Established 42 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 in broadcast, print and podcast media of the legal system and its operations.
The competition is coordinated by the PBA Bar/Press Committee.
The awards recognize journalists who, through their work:
- 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, broadcasters and publishers are eligible to enter the competition by submitting material published or broadcast between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 in a newspaper or other media outlet with at least 50% of its coverage area located within the state.
Added in 2019: television, radio and podcast categories have been added. While Special/Report Series and Beat Coverage for Weekly Newspapers categories have been eliminated, these types of entries may still be submitted in any relevant remaining 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.
There are six categories for judging:
- Newspapers: 30,000 or more circulation
- Newspapers: Under 30,000 circulation
- TV: Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Markets
- TV: All Other Markets (not including Philadelphia and Pittsburgh)
- Radio and Podcasts: All Markets
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
- Writing/Reporting Effectiveness
- Excellence in Writing/Reporting
Each entrant may submit up to three articles in any category. An entrant submitting more than one article 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 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 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 Sept. 3, 2021.
Any attachments to be judged may be submitted via the online entry form or emailed to: email@example.com. Article URLs to non-password protected content may be included in the description of entry field on the entry form or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact the PBA’s Suzanne Cibotti at 800-932-0311, ext. 2247, with any questions.