Award Guidelines



Welcome to the 2018 PRNDI Annual Awards Competition. All entries submitted to the competition must have aired during calendar year 2017.  The deadline for submitting entries is March 1, 2018 at midnight Eastern time.  If you have any questions or concerns, we'll do our best to address them. Please contact Christine Paige Diers with any questions at

Stations are divided into divisions based on staff size.  The divisions are as follows:

Division AA - Stations with 16 or more full-time news staff.

Division A - Stations with 8-15 full-time staff

Division B - Stations with 4-7 full-time staff

Division C - Stations with 1-3 full-time staff

Independent Division - Available only in the Podcast category.  In order to enter as an independent, you will need to contact Christine Paige Diers at to get set up.

Please check your division upon initial login.  If there is a mistake, you must contact Christine Paige Diers at to make the change.

There is no limit to the number of entries each station may submit in each of the following categories.

Breaking News - One or more stories on an unscheduled breaking news event, aired within the first 24 hours.

Call-in Program - One news/public affairs program with a call-in component.

Commentary - One essay that presents a persuasive or creative viewpoint.

Continuing Coverage - A series of stories that covers an issue or event as it evolves over time.

Short Documentary - A stand-alone program that addresses one issue or topic not to exceed 29 minutes in length.

Long Documentary - A stand-alone program that addresses one issue or topic with a run time of 29:01 or longer.

Interview - One interview segment. May be part of a news/public affairs program.

News Feature - One feature on a news-related topic.

News/Public Affairs Program - One regularly scheduled news/public affairs program.

Newscast - One unedited newscast, produced any day of the year.

Series - A scheduled series of stories on one issue or topic.

Soft Feature - One feature on a cultural or human interest topic.

Spot News – Best spot on any topic less than 2 minutes in length.

Best Writing – One story that exhibits exceptional writing (include printed script w/actualities fully transcribed).

Best Use of Sound – One story that shows a creative and effective use of sound to help tell the story.

Enterprise/Investigative – A story or series of stories that demonstrates significant journalism that breaks new ground and/or approaches a story from a unique and compelling angle.

Best Multi-Media Presentation – Best multi-media presentation on a single story or series of stories on a single topic. Submit all applicable urls along with a narrative not to exceed one page.

Arts Feature – One feature for coverage of the arts.

Sports Feature – One feature covering a sports or competition related topic that is not play-by-play coverage of a specific event.

Podcast - One digital-first journalism audio project built with the intent of online audiences.  Enter the “most representative” episode in a series.  NOTE:  For this category only, there is an Independent Division for non-station produced podcasts. 


Newscast - One unedited newscast produced any day of the year.

Soft Feature - One feature on a cultural or human interest topic.

News Feature - One feature on a news-related topic.

Spot News – Best spot on any topic less than 2 minutes in length.

NOTE:  Up to three of the student award winners will receive a $500 scholarship and travel/lodging and registration to PRNDI’s annual conference. The first and second place finishers in the student categories will be asked to write an essay about public radio. The PRNDI board will award the scholarships after reviewing the essays.

NATIONALLY EDITED PIECES:  Pieces that have been edited by a national editor will be allowed in the following categories - please note that all stations will compete against one another in these categories - there are no Division designations when entering nationally edited pieces.

Nationally edited breaking news

Nationally edited series

Nationally edited news feature

Nationally edited soft feature

Nationally edited continuing coverage

All entries must have aired during Calendar Year 2017.  All entries must be submitted by a local public radio station or regional public radio network.  SPECIAL NOTE ON LJC’s, RJC's & State Impact Projects:  LJC’s, RJC's & State Impact Projects will be allowed to submit PRNDI Entries as a regional network, but must compete in Group A with the large stations. If your LJC, RJC or State Impact Project is not listed in the station list, you must contact Christine Paige Diers,, prior to entering in order to be added to the contest database.  Student entries can either be entered through the school where the work was completed or the public radio station on which the work aired.  

Each entry can be up to 60 minutes with the exception of Spot News which is limited to 2 minutes in length and Short Documentary which is limited to 29 minutes.  Stations may submit a story in more than one category. 

Guidelines on what is considered local

Except where allowed as nationally edited categories, the intent of the PRNDI Awards is to honor the very best in local public radio. As outlined below, the awards are not appropriate for the work done by stations and freelancers producing for a national network, or by a station that is producing material with the intention of it being national in scope. The PRNDI Awards Committee and its judges will follow these guidelines. If you have any questions, please contact the contest coordinator Christine Paige Diers at (605) 490-3033 or

  1. all work on the entry must be performed exclusively by the station. (ex. edited by an NPR editor or produced by a network show producer would only be eligible to enter under nationally edited categories.)   
  2. entries distributed by a national distributor (NPR, PRI, APM) will only be eligible for the nationally edited categories (ex. a piece that airs on The World or a show that is distributed by NPR would not be eligible for local categories)  
  3. a show or piece that is produced and aired locally and is then shared with other stations is allowed under the local categories. (ex. Local product that is distributed in its original form via PRX, a state network, or independently organized distribution is allowed)  

DEADLINE:  All Entries must be submitted by March 1, 2018.  The entry system will automatically close at midnight eastern time the night of March 1.

FEES: PRNDI member rate: $40 per entry. Non-member rate: $65 per entry. Student rate: $20 per entry. All payments must be made online or mailed with a postmark on or before March 1, 2018. If payment is not received within one week of March 1, entries will be disqualified.

PRNDI will accept payment by check or you can pay through our website using Visa or Mastercard.  When you have completed all of your entries, click “calculate entry fees” from your entries page.

If you are paying by check, print the entry fee page and send it, along with your check payable to PRNDI to:

PRNDI Awards

P.O. Box 838

Sturgis, SD 57785

If you are paying by credit card, click “Click here to pay with your Visa or Mastercard.”  You will be taken directly to our secure online payment page.  Enter the entire amount due (from your “calculate entry fees” page), click “Check Out” and follow the instructions to check out.

If the entry fees are calculated as non-member, it indicates you have not yet renewed your membership for 2017.  To confirm your membership status, or to become a PRNDI member, call or e-mail Christine Paige Diers at (605) 490-3033 or