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From the Field

APTRA Awards Deadline Looms
By Rachel Ambrose
AP California/Nevada Broadcast Supervisor

The APTRA awards deadline is its latest ever, but the deadline for RECEIPT of entries is a firm 5 p.m. on Thursday, January 17.

There are new categories this year. But one thing remains the same: If your
station isn't entering your pieces, you can make an individual entry. In an
effort to make the AP Awards competition more equitable, diverse and to
encourage community involvement, the APTRA Board of Directors has voted to
make the following changes:

The Board has redefined market classes to better include smaller newsrooms
that serve a specific audience in small and large markets. Television stations may now
qualify for a "Class Two" award entry if they have 49 or fewer FULL-TIME employees
in the newsroom. Therefore, "Class One" entries must have 50 or more FULL-TIME employees in the newsroom.

To qualify for a "Class Two" radio award entry, stations must have 5 or fewer FULL-
TIME employees in the newsroom. Therefore, "Class One" entries will qualify if 6 or more FULL-TIME staffers work in the newsroom.

In determining staff size, count all paid staff who spend full time on news, including
the News Director and administrative personnel. That includes reporters, anchors,
and other on-air talent; editors, photographers, and field crews; writer producers,
researchers, newsroom production support staff (graphic artists, etc.) and daily hires and per-diem staff. Work from an outside production company is ineligible.

Entries from college stations fall into Class II.

The Board has also voted to recognize two different "Use of Sound"
categories for radio: "Use of Sound Serious or Hard News" and "Use of Sound Feature."

The APTRA Board of Directors is pleased to announce a special new category to
recognize television and radio stations that reach out to the communities
they serve. It is the Board's hope that this new, prestigious category will
encourage electronic media in California and Nevada to make a difference. The "APTRA Impact" Award will
honor a television OR radio station in both classes for impacts each has had
on its community.

Winners will demonstrate their on-going commitment to community causes or a
single cause adopted in the wake of a news story. Judges will consider
entries that include broadcasts, editorials, community references and/or
letters of praise along with special reports on the cause from their own or
other media outlets. A written summary will be required to help the judges
determine the "Impact" of a station's efforts.

Starting with the 50th annual awards dinner and convention at Disneyland next
year, APTRA will be recognizing one broadcast journalist for the Lifetime
Achievement Award. Written nominations will be accepted at the same time the
award entries are due. There is no fee to nominate. However, because
California and Nevada have so many potential candidates, the Board will only
consider nominations from hosting areas. For example, a nominee from Southern
California or Southern Nevada will be honored during the 2002 APTRA awards
and convention dinner at Disneyland this coming March 2. In 2003, a nominee
from Northern California or Northern Nevada will be honored at the convention
in San Francisco.

Details of the 50th annual APTRA news competition are posted at Questions? Call Rachel Ambrose at AP at 213-626-1200 or e-mail