Rules & Eligibility

The rules and eligibility requirements for the 2013 Online Journalism Awards are listed below. Send any specific questions about rules and eligibility to

The deadline for submissions is June 28, 2013 at 11:59 p.m ET.



The Online Journalism Awards are open to websites, areas of websites and all digital platforms, including smart phones, e-readers and tablets, where journalists have originated the content or selected and amplified it. Search services, portal sites and wire services may submit content they created that fits the eligibility requirements. Individuals and organizations may enter the contest. Online retailers and advertising sites are not eligible.


The 2013 Online Journalism Awards are open to work published between June 16, 2012, and June 15, 2013. Entries must be available online for one year from date of submission.


There is a single category for student work, split into two size groupings. To be eligible in the student-specific category, the entire project must have been produced only by enrolled students receiving academic credit for the work being entered. Students can be full- or part-time; graduate, undergraduate or high school students. Work produced for pay is not eligible for a student award.

Submitting to a student category and checking the box to agree to the terms of the awards affirms that the work was done by students. The entrant should explain any professional or professorial involvement when completing the entry.


Categories for the 2013 Online Journalism Awards are broken out by size, by the number of the organization’s full-time equivalent (FTE) employees dedicated to editorial efforts. That includes reporters, editors, designers, newsroom coders and others throughout the entire organization whose work advances the editorial product.

  • Small: Fewer than 20 FTEs on staff.
  • Medium: Between 20 – 125 FTEs on staff.
  • Large: 126 FTEs or more on staff.
  • Student, Small: This student group is for projects produced by one to three students.
  • Student, Large: This student group is for projects produced by four or more students.

A note about non-English awards: This year, we are incorporating non-English entries into all categories. Based on past entries and feedback we’ve received, we no longer believe it necessary or appropriate to separate out non-English entries. Quality of work is independent of language and all entries deserve to be evaluated against their peers around the world.

A note about partnerships: If a project is the product of a partnership of two or more organizations, enter the project into the size category corresponding to the combined number of FTEs dedicated to editorial efforts of the partner organizations.

A note about subsidiaries: Many media outlets are part of larger organizations. To determine the proper size for your entry, consider the following: if your organization is wholly independent and receives no or very limited editorial, technological, or financial assistance from your parent organization, then you may be eligible to enter into a smaller size category. However, if your organization receives material technological, editorial or financial support from the larger entity, you may need to enter the larger organization category.

A note about the use of freelancers: Often, organizations will hire temporary staff to complete a project. You should consider these workers when determining your size category. For example, if you have a staff of 10, but hired 15 freelancers to create/develop the project you are entering, then you should select the “medium” size category.

When making your submission, you will be required to include a statement explaining why you believe your entry belongs in the selected category. (Entrants in the large categories do not need to include such a statement.) ONA judges have the final say as to which size category your entry belongs and ONA reserves the right to move entrants into different categories.


Entries must be submitted through online entry forms. To enter, fill out entry forms for all entries across all categories. Then pay for the total number of awards entries. Entry fees are listed below.


For the Technical Innovation award, any company, journalistic in focus or not, may enter a digital tool it created which, in the organization’s estimation, significantly enhances the practice of online journalism. The publication date restrictions for this award refer to the date of the initial release or substantial upgrade to this product. Judges will weigh the breadth and timeliness of an entrant’s impact on the journalistic community.


Review all entry requirements for each category before submitting an entry. Requirements vary depending on the category. Basic requirements include a URL where the entry is live and a username and password if the entry requires a subscription or registration. Requirements can be found on the categories page.

If an entry exists on a platform that is not available via a desktop computer, such as a smartphone or tablet application, entrants should provide a URL to a marketplace page where the application can be downloaded free of charge. If applicants are submitting entries that should be viewed through a smartphone browser, such as a mobile web page, please denote that in your entry title.


If submitting multiple entries (either in the same category or across multiple categories), fill out entry forms for each entry, then make one purchase for all of the entries you submitted.


Entries cannot be saved and edited at a later date, so be sure to have all information related to the entry before starting.

Corrections cannot be made to entries after submitting. Please verify that all the information in your entry is correct before submitting.



Entry fees are $175 per category for non-members or $100 per category for ONA members. Entry fees for students are $50 per category for non-members or $15 per category for ONA members. If you’d like to become an ONA member, join today.


In order to receive the member rate, first sign in to Payment should be made online by credit card, as part of the submission process.


Judges are a group of distinguished online journalists from around the world. Winners are determined by two rounds of judging. Judges assigned to each category will narrow down the entries to a group of finalists. These judges will then meet in person to select the winners.

Judges may move an entry from one category and/or size designation to another. In these cases, the judges will make a determination on where the entry fits best.



Entrants agree to the terms below upon submitting an entry to the Online Journalism Awards:

By submitting an entry in the Online Journalism Awards competition, you grant the Online News Association (and ONA’s partner(s) of the Online Journalism Awards, if any) the right to reproduce, distribute, perform, and display your entry and/or excerpts from your entry in any and all media: in connection with or to promote the Online Journalism Awards; in any archives composed in whole or in part of Online Journalism Awards entries, finalists, and/or winners; and/or in connection with educational projects for journalists, aspiring journalists, and/or the general public.

By submitting an entry, you represent and warrant that the entry is original work, that you have the right to submit the work as an entry in the Online Journalism Awards, and that you have the right to grant ONA (and ONA’s partner(s) of the Online Journalism Awards, if any) and the rights granted above.