2023 Entry Categories
How to login and general help
Enter the Contest
2022 Golden Press Card winners

The Golden Press Card Awards is a journalism competition held by the East Tennessee Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists to encourage and highlight excellence in journalism.

Journalists working in East Tennessee, defined generally as the Eastern Grand Division of Tennessee, are eligible to enter beginning Jan. 1, 2024.

Work published, posted or broadcast between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2023, is eligible to be entered. (For a series, the majority of the work must have appeared in 2023.)

More than one entry may be submitted in each category, but each separate entry has its own entry fee.


The deadline to enter the Golden Press Cards has been extended again to midnight Feb. 26, 2024.

The deadline was extended by the East Tennessee SPJ chapter board on Feb. 14.


All entries shall be in their original form as published or broadcast. Subsequent corrections or clarifications to the work must be included in the entry.

All entries are made through an online platform at this link: https://betternewspapercontest.com/2023-etspj

The submitting entrant needs an online contest account. If a media outlet has a contest coordinator, they can create an account and submit entries on behalf of others. For detailed instructions on submitting entries, see the How to Enter page.

Clarifications may be added to the How to Enter page throughout the contest based on questions received from entrants, so check frequently if you have questions.

If you need help registering or entering, please contact Jack Lail at (865) 686-6033 or email gpcawards@gmail.com.


Explanatory information or contextual background for the judges should be PDFs or pasted as text in the comments box of the entry form.

Links may be included in the information PDF. Please do not upload Word documents (save as a PDF and upload the PDF).

PDFs and JPG image files (including screenshots) can be uploaded into the entry. Links to articles or videos should be added to the entry. (Links to materials such as videos do have to be on the organization’s website; they can be links to content hosted on YouTube, Vimeo, Dropbox, Google Drive and other hosting platforms, but they must be accessible to the judges.)

A login and password for judges must be included for content behind paywalls or otherwise password-protected. Entrants are encouraged to double-check login/password information for judges by testing them outside your network to make sure they work.



  • $20 for East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalist members
  • $30 for non-members.

Students entering in student categories

  • $10 for student chapter members
  • $15 for non-members

Join the East Tennessee Pro Chapter or the student chapter the University of Tennessee or renew memberships at SPJ.org.

Students entering work done for professional news organizations should use the Professional entry fees. Work done for student news sites, organizations or publications should use the Student entry fees.


Entries will be judged by another Society of Professional Journalists chapter.

Only First Place and Second Place awards will be made. Judges may decline to make awards or only make one award in a category.

The organizers and judges reserve the right to change the category of certain entries if necessary.


  • Television
  • Large Newspapers *
  • Small Newspapers *
  • Radio
  • Digital Only
  • Freelance
  • Student News Site

(Large Newspapers are the Knoxville News Sentinel and the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Small Newspapers include both daily and non-daily newspapers which are not Large Newspapers.)

The Large Newspaper division is open to submissions from online-only news sites.

Those entering work as Small Newspapers may choose to enter work in some categories in the Large Newspaper Division, but may not also submit that same work for judging in the small division, too.


Some categories have winners in each Media Division and some have winners across all media. More information is available in the category list.

Journalists in all media are encouraged to enter community service work in the Horace V. Wells Jr. Award category. The award is named for a legendary Tennessee journalist who, the Tennessee Newspaper Hall of Fame notes, “stood as a bulwark against injustice, tyranny and abuse of the less fortunate” as the founder, publisher and editor of the Clinton Courier in Anderson County.

The overall “Best of Show” award, “The Golden Press Card,” will be selected from the Award of Excellence (First Place) winners of all categories. The winner (or winning team) will receive a cash award of $100.


Finalists and winners will be announced this spring.

Best of luck to all in the competition. Tell a friend so they can enter, too!