All entries (print and digital) must have been published in a publication from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 and distributed to the title’s full regular circulation. Limited-distribution show dailies do not qualify. All links must be live and available through standard Web browsers at the time of judging. Entries for registration-restricted websites must include login/password information for the judges. Links that are not working during the judging period will not be judged. If you are a finalist, the links must be active until June 9, 2021.
In Category 2 (Best Series), a series with installments before or after the above dates may be entered in its entirety only if at least 50% of the series appeared within the competition period.
Material that has been published previously in any other publication or edition is NOT eligible. Only the original published or posted version may be submitted.
All entries must be in English.
Rights and Permissions
All winners will be posted on the Neal Awards website. For any winning entry to be posted we first need you to warrant that you own the rights in the content and images we will post on the site and for you to grant SIIA the authority to post the content and images. Therefore, you must check the rights and permissions agreement box on your entry form.
Deadlines & Notification
Early Bird entries will be accepted through January 31, 2021. Regular entries will be accepted through February 21, 2021, and SIIA staff will not correct errors or alert you to problems with an entry submitted after this deadline. The final deadline for entries is March 7, 2021.
All entries must be paid online at siia.net/neals by 11:59 p.m. PST, March 7, 2021. All payments must be paid online via credit card (American Express, MasterCard, or Visa). Checks are not accepted as payment.
All finalists will be notified of their status. Award winners and the winner of the Grand Neal will be announced at the Neal Awards virtual ceremony on June 9, 2021.
Any inquiries about the final results should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Decisions of the Committee and the Judging Board are final in all matters pertaining to the Neal Awards.
No refunds will be issued for any reason.
List the names and titles of the editors responsible for the material submitted. Please note that the list of names cannot be changed after the submission of the entry. If appropriate, you may acknowledge the full staff by indicating “Editorial Staff.”
No more than eight individuals may be listed. Production staff and designers (art directors, photographers, videographers, web producers etc.) may be included; publishers who do not carry editorial titles are ineligible. A single entry may not acknowledge both “Editorial Staff” and named individuals.
Code of Ethics
Advertorials and content supplied or directed by an advertiser are ineligible. Any content that is sponsored or any editorial material that runs with an advertiser’s logo must comply with Section II-6 of SIIA’s Editorial Code of Ethics. Any advertorial or sponsored content must be properly and clearly identified as a message paid for by an advertiser. Failure to include such labeling is in violation of the SIIA Constitution and By-Laws, and such entries will be disqualified. If you feel there is any compelling reason why sponsored editorial should not be labeled as advertising, please make those reasons clear in the background statement on the entry form.
Materials submitted from websites should not hyperlink editorial content to advertising or other sponsored material.
All entries must adhere to the SIIA Editorial Code of Ethics.
I. General Code of Ethics
Neal Award candidates adhere to the highest standards of journalistic and publishing practice. In doing so, they pledge to:
a. Maintain honesty, integrity, accuracy, and fairness in all content.
b. Avoid all conflicts of interest as well as any appearances of such conflicts.
c. Champion and enforce best practices that ensure that the source of all content the brand publishes is transparent.
d. Understand and champion end users’ privacy expectations and rights, and protect their personal data, whether it is gathered for surveys, through online feedback or comment mechanisms, or as part of asubscriber or member database.
II. Guide to Preferred Practices
a. Editors and their immediate family members should not invest in companies and/or industries the editors personally cover (this does not include investments such as mutual funds that hold shares in a manner not directly controlled by the individual investor).
b. Editors should not accept any gifts or favors or compensation, except those of nominal value, from organizations they cover, their public relations representatives or any other person or organization related to companies they cover.
c. Publishers should not enter into business relationships that would call into the question the brand’s reputation as a provider of trusted content.
d. Editors and/or staff should not accept any travel junkets or trips from companies they cover where they are the sole organization being invited to participate. It is, however, okay to accept a press trip where other media are invited and the event is strictly informational.
Only the editorial staff may make editorial content decisions for all products, projects and initiatives in which they are involved. These decisions should be based on editorial content considerations alone and focus specifically on providing value to the audience. Editors must never permit advertisers or sponsors to review editorial content prior to publication.
Advertorials and content supplied or directed by an advertiser are ineligible. Any content that is sponsored or any editorial material that runs with an advertiser’s logo must comply with Section II-6 of SIIA’s Editorial Code of Ethics. Any advertorial or sponsored content must be properly and clearly identified as a message paid for by an advertiser. Failure to include such labeling is in violation of the SIIA Constitution and By-Laws, and such entries will be disqualified. If you feel there is any compelling reason why sponsored editorial should not be labeled as advertising, please make those reasons clear in the background statement on the entry form.Materials submitted from websites should not hyperlink editorial content to advertising or other sponsored material.
a. All content under the media brand’s logo or banner is considered editorial content, and solely under the control of the brand’s editorial staff, unless otherwise designated. Sponsor content – content paid for, provided by or commissioned by a sponsor – that is published under the media brand’s logo or banner must therefore always be clearly distinguished from editorial content.
b. It is the mutual obligation of the editorial and sales leadership to ensure that editorial and sponsor content is effectively differentiated. To achieve this, both professionals must work in concert with colleagues in other departments, and especially with each other, to develop and consistently apply appropriate design and disclosure policies.
c. Labeling: Generally accepted labels designating sponsor content include but are not limited to “advertisement,” “paid content,” “paid post,” “sponsor-generated content” and “sponsor content.” Labeling must be such that a typical end-user understands its meaning and intent. Labeling must be prominently placed in the overall design structure, such that the typical end user understands meaning and intent.
d. In December 2015, the Federal Trade Commission issued an enforcement policy statement and guidance for businesses on how to utilize native or sponsored content without crossing the line into deceptive advertising. With these new materials, the FTC maintains that that this type of content should not be “indistinguishable from news, feature articles, product reviews, editorial, entertainment, and other regular content.” An outline of the new FTC guidelines from the policy group of SIIA is available here. Both editors and revenue teams should be aware of the FTC’s official policy statement and guidance outline.
e. Staffing: Great care must be taken with editors’ involvement in the production of sponsor content, ensuring that conflicts of interest are avoided and the brand’s reputation are protected. That said, ranking editors may supervise teams or individuals that separately produce sponsor content and editorial content.
f. Editorial content should not be used on an advertiser’s site or otherwise syndicated, or as part of sponsored content section of the brand’s own products, without an explanation of the relationship.