Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award

Website: Society of Professional Journalists


Annually, the Society of Professional Journalists presents the Mark of Excellence Awards, honoring the best in student journalism. The awards offer categories for print, radio, television and online collegiate journalism.

Entries are first judged on the regional level. First-place regional winners advance to the national competition, and most are recognized at their respective regional SPJ conference in the spring. National winners will be showcased on

A best in show (MOEy) award will be given for the overall best entry among all national winners. The MOEy will be in the late spring. The winner will be honored at the SDX Awards dinner.

Winners in the following categories are eligible for a MOEy only if they cover a single topic:

  • Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper
  • Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper
  • Best Student Magazine
  • Best All-Around Radio Newscast
  • Best All-Around Television Newscast
  • Best Affiliated Website
  • Best Independent Online Student Publication
  • Best Independent Digital-Only Student Publication


– The contest is open to anyone who is enrolled in a U.S. or international college or university in 2019, while studying for an academic degree. International SPJ student members may also enter. Students who have had full-time professional journalism experience, outside of internships, are ineligible. A group entry that includes any work by someone with full-time professional experience will be disqualified.
– The entrant must have been enrolled as a student at the time of publication or broadcast.
– Work published or broadcast while working as a student intern is acceptable.
– Unpublished manuscripts, classroom exercises and unaired news broadcasts do not qualify. Any work found to be unpublished, unaired or a classroom exercise will be disqualified.
– A classroom exercise is defined as work assigned for a grade or fulfillment of a course requirement and is not eligible for an MOE Award unless it was also published outside of class in the campus/local newspaper, campus/ local broadcast stations or website.
– Advisers may enter for their students.
– All entries must have been published or broadcast in 2019.
– Entries may not include the work of students from more than one school.
– Each entry may be submitted in only one category. However, photos, graphics and video entered as part of a writing award also may be submitted in a visual category. Visual categories include:
        • All Photography categories
        • All Videography categories
        • Photo Illustration
        • Editorial Cartooning

Student Type
  • freshman
  • sophomore
  • junior
  • senior
  • graduate
Citizen Type
  • US Citizen
  • Permanent Resident
  • International or Other Visa Status
  • Undocumented

Applications and specific award procedures available online at

Contact Information

Contact SPJ at 317/927-8000 or e-mail