Entry Rules

Established 39 years ago, the Pennsylvania Bar Association Media Awards Competition (formerly the William A. Schnader Print Media Awards Competition) recognizes journalistic excellence in news and feature reporting about the legal system and its operations.

The competition is sponsored by the law firm of Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti LLP and is coordinated by the Pennsylvania Bar Association Bar/Press Committee.

The awards recognize journalists who, through their writing:

  • Foster greater public understanding of our legal system
  • Inform and educate citizens as to the roles of society and the law, the courts, law enforcement agencies and the legal profession
  • Disclose practices or procedures needing correction or improvement so as to encourage and promote efforts to improve and modernize our laws, courts and law enforcement agencies

All Pennsylvania reporters, editors and publishers are eligible to enter the competition by submit­ting material published between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018, in a newspaper with at least 50 percent of the circulation located within the state. 

New for this year: the multiday circulation numbers have been lowered from 49,000 to 30,000. Also, non-newspaper outlets are eligible to submit written articles, along with any supporting multimedia content, to the Special/Report Series and Editorial/Commentary categories.

The first-place winner in each category receives $400 and an engraved plaque and the second-place winner in each category receives $100 and a certificate.

Awards will be presented to the winners in each category at the “Newspaper of the Year” brunch during the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Annual Convention on Friday, Oct. 26, at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Farmington, Pa.


There are five categories for judging:

  • Beat Coverage for Multiday Newspapers: 30,000 or more circulation
  • Beat Coverage for Multiday Newspapers: Under 30,000 circulation
  • Beat Coverage for Weekly Newspapers
  • Special Report/Series
  • Editorial/Commentary


The PBA Media Awards Competition Judging Committee is composed of lawyers, judg­es, journalism professors and print media repre­sentatives. The committee will choose the winning entries for each category based on the following:

  • Informational/Educational Value
  • Thoroughness
  • Organization
  • Writing Effectiveness
  • Excellence in Writing


Each entrant may submit up to three articles in a Beat Coverage category. An entrant submit­ting more than one article in a beat category may group the articles together as a single entry (submit only one entry form with the ar­ticles) or may submit the articles as individual entries (submit one entry form per article).

Each entrant may submit up to two entries in the Special Report/Series category.

Each entrant may submit up to two entries in the Editorial/Commentary category.

Only the creator of an entry or an editorial of­ficer of the media organization that published the entry may submit a nomination.

Members of the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) may submit names of reporters who pro­vided notable coverage about legal issues. PBA staff will contact reporters and/or their editors directly to request that article(s) be entered into the competition.

If the total number of allowable entries per cat­egory is exceeded, the reporter and/or editor will be required to select which entries will be judged.

Each entry must include a completed official entry form and a brief summary of the entry. Get the online entry form. The deadline for entries is Aug. 3, 2018.

PDF(s) of the writing(s) to be judged may be attached to the online entry form or emailed to: awards@pabar.org. Article URLs to non-password protected content may be included in the description of entry field on the entry form or emailed to awards@pabar.org.  Contact the PBA’s Suzanne Cibotti at 800-932-0311, ext. 2247, with any questions.

The PBA Media Awards are sponsored by:



100 South Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101

Phone: 800-932-0311

Western Pennsylvania Office:

Heinz 57 Center, 339 Sixth Avenue, Suite 760
Pittsburgh, PA 15222 Phone: 412-914-8840