station/cable/network. Up to five contributors' names can be listed on station awards. Individual achievement awards should be in the name of the individual.

  • Any supporting material for an award entry is limited to one page.

  • Judges have the discretion not to declare a first- or second-place winner.

  • Identity of the judges is confidential.

  • All awards are subject to the approval of the RTDNAC Board of Directors and AP.

  • Finalists will be posted to the RTDNAC website in early October. Winners will be announced at the RTDNAC/AP convention and awards luncheon on Nov. 15.

  • Winners not claiming their awards at the awards luncheon may request their awards be shipped to them at a cost of $10 per award.

  • The RTDNAC/AP Awards Committee has authority to interpret contest rules.

Return to top

Online entry forms

Entries for all awards, except the News Director of the Year Award, must be submitted online using the online entry form.  

Entries for the News Director of the Year Award must be submitted using the online nomination form.

Submitting payments

Credit card payments may be made online up until the deadline using the online payment form.

Checks or money orders, made payable to RTDNAC, along with one copy of the email confirmation (received upon submitting the entry) must be postmarked by the deadline and mailed to:

RTDNAC/AP Award Entry
c/o Rich Landesberg
Elon University
2850 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244

NOTE: Entries associated with payments not received or postmarked by the deadline will not be accepted.

Return to top

Have questions?

Have a question not addressed here? Let us know.

Return to top