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News & Press: Contest

Call for entries: 2020 RNA Awards for Religion Reporting Excellence

Tuesday, January 7, 2020  
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(COLUMBIA, MO) — Journalists are encouraged to enter their best work in the 2020 Religion News Association Awards for Religion Reporting Excellence. This year's contests feature 22 categories for print, broadcast, books, digital and student media and a prize purse of nearly $11,000.

NEW IN 2020: Fans of the former "Religion Story of the Year" contest will be glad to hear of its return to the 2020 lineup. The category will welcome any single religion news story, from any media format (print, online, streaming, TV, radio, podcast). Series are not eligible for this category, but they are encouraged for entry in the Renner Award for Enterprise Reporting.

RNA's Broadcast Awards suite received a hefty revamp this year, with a nod to the changing media landscape. For the first time, radio and podcast are in separate categories, and a new Digital Media category will honor video news content from streaming services and other online platforms. In all, there are seven broadcast-specific categories, in addition to the eight multiple-media categories all news outlets may enter.

The full lineup of RNA's 2020 Awards includes:


  • Religion reporting: Small daily newspapers (daily circ. 1–50,000 // Cassels Award)
  • Religion reporting: Mid-size daily newspapers (daily circ. 50,001–100,000 // Cornell Award)
  • Religion reporting: Large daily newspapers & wire services (daily circ. 100,001+)
  • Religion reporting: Magazines and non-daily newspapers
  • Overall excellence: Magazine single issue


  • Religion Reporting: Online-only news outlets


  • Religion Story of the Year
  • Feature writing  //  Supple Award
  • Enterprise, series and serials  //  Renner Award
  • Commentary/blogs
  • News analysis
  • Short video
  • Photography, single photo
  • Photography, galleries


  • Television Local Newscast
  • Television National Network/Cable Newscast
  • Television News Magazine
  • Digital media broadcast
  • Documentary
  • Radio
  • Podcast


  • Nonfiction religion book


  • Student religion reporting // Chandler Award (this category has a separate form & deadline)

The early-bird deadline is Jan. 17, which can save entrants up to $30 per entry. The final deadline is March, 2, 2020. Entry forms, rules and eligibility requirements can be found at Entrants need not be RNA members, but joining RNA in advance will deeply discount entry fees.

Finalists will be announced in June, and winners will be revealed at the 2020 RNA Annual Conference Oct. 24 in Bethesda.

Questions? RNA staffers are ready to help.


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