As we prepare to meet at the 2018 APSE Summer Conference in Nashville June 17-20, here are some proposals regarding contest realignment that we will be discussing during the opening meeting.

We feel these proposals are the next necessary steps in keeping our contest the elite one in sports journalism.

If you have concerns about the proposals, voice them at the meeting, or contact incoming APSE president John Bednarowski directly at




Four “equal” divisions based on circulation, renamed Group A, B, C and D.

Based on the directory, we currently have 206 full-member organizations – 103 of which are 30,000 or fewer circulation.

This year, the numbers fall this way:

Group A will have 52 members — 100,000 and over

Group B will have 51 members — 30,001-99,999

Group C will have 52 members — 15,001-30,000

Group D will have 51 members — under 15,000

The alignment will be reviewed each year, with the objective of always making four equal groups.

Under this plan, we eliminate what is now the sub-category (under 15,000 circulation) in the small-paper section contest.

(See below the remainder of the proposals to learn how the current member publications would fall in circulation order.)

Considerations were made to possibly determine contest divisions by a different formula, be it page views or staff size. However, anything other than circulation at this point remains too subjective. Page views run into problems with pay walls, and staff size is difficult with the rise of design hubs, contract labor, interns and so forth.



Eliminate redactions.

Many of the categories already have digital components that cannot be redacted. Also, by eliminating the practice, we can rethink the way the contest is put together – for instance, we will be able to accept links for stories rather than have editors place stories into individual Google docs. It would also eliminate much of the officers’ work in preparing the entries to be judged.



Combine short and long video into one category. News organizations are allowed two entries apiece.

After breaking out video from multimedia in 2015, the average number of long videos in the contest has continued to dwindle. Last year, we changed the length to over 5 minutes, and we received 10 or fewer entries in three of the four classifications.



Entries will now have four mandatory elements: live-event story (gamer/analysis, breaking news, enterprise) and a digital component – a blog, video, multimedia etc. We will reduce the number of wild-card elements from two to one.


COLUMN WRITING – The number of columns per entry will be reduced from five to four.

This will eliminate on average 50 columns that preliminary judges have to read but will still offer a fair sample of a columnist’s work.



We want to entertain discussion about a possible photo contest. There are very few national contests for sports photography. Also, many sports reporters already have to take their own photographs.

A potential photo contest or category could bring in new members from current staffs, or we could offer a potential associate membership for those wanting to join just to compete in the contest.

Initially, we’d look at having one large photo contest with three categories: portfolio, sports action and sports feature. If we have enough entries going forward, we can then look at splitting them into divisions like the writing contest.



Divisions for 2018 APSE Contest



Division A*                                    85,000,000

Bleacher Report*                            40,000,000

Yahoo Sports*                                7,000,000*                               4,000,000

Flosports*                                      3,600,000

FanRag Sports*                              2,200,000

Undefeated*                                  2,000,000*                            1,000,000


Wall Street Journal                        2,379,000

N.Y. Times                                    2,134,000

USA Today                                    958,785

Los Angeles Times                         800,000

Alabama Media Group                    618,000

Washington Post                            450,000

Newsday                                       400,000

The Dallas Morning News               372,001

Houston Chronicle                         360,251

Detroit Free Press                          300,000

Southern California News Group     300,000

Minneapolis Star-Tribune                275,000

NJ Advance Media                         250,000

Miami Herald                                250,000

Baltimore Sun                               250,000

Boston Globe                                250,000

San Jose Mercury News                 250,000

Chicago Tribune                            245,000

New York Daily News                    236,537

Tampa Bay Times                         180,091

San Diego Union-Tribune               180,000

The Denver Post                           170,000

Cleveland Plain Dealer                  170,000

The Arizona Republic                    163,267

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette                161,630

The Seattle Times                        155,000

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel           150,000

Philadelphia Inquirer                    150,000

Charlotte Observer                      140,000

Buffalo News                               130,000

Atlanta Journal Constitution          126,000

The Tennesseean                         125,000

South Florida Sun Sentinel           120,000

The Kansas City Star                   120,000

The Oklahoman                           113,000

The Oregonian/Oregon Live          110,000

Cincinnati Enquirer                       108,000

Omaha World-Herald                    107,085

The Virginian-Pilot                        107,000

St. Louis Post-Dispatch                 105,000

Richmond Times-Dispatch             103,000

Orlando Sentinel                           100,000

The Detroit News                          100,000

Boston Herald                               100,000


Divison B

Inside Carolina*                            500,000

Outsports*                                    311,000


The Indianapolis Star                    97,014

Louisville Courier-Journal               95,000

Syracuse Media Group                   90,000

Fort Worth Star-Telegram              90,000

Times Picayune/            80,000

Las Vegas Review Journal              80,000

Dayton Daily News                        78,002

The Des Moines Register                75,000

Daily Herald (IL)                           75,000

The News and Observer                 75,000

The Post and Courier (SC)              68,000

San Antonio Express-News             67,000

Chattanooga Times Free Press        65,000

The Times Media Company (IN)      65,000

Wisconsin State Journal                  65,000

The Spokesman Review                  61,465

Digital First Media/Michigan            60,000

Florida Times Union                       60,000

Tulsa World                                   60,000

The Providence Journal                  60,000

The Villages Daily Sun                   55,000

Daytona Beach News Journal          55,000

The Gazette (CO)                          53,000

Commercial Appeal                       50,000

Daily Press (VA)                           50,000

The Press Democrat (CA)              50,000

The Register Guard (OR)               50,000

Lexington Herald-Leader                47,500

Toledo Blade                                 47,000

Penn Live/Patriot News                  46,404

The Roanoke Times                      45,700

The Daily Advertiser (LA)              45,675

Knoxville News Sentinel                45,000

The State (SC)                             45,000

Washington Times                        45,000

Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday  42,000

Peoria Journal Star                        42,000

Canton Repository                         41,989

Lincoln Journal Star                       40,000

The News Press (FL)                      40,000

News & Record (NC)                      40,000

Columbia Missourian                     39,000

The Journal Gazette (IN)               38,000

Times Union (NY)                          37,000

The Free Lance Star                      36,000

The Scranton Times-Tribune          36,000

Green Bay Press-Gazette              35,000

South Bend Tribune                      33,900

New Orleans Advocate                  32,000


Group C*                 175,000*                       100,000

The Rebel Walk*                           100,000

Elite Sports* (GA)                         40,000*                          30,000*                         25,000

Inside Football* (NJ)                     20,000

Tider Insider*                               20,000


Idaho Statesman                           30,000

The Bakersfiled Californian             30,000

Northwest Herald                          30,000

Williamsport Sun-Gazette              30,000

Marin Independent Journal             30,000

Deseret News (UT)                        30,000

The News Gazette (IL)                  30,000

Casper Star Tribune                      30,000

The Fayetteville Observer              30,000

Beaumont Enterprise                    30,000

The Monitor (TX)                         29,900

Springfield State Journal Register  29,423

Wilmington StarNews                   28,700

The Desert Sun                           28,000

Florence Morning News (SC)         27,891

Jackson Clarion Ledger                 26,662

Pensacola News Journal                25,940

Victoria Advocate                         25,405

Corpus Christi Caller-Times           25,000

Yakima Herald-Republic                23,000

Elyria Chronicle-Telegram             23,000

Daily News Record (VA)               23,000

The Post Star (NY)                       23,000

The Citizens’ Voice                       22,715

Dothan Eagle                               22,000

Journal & Courier (IL)                   21,935

Altoona Mirror (PA)                      20,000

Janesville Gazette (WI)                20,000

The Tuscaloosa News                   20,000

Racine Journal Times                   20,000

The Daily Courier (AZ)                 20,000

Sun Journal (ME)                         19,500

Bryan-College Station Eagle          19,117

Savannah Morning News               19,362

The Herald Times (IN)                  18,000

TimesDaily (AL)                            18,000

The Topeka Capital-Journal            17,232

Grand Forks Herald                       17,200

Gaston Gazette (NC)                     17,000

Midland Reporter-Telegram (TX)     17,000

Sauk Valley Media (IL)                   17,000

Santa Cruz Sentinel                       16,000

Daily Hampshire Gazette                16,000

The Coloradoan                             16,000


Group D

Tucson Local Media                       15,000

San Angelo Standard-Times           15,000

Napa Valley Register                     15,000

Decatur Daily (AL)                        15,000

Hickory Daily Record (NC)             15,000

Burlington Times-News (NC)          15,000

The Herald (SC)                            15,000

Mail Tribune (OR)                         15,000

The Herald Bulletin                       15,000

The Daily Progress (VA)                 14,400

The Sentinel (PA)                          14,000

The Hawk Eye                               14,000

Wyoming Tribune Eagle                  14,000

Aiken Standard                              14,000

The Gadsden Times (AL)                 14,000

Daily American Republic (MO)         13,000

Rocky Mount Telegram (NC)            12,000

Lawrence World Journal                  12,000

Daily Record (NJ)                           11,717

Marietta Daily Journal                     11,500

Aberdeen American News               11,200

Dalton Daily Citizen                       10,500

The Manhattan Mercury (KS)          10,000

Kennebec Journal (ME)                  10,000

The Daily Targum (NJ)                   10,000

Idaho State Journal                       10,000

Steamboat Pilot and Today             10,000

Opelika-Auburn News (AL)              9,900

Ames Tribune                                9,500

Jackson Sun (TN)                          9,100

Jacksonville Daily News (NC)          9,000

Denton Record-Chronicle                9,000

St. Tammany Farmer (LA)               8,500

Daily Chronicle (IL)                         8,000

Durham Herald-Sun (NC)                8,000

The Leaf Chronicle (TN)                  8,000

The Oklahoma Daily                       8,000

The Daily News Journal (TN)           7,500

Chillicothe Gazette (OH)                 7,400

Mon Valley Independent (PA)          7,000

West Bend Daily News (WI)            6,500

Columbia Missourian                      5,723

The Sheridan Press (WY)                5,000

Laramie Boomerang (WY)               5,000

Alexander City Outlook (AL)           4,500

Cherokee Tribune (GA)                  4,500

The Morning Sun (MI)                   3,000

Bottineau Courant                        3,000

Highlands Current (NY)                 3,000

Selma Kingsburg Enterprise Reporter  3,000

Ashland Daily Tidings (OR)            2,000