Sports editors in the Over-175,000 Beat Writing category submitted a total of 50 entries this year. Each entry consisted of five parts: at least one breaking news story; one event or game coverage story; one enterprise piece; and two wild-card stories from any of the aforementioned categories (or other stories or analysis related to the beat).
Contest chair Jeff Rosen and fellow APSE officers Tommy Deas, John Bednarowski and Robert Gagliardi numbered each entry, assuring they had been stripped of headlines, graphics, bylines and any other element that would identify the writer or news organization.
Then, in February, preliminary judges at the APSE Winter Conference in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and off-site around the country selected a top 10, with each judge ranking the entries in order from 1 to 10 separately on a secret ballot. Entries were given 10 points for a first-place vote, nine points for second and so on down to one point for a 10th-place vote. The final 10 were given to a second judging group, which ranked the entries 1-10 in the same fashion. The winner and final rankings are determined by tallying the ballots.
The winner in each category will receive a plaque at the 2017 APSE Summer Conference at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans June 26-29. The second- through 10th-place writers will receive frameable certificates. (Click here to register for the conference.)
In the Beat Writing category, judges considered how each entrant’s combined submissions demonstrated excellence on the beat. Factors evaluated included authority on the beat, audience engagement and innovation.
The top 10 entries are listed below, with links to writers’ Twitter pages, APSE member websites and winning entries.