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Sunshine Week logo verticalJoin SPJ Colorado Pro for a Sunshine Week event focusing on the Freedom of Information Act  from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 16 at the Denver Press Club.

Nick Penzenstadler, a reporter with USA TODAY‘s investigative team,  Tom Roeder, a military reporter with The Gazette in Colorado Springs, and Dan Elliott, an AP reporter covering the military and environment in Colorado, will discuss their experiences with FOIA and offer advice and tips.

Bring your specific FOIA questions and experiences for the Q&A part of the event.

The event is free and open to the public. The press club is at 1330 Glenarm Place. Street parking and a cash bar are available. RSVP on our Facebook page! We hope to see you there.

Sunshine Week logo verticalJoin SPJ Colorado Pro, the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition and 9NEWS for a Sunshine Week panel discussion on Facebook Live on Wednesday evening, Mar. 15.

Following a segment on the 6 p.m. show “Next,” 9NEWS anchor Kyle Clark will moderate a discussion of media literacy and new challenges facing news organizations. The discussion will live be on KUSA’s Facebook page and available for viewing on CFOIC’s Facebook page.

Confirmed panelists include:

SPJ’s Region 9 Conference is coming up in Salt Lake City! Join journalists from Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming for 10 events/training sessions March 24-25.

The conference, hosted this year by the Utah Headliners Chapter of SPJ, will include sessions on covering marijuana, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints across the West, National Parks and more.

Book your hotel before March 1 to take advantage of discounts at the Peery Hotel or the Little America Hotel.

Click here to see the full conference schedule

Here’s info on hotels participating in the SPJ discount – again, the discount is only available through March 1.

SPJ Members and students can register for the conference for just $25. Non-members can register for $35.

Visit Colorado SPJ Pro’s Facebook page if you are interested in ridesharing or finding a roommate for the conference.

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You got through 2016 in one piece – join your fellow journalists for a drink!
Colorado SPJ Pro is hosting a mixer at the Denver Press Club from 7 to 9 p.m. Jan. 19, and you’re invited to mingle, network or chit-chat while enjoying the cash bar. Hope to see you there!
The press club is located at 1330 Glenarm Place in Denver. No cover fee is charged;  street parking is available.

Seeking nominations

The SPJ Colorado Pro board is accepting nominations for our four major awards until Jan. 18, 2017. This is a chance for us to publicly recognize excellent journalists in our midst and we welcome our members’ input. Please consider whether there is somebody you know who you believe fits the bill. The awards are:

– Palmer Hoyt Journalist of the Year, which recognizes general excellence in journalism

– Keeper of the Flame, which recognizes a distinguished career in journalism

– First Amendment, which recognizes work protecting free speech, open records and government transparency

– Journalism Educator of the Year, which recognizes dedication to the education of young journalists

Please send us your nominations by emailing news@spjcolorado.com by the end of Jan. 18. Include a short bio of the nominee, an explanation of why you are nominating them for the award and, if applicable, links to their relevant work from the last year.

Winners will be announced at the Top of the Rockies award reception April 14 in Denver.

Top of the Rockies 2017 is now open! Entries will be accepted up until Jan. 20, 2017.

Visit betternewspapercontest.com/ to enter work published in 2016 today.

If you have any questions, contact Contest Chair Deb Hurley Brobst at dchurley@aol.com. We urge you to enter your work early in case of technical complications.

Winners will be notified in early April before the awards reception. Winners attend the April 14 awards ceremony at their own or their company’s expense. All judges’ decisions are final. Entries will be judged on overall excellence, service to the community, and contributions to the public understanding of issues and events. Judging criteria may also include depth of research, quality of presentation and difficulty in obtaining information. Deadline pressure is a factor only in those categories identified as “deadline.” If, in the opinion of the judges, none of the entries in a given category meets the standards of excellence, no award will be made in that category. Judges may reject entries that do not conform with contest rules.

About Top of the Rockies

Top of the Rockies is a regional, multi-platform contest for reporters and news organizations in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The contest grew from a Colorado-only contest on the heels of the closure of the Rocky Mountain News in 2009 to ensure a robust and competitive field. It is sponsored and managed by the Society of Professional Journalists – Colorado Pro chapter. Because of the changing landscape of media, the contest includes a wide range of categories and divisions within print and magazines, online journalism, radio and television. We hope this online format for entering the contest will be more convenient and efficient for you and your organization.

Eligibility

Entries must be submitted by an individual or a news organization in the SPJ Region 9 area – Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. National news organizations may also participate, but the contest will only accept submissions that focus on Region 9 stories.

Entrants do not need to be SPJ members. If you are interested in SPJ membership, visit spjcolorado.com/about.

2017 CATEGORIES
GENERAL NEWS

News Reporting, Single Story: Spot or Scheduled. Single news story (and related sidebars, if applicable). This includes all but sports, education, political, legal affairs and business reporting.

Breaking News Story: A single story or package of a breaking news event occurring over a 24-hour period.

General Reporting, Series or Package: A series of stories on one topic or a package of stories that runs simultaneously (submit all stories).

Enterprise Reporting: An article or a package or series of stories on one topic that demonstrates exceptional enterprise or investigative effort.

News Feature: Includes profiles, analysis and other news stories written in a feature format.

Public Service: An article or a package or series of stories on one topic that demonstrates exceptional coverage on a topic or issue that is important to the community.

Special section: A package of stories exploring one issue in depth.

Personal/Humor Columns: Submit 3 columns per entry.

News Columns: Submit 3 columns per entry.

Editorials: Submit 3 editorials per entry.

Headline writing: Submit 3 headlines with the accompanying articles.

Information graphic: Submit a graphic with the accompanying article.

Front page design: A front page or cover of your publication.

Single page design: A single page or a section cover of your publication.

Feature page design: A single page or feature cover of your publication.

SPECIALIZED REPORTING

Sports General Reporting: Single story, package or series.

Sports Columns: Submit 3 columns per entry.

Sports Enterprise Reporting: An article, or a package or series of stories on one topic that demonstrates exceptional enterprise or investigative effort.

Business General Reporting: Single story, package or series.

Business Enterprise Reporting: An article, or a package or series of stories on one topic that demonstrates exceptional enterprise or investigative effort.

A&E Reporting News or feature. A single story or a series on film, television, music (classical or popular), art, architecture, theater or dance.

A&E Criticism: Submit 3 columns or reviews.

A&E Enterprise Reporting: A single story, package or series.

Education General Reporting: A single story, package or series.

Education Enterprise Reporting: An article, or a package or series of stories on one topic that demonstrates exceptional enterprise or investigative effort.

Politics General Reporting: A single story, package or series.

Politics Enterprise Reporting: An article or a package or series of stories on one topic that demonstrates exceptional enterprise or investigative effort.

Legal General Reporting: A single story, package or series.

Legal Enterprise Reporting: An article or a package or series of stories on one topic that demonstrates exceptional enterprise or investigative effort.

Science General Reporting: A single story, package or series.

Science Enterprise Reporting: An article, or a package or series of stories on one topic that demonstrates exceptional enterprise or investigative effort.

Environment General Reporting: A single story, package or series.

Environment Enterprise Reporting: An article or a package or series of stories on one topic that demonstrates exceptional enterprise or investigative effort.

Health General Reporting: A single story, package or series.

Health Enterprise Reporting: An article or a package or series of stories on one topic that demonstrates exceptional enterprise or investigative effort.

Agriculture General Reporting: A single story, package or series.

Agriculture Enterprise Reporting: An article or a package or series of stories on one topic that demonstrates exceptional enterprise or investigative effort.

ONLINE

General Website Excellence: Judged on the excellence of content, interactivity, design, navigation, multimedia and community tools.

Blog: Honoring an important or insightful perspective unique to the

Web. Three submissions per entry.

Mobile Applications: A mobile application created by a news organization that delivers news or information on a particular issue or event.

Multimedia Story: A cohesive Web package that can include words, photos, graphics, audio, video and/or graphics.

PHOTOJOURNALISM

Spot News Photography: One or more photos on a breaking news story.

News Photography: One or more photos on a news story.

Feature Photography: One or more photos where original subject matter is enhanced by the presentation or imagination of the photographer.

Sports Photography: One or more photos on a sports subject.

RADIO

News Reporting: Spot or general news. Entries not to exceed five minutes.

Feature Reporting: Entries not to exceed five minutes.

Enterprise Reporting: Single broadcast or series, not to exceed 15 minutes.

General Broadcast Excellence: Single broadcast.

TELEVISION

News Reporting: Spot or general news. Entries not to exceed five minutes.

Feature Reporting: Entries not to exceed five minutes.

Enterprise Reporting: Single broadcast or series, not to exceed 15 minutes.

General Broadcast Excellence: Single broadcast.

A note about circulation and online-only organizations

In an attempt to make the Top of the Rockies contest more competitive, the board of the Society of Professional Journalists – Colorado Pro Chapter opted to re-organize its circulation classifications into four groups: less than 10,000; 10,001-30,000; 30,001-75,000; more than 75,000. Additionally, online only-organizations were placed in a print circulation division based on geographical location, scope of content and editorial influence. Any news organization wishing to compete in a circulation classification higher than theirs was allowed do so. However, an organizations were not permitted to drop a classification.

This information will remain posted at spjcolorado.com/contest.

Start getting your award entries ready – SPJ Colorado Pro’s Top of the Rockies contest is set to open Dec. 22!

This regional, multi-platform contest for reporters and news organizations in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming will remain open for entries until Jan. 20. 

A link to the contest entry portal will be made available on this website once the contest officially opens. Participants must pay $15 per entry, and the categories have remained unchanged from last year’s competition.

Entries must be submitted by an individual or a news organization in the SPJ Region 9 area – Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. National news organizations may also participate, but the contest will only accept submissions that focus on Region 9 stories.

Judging of the categories will be held Feb. 6 to March 6. Winners will be notified in early April; placement for each award category will be announced at a reception April 15 in Denver.

SPJ Colorado Pro will send you a link to the contest portal once it has gone live. Questions may be directed to Contest Chair Deb Hurley Brobst at dchurley@aol.com.

Nominations for special awards

The Colorado SPJ Pro board is also accepting nominations for its four major annual awards:

– Palmer Hoyt Journalist of the Year, which recognizes general excellence

– Keeper of the Flame, which recognizes a distinguished career in journalism

– First Amendment, which recognizes work protecting free speech, open records and government transparency

– Journalism Educator of the Year, which recognizes dedication to the education of young journalists

Please send us your nominations by emailing news@spjcolorado.com before Jan. 1.

Please include a short bio of the nominee, an explanation of why you are nominating them for the award and, if applicable, links to their relevant work from the last year.

Winners will also be announced at the Top of the Rockies award reception April 15 in Denver.

Top of the Rockies background

The Top of the Rockies contest grew from a Colorado-only contest on the heels of the closure of the Rocky Mountain News in 2009 to ensure a robust and competitive field. It is sponsored and managed by the Society of Professional Journalists – Colorado Pro chapter. Because of the changing landscape of media, the contest includes a wide range of categories and divisions within print and magazines, online journalism, radio and television. We hope this online format for entering the contest will be more convenient and efficient for you and your organization.