For decades, the Central Ohio SPJ chapter has been honoring both accomplishments in and  service to journalism.  To follow is a summary of the chapter’s annual awards:

First Amendment Award
The Central Ohio SPJ award recognizes significant contributions to the First Amendment rights of freedom of expression. Individuals and organizations both inside and outside of journalism are eligible.

Distinguished Service Award
This award is for a member of the chapter who demonstrates professional excellence and dedication to SPJ.

Appreciation Award
This award is presented to an individual or organization that has made a notable contribution to journalism in central Ohio.

Brick Wall Award
Started in 2001, this dubious distinction is presented to the individual or organization that, according to chapter members, did the most to block citizen access to public records and proceedings or otherwise violated the spirit of the First Amendment during the past year. Anyone is eligible, but special consideration will be given to public officials and tax-funded agencies that fail to follow the law.

Ohio Journalism Historic Site
This award is presented to a location in the state of Ohio that has special historical significance to journalism.

The Martys – Awards for Central Ohio’s High School Journalists
The Central Ohio Society of Professional Journalists and the Dispatch Media Group annually present The Martys, an editorial contest for Central Ohio’s high school journalists.

Winners in the contest’s five categories earn cash prizes from the Central Ohio SPJ and are published on the sponsors’ websites. A sixth award, The Marty, recognizes the overall Best of Show winner from among the five category winners. That student is honored with the award at Central Ohio SPJ’s annual spring Founders’ Day banquet.

Categories: 1. Best News Writing; 2. Best Feature Writing; 3. Best Sports Writing; 4. Best Opinion Writing; 5. Best Photography.

Contest rules:

  • Entries should be from the current school year, published prior to Feb. 28;
  • Entries are limited to two students per high school, per category;
  • Entries must be postmarked on or before March;
  • Entrants should attach a PDF copy of the entry to their entry sheet.

Additional information: Please contact contest coordinator Julanne Hohbach at [email protected].

Ohio SPJ Awards – Honoring Ohio’s Best Journalism
Ohio SPJ Awards are presented annually and collaboratively by the Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland Pro Chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists. It is the only Ohio competition that honors journalists who fulfill the SPJ mission: defense of the First Amendment, support of literacy, resistance to censorship, advocacy for openness of public records and meetings, media self-criticism and community service. This program also recognizes the best college daily and weekly newspapers, and awards student winners in news, feature, opinion and sports reporting.

Deadline: March 31

Eligibility: Journalists are eligible who work for newspapers, magazines, radio, television, trade, online and college media in Ohio and adjacent states that have significant reach into Ohio. Entrants need not be members of the Society of Professional Journalists. The work must have been published or broadcast in the prior calendar year.

Fees: A $30 entry fee must accompany each submission, except college students pay a $10 entry fee for writing of news, feature, sports and opinion. College newspapers may enter free. You may submit any given article in as many relevant categories as you wish. Submissions from trade publications, newsletters and other print alternatives are welcome. This contest is for journalists in the state of Ohio and immediately adjoining states whose publications / stations / work have significant reach into Ohio. There is a $5 discount per entry for work by SPJ members.

Full information on the contest is available at Contact contest administrator Sarah Mills Bacha for additional information at [email protected].

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