2017 California Journalism Awards entry instructions

This year, entries to the California Journalism Awards (formerly the Better Newspapers Contest) will be submitted using the BetterBNC Media Awards Platform.

Below are directions for preparing and submitting entries. If you have questions, please contact Simon Birch at 916-288-6010, or by email.

IMPORTANT: BetterBNC is optimized for the Google Chrome browser and Firefox for Windows and MacOS. Please have a recent version downloaded and installed for the best contest experience.

The deadline for all entries is Monday, January 15, 2018 at 11:59 p.m.

Here are the steps to follow:

How to login.

  1. Go to the BetterBNC contest page.
  2. Click “Contestant Login” in the menu at the top of the page.
  3. Make sure the “Contestant Manager” tab is selected. (It should be selected by default.)
  4. Select the contest you would like to enter, either the 2017 California Journalism Awards or 2017 California Journalism Awards —
    Campus Division.
  5. Select your media organization.
  6. Enter your password**
  7. **Note: If it is your first time logging into your account, use the temporary password bnc (all lowercase). After you log in using that temporary password, the system will require you to update your password. Going forward (including future years) you will log in with the password you set.
  8. Click the “Login” button.

How to submit entries.

  1. Click “Submit Entry” from the Manage Entries page
  2. Select a Division (group of Categories)
  3. Select a Category
  4. Enter the entry headline or title

How to add entry content (may vary by category)

  1. To upload digital file attachments (other than audio/video), click “Browse”, navigate to the desired file, and then click “Open”. Allowed file types are PDF, DOC/DOCX, TXT, JPG, GIF, and PNG. To upload additional attachments to a single entry, click the “Browse and Attach More Files” button. BetterBNC will allow up to about a 20MB file. However, we suggest keeping your files around 5MB in case the judges have a slow connection. For files larger than 20MB, you can click the “RealView” icon on the Submit Entry page to create a free account, upload your files, and then copy and paste the URL into the URL field on the Submit Entry page. You may also use a similar 3rd-party website that provides hosting services (scribd.com, issuu.com, etc.)
  2. To add web/audio/video content, copy and paste the content’s URL address into the provided Website URL field. To host your content online, either upload it to a free streaming content website (e.g.YouTube) or talk to your IT person about adding it to your stations/publications website. Make sure the content will be accessible online throughout the duration of the contest and awards process. Here are some examples of free streaming content websites where you can upload audio and video content:

Audio: Kiwi6, Tindeck
Video: YouTube, Vimeo

IMPORTANT: Please be sure that items are not behind a paywall or a password-protected area. If they are, you must provide username/password info in the “Comments” section of your entry. Judges may disqualify your entry if work samples are inaccessible.

3. Add comments. (Information about the entry for the contest administrator or judges.)

4. Enter credits. (Names of the writers, photographers and/or designers.)

5. Click “Submit Entry”

Finally, remember that daily newspapers are required to provide two judges for the first round of judging. Weekly newspapers and four-year university publications are required to provide one judge. The judging sign-up form is online.

Support available

BetterBNC Help Center

BetterBNC technical support is available by phone Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time: 360-427-6300

Start a trouble ticket

For specific information about California Journalism Awards categories and rules, or to update information about your publication, call Simon Birch at 916-288-6010 or send him an email.