Sunday, January 24, 2016

Feb. 1 is deadline for entries for Public Notice Journalism Award

Monday, Feb. 1, is the deadline to enter the contest for the Public Notice Resource Center's 2016 Public Notice Journalism Award, which honors news reporting that originates with advertising that governments are required to buy in newspapers to notify the public of actions pending or taken. It promotes the value of public-notice laws, which are under attack in several state legislatures.

Last year's winner, Jim Lockwood of the Scranton Times-Tribune, continues to report on public notices, most recently in December on the Scranton Sewer Authority’s special meeting for a proposed purchase of the city’s sewer system (ad at left). He won the 2015 award for his reporting on a proposed commuter tax.

Other recent examples of public-notice reporting: Russ Corey of the Times Daily in Florence, Ala., reported recently on a notice about a development along the Tennessee River. Evan Hendershot of The Daily Republic in Mitchell, S.D., reported on a resident’s complaint that the city had forced her to pay for an expensive sidewalk on her short, no-outlet street.

News or feature stories from 2014 or 2015 are eligible for the award. Editorials are not. Entries should highlight the importance of public notice; judges give positive weight to the use of the notice, or linking to it. Send entries by email to The award includes a $700 cash prize.

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