PCLI Media Awards

NOTE: PCLI is no longer accepting entries for the 2019 Media Awards – the deadline was March 15.

Finalists will be announced in late April and the ceremony will take place on June 6 at Watermill Caterers in Smithtown, N.Y.

It’s time again for the Press Club of Long Island’s Annual Media Awards Competition, recognizing outstanding work in print, broadcast and online journalism in 2018.

All entries again will be submitted online through a web-based entry system at the Better BNC website.

Journalists can enter submissions under the following divisions of categories: Narrative, Video, Radio, Visual, Social Media, Student Journalism, and Special Awards and Scholarships. Each division includes categories organized by topic.

Descriptions of Divisions

  • Anything written and published in either daily, monthly or weekly newspapers, magazines and stories appearing online should be entered in the Narrative division under the appropriate category.
  • Any original video broadcast formats including television, cable television and online television and video should be entered in the Video division under the appropriate category.
  • Any original radio broadcasts and podcasts should be entered in the Radio division under the appropriate category.
  • Any original published images, photographs, illustrations, layouts and cartoons should be entered in the Visual division under the appropriate category.
  • Any Twitter, Facebook and Instagram postings maintained by individuals and organizations should be entered in the Social Media division under the appropriate category.
  • Any student-produced work should be entered in the Student Journalism division under the appropriate category.
  • The Special Awards and Scholarships division includes the awards for Long Island Journalism Hall of Fame nominations, Robert W. Greene Public Service Award, Phil Spahn Memorial Award, James Murphy Cub Reporter of the Year and the college and high school scholarship awards.

Panels of judges from other regions will choose the winners, except the Special Awards and Scholarships, which will be judged by the PCLI board.

As in past years, the first entry for Press Club of Long Island members is FREE. You can check if your membership is current at www.spj.org. The fee for all other entries is $25 per entry for professionals and $10 for students.

All entries must be submitted online at BetterBNC.com. Select the 2019 Press Club of Long Island Media Awards Competition.

The final deadline for entries is March 15, 2019.

Questions? Contact PCLI Awards Chair and Immediate Past President, Chris R. Vaccaro, at c.r.vaccaro@gmail.com.

Entry Rules

1) Entries must have been published, posted or broadcast between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2018.

2) All entries must be published/broadcast by a Long Island media outlet, and/or written by a Long Island-based journalist. All entries must be about a Long Island subject except in the Non-local News/Feature category.

3) Entries must be submitted by news organizations or individual journalists.

4) Articles, photos and videos that appeared in either in-house company publications or association publications are NOT eligible.

5) Online stories, videos and photos that first appeared in other online sources are NOT eligible.

6) A story or broadcast may be entered in up to two categories. In addition, that story or broadcast may also be entered for a Public Service Award in the Special Awards and Scholarships division.

7) PCLI reserves the right to withhold awards in a category where judges have determined none of the entries are worthy of an award.

8) The final deadline for entries is March 15, 2019.

9) Fee for current Press Club individual members: First entry FREE! (Must include SPJ member number on entry form to qualify; visit www.spj.org to check your membership information). PLEASE NOTE: Only individuals can be members of the Press Club of Long Island. Members must be in good standing as of March 2019 to take advantage of the free first entry. Additional member entries are $25 each. Student entries are $10.

10) The fee for regular entries is $25 per entry, and $10 for student entries.

11) There is no fee to submit nominations in the Special Awards and Scholarships division.

12) Fees must be paid at the time entries are submitted and are non-refundable.

The preferred payment method is PayPal, as described below, although checks will be accepted, made payable to Press Club of Long Island and mailed to Press Club of Long Island, P.O. Box 975, Melville, NY 11747. Everyone paying by check MUST include a note with the title of entry and which division and category it was entered in. Individuals and media organizations sending checks for multiple entries MUST include a list of all entries, with the division and category of each entry covered by the check. PLEASE NOTE: An entry will not be accepted until we can match that entry with a paid entry fee. Do not mail cash.

13) Only one first-place award or second and third-place certificate per category will be given. Additional first place awards can be ordered from PCLI for $50 each after the winners are announced. Additional second and third-place certificates can be ordered for $10 per certificate. All orders for 2019 duplicate awards must be placed by Aug. 31, 2019.

14) All entries in the Special Awards and Scholarship categories must include a nomination letter.

15) Please check your entry for accuracy and completeness. Entries not meeting specified rules will be disqualified and fees not refunded. The Press Club is not responsible for errors submitted on entry forms.

16) All entries must be submitted online at BetterBNC.com; select the 2019 Press Club of Long Island Media Awards Competition, this competition is Open Call.

Nominations in the Special Awards and Scholarships division must be emailed (C.R.Vaccaro@gmail.com) or physically mailed to PCLI Awards Chair Chris R. Vaccaro, Adjunct Professor, Department of Journalism, Hofstra University, School of Communication, Hempstead, N.Y. 11549.

To Enter: Register as an Open Call contestant and request to add entries to the 2019 PCLI Media Awards Competition.

Entry Instructions


  1. ENTER: Register, validate, select PCLI
  2. Please log on to www.BetterBNC.com
  3. In the blue navigation bar on top, either click Contestant Login and then click on the Open Call circle; or click the red Open Call Login link if you are already registered.
  4. Below the Login with the email and password boxes, click on Create Your Open Call Account.
  5. Fill in the form and click Submit.
  6. You will receive an automated validation notification. Follow those directions to complete your Open Call registration.
  7. When complete, select the Open Call Contest 2019 PCLI Media Awards Competition, and within 24 hours, you will receive an email approving your contestant status, with a link allowing you to submit entries.
  8. Log in, choose your media outlet or fill it in under Other if it’s not listed.
  9. Choose a Division: Narrative, Video, Radio, Visual, Social Media, Student Journalism, Special Awards and Scholarships; then select a Category, create your entry and submit.
  10. SUBMIT
  12. Add Credits for those responsible for the entry content.
  13. Click Submit.
  14. Print a copy of the Official Entry Form Page.
  15. Submit another entry if applicable or click on the Manage Entries link.
  16. On the upper right side of the page, it will list the number of entries you have made. Below it, click on the Calculate Entry Fee link.
  17. The total due will be listed. Individual PCLI members who are entitled to their first entry free should deduct $25 from the total.
  18. On the lower left, click on the Click Here To Pay link. You will be taken to the PCLI payment page.
  19. Select your preferred mode of payment.
  20. Once payment has been made, you will see a message that says: Thank you for submitting your payment. Please note that any entries not paid for will not be considered.


NARRATIVE: Anything written and published either in a newspaper, website, or in a magazine.

  • Best Headline
  • Best Website
  • Arts
  • Breaking News
  • Business
  • Column
  • Crime; Justice reporting
  • Editorial/Commentary
  • Education Reporting
  • Entertainment
  • Environment
  • Food Writing
  • Government/Politics
  • Health
  • Humor
  • In-Depth Report or Series
  • Lifestyle Feature
  • Neighborhood/Community News
  • Non-Local News/Feature
  • Profile
  • Real Estate
  • Science/Technology
  • Sports Feature
  • Sports News
  • Travel Writing

VIDEO: Any and all original video broadcast formats to include television, cable television, and online.

  • Best TV Broadcast News Program
  • Best Video Photojournalist
  • Arts
  • Breaking News
  • Business
  • Crime; Justice
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Environment
  • Food Features
  • Government/Politics
  • Health
  • In-Depth Report or Series
  • Lifestyle Feature
  • Non-Local News/Feature
  • Photojournalist
  • Profile
  • Sports Feature
  • Sports News

RADIO: Any and all original recorded broadcasts and podcasts.

  • Best Long Island News Radio Station
  • Breaking News
  • Education Reporting
  • Arts and Entertainment
  • Environment
  • Features
  • Government/Politics
  • Podcast
  • Sports

VISUAL: Any and all original published images, photographs, illustrations, layouts, multimedia databases and cartoons.

  • Visual, Cartoon
  • Visual, Drone Photograph
  • Visual, Feature Photograph
  • Visual, Illustration
  • Visual, Infographic
  • Visual, Interactive presentations
  • Visual, Magazine Cover Design
  • Visual, Multimedia Database
  • Visual, News Photograph
  • Visual, Newspaper Front Page Layout
  • Visual, Non-Local Photo
  • Visual, Photo Essay
  • Visual, Sports Photograph
  • Visual, Website Home Page Design

STUDENT JOURNALISM: Any and all student produced work in college and high school.

  • The Best College Newspaper Reporter
  • The Best College News Radio Broadcast
  • The Best College Newspaper
  • The Best High School Newspaper
  • The Best High School Online Broadcast
  • Narrative, News Story
  • Narrative, Sports Reporting
  • Narrative, Feature Story
  • Radio, News Story
  • Radio, Sports Reporting
  • Radio, Feature Story
  • Video, News Package
  • Video, Sports Package
  • Video, Feature Package

SOCIAL MEDIA: To include Twitter, Facebook and Instagram maintained by individuals and organizations.

  • Best Social Media Campaign, All Platforms
  • Best Use of Facebook
  • Best Use of Instagram
  • Best Use of Twitter
  • Best Use of Social Media by an organization
  • Best Use of Social Media by an individual

Special Awards and Scholarships


BEST WEEKLY NEWSPAPER: Please mail in your top three issues to be judged as a whole.

BEST MAGAZINE: Please mail in your top three issues to be judged as a whole.

LONG ISLAND JOURNALISM HALL OF FAME NOMINEE: The Long Island Journalism Hall of Fame recognizes trailblazing journalists, past and present. The criteria for those being inducted requires that they be someone who has made a significant contribution to Long Island journalism, or be a Long Islander who has made contributions to journalism beyond Long Island.

PHIL SPAHN MEMORIAL AWARD: Presented to a PCLI member who has demonstrated leadership, ability and outstanding service to journalism, to PCLI or to the community.

THE ROBERT W. GREENE PCLI PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD: Awarded for a story, series, investigative piece, column or editorial that had an impact on Long Island. Judging will be based on both the reporting and impact of the story. Entry must include a nomination letter detailing impact of the story.  Two awards will be given: one for deserving work from daily newspapers and/or commercial broadcasts and a second for all other media.

JAMES MURPHY CUB REPORTER OF THE YEAR: Open to reporters with a year or less of full-time experience as of Dec. 31, 2018. Candidates must demonstrate ability and commitment to a career in journalism. Nominations must be submitted by an editor, publisher, news director or station manager and include a letter detailing the candidate’s qualifications, and three work samples.

Academic Awards

COLLEGE JOURNALISM SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS: Recognize outstanding college journalists who either attend a Long Island college or live on Long Island but attend college elsewhere. One $1,000 scholarship will be awarded. Nomination letters must be submitted by the student’s adviser, editor, station manager or professor that detail the candidate’s qualifications. Nominations must include three samples of the candidate’s work and a brief essay by the nominee on his/her goals in journalism.

LEARNING DISABILITY JOURNALISM SCHOLARSHIP: Eligibility is limited to college students or high school seniors in or entering a college journalism program having a learning disability as defined by the Learning Disabilities Association of America. Applicants must submit an essay showing how their learning disability did not dissuade them from pursuing their interest in journalism. One $1,000 scholarship will be awarded. A nomination letter must be submitted by the student’s adviser, editor, station manager or professor.

HANK LOGEMAN/NEWS 12 LONG ISLAND HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALISM AWARD: In memory of UPI reporter and Mineola pressroom veteran Hank Logeman, who was an influence on many journalists throughout the years. The award is designed to support and promote high school journalism on Long Island. The $2,000 scholarship will be awarded to an outstanding high school journalist/broadcaster, newspaper, or radio station that does the most to promote high school journalism on Long Island. Entries must include a nomination letter. Judging will be done by representatives of News 12 Long Island and the Press Club of Long Island.


For current Press Club individual members: First entry FREE! (Must include SPJ member number on payment form; go to www.spj.org if you don’t know your membership number or to make sure your membership is current. Additional entries: $25 per entry.

Fee for ALL regular ENTRANTS: $25 per entry for professionals, and $10 for student entries.

Only individuals can be members of the Press Club of Long Island and are entitled to one free entry and subsequent member rates. Members may not submit entries for non-members at the member rate.

Select entry type