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Call For Entries For the 2021 Northern California Emmy® Awards

By Wayne Freedman
Chapter Awards Chair

When you read the new Emmy® Awards Call for Entries, you’ll notice changes in categories and how they are newly organized.

The Academy has replaced the word “program”’ with “content” in an effort to make the competition more accessible to entries from the internet and non-traditional outlets.

There are now subcategories for long form and short form in both content and news.

The general rules for this contest remain much the same as in the past. Double-dipping (aka receiving two awards for performing the same job function on the same project), remains a deadly sin. As you look in The Call, you see explicit examples and clarifications for common questions.

Our chapter has amended local rules, as well. We have agreed to remove requirements for petitions from entrants submitting investigative-branded works in other categories when those pieces do not meet our strengthened criteria for investigative work.

Read it. AWARDS Page

CALL FOR ENTRIES OPEN – Tuesday, December 1, 2020
ENTRY DEADLINE – Friday, January 8, 2021

In order to get around some of those technicalities regarding branding, we’re allowing submissions from edit reels in addition to air cuts.

We have changed the language in 24-hour categories. Such work should reflect “one single shift.” In short, that means it should air the same day.

When writing this year’s Call, we responded to the wishes and concerns committee members expressed during meetings last summer.

With guidance from our Spanish-speaking participants, we have made significant changes, consolidations, and additions to that contest. We deleted Investigative Reporting, Short Format Program, Specialty Assignment, Arts/Entertainment, and Writer. We combined  elements of Sports, PSA/Promotion, Photographer/Editor, and the talent categories. 

We added Business/Consumer, Education, Crime, Line Producer, Politics/Government, and Societal Concerns.

In a one-year response to Covid-19, we split Health/Medical from Environment/Science and created a separate category.

In English, we made the same split for Health and added Education, Technology, Live News Line  Producer, and Business/Consumer.

Wayne Freedman, ACB 7This month, we’ll host a ZOOM discussion about best practices for entering the awards. We’ll answer questions and provide insights about what and how to enter most effectively, improving your chances for success.
HOW TO ENTER THE EMMY® AWARDS / UPDATES ZOOM – All welcomed
Saturday, December 12 – 10-11:30a 
CLICK TO REGISTER TO RECEIVE  ZOOM LINK

It bears repeating that I strongly urge you to read the rules and categories fully. We will provide a summary for them at the top of that document.

Here is a summary of new categories and changes:

New and changed categories: ENGLISH

     5.  Daily News Report (single shift)New

For excellence in coverage of a single news story or topic which is shot, edited and aired within one work shift. Entry may include live and/or recorded elements and online video content. Topic covered must not be considered a news investigative report or news specialty report. Time Limit: 10 minutes.

NOTE: This is the basic news reporting done day-in and day-out by a news department. Entries in this category typically evolve out of the daily planning of a newscast or other news distribution product.

     6.  Hard News Report (no time limit)New

For excellence in coverage of a single hard news story or topic which has no time limit for its preparation. Entry may include live and/or recorded elements and online video content. Topic covered must not be considered a news investigative report or news specialty report. Time Limit: 10 minutes.

NOTE: This is the basic news reporting done day-in and day-out by a news department. Entries in this category typically evolve out of the daily planning of a newscast or other news distribution product.

     7.  Breaking or Spot News

A.  Single Report
For excellence in coverage of a single unanticipated news event. Entry should convey a sense of immediacy in the coverage of an unfolding event. Entry must be one continuous report as originally broadcast or streamed. Entry may include live or taped elements or a combination of both.

Time Limit: 15 minutes.

B.  Multiple Reports
For excellence in coverage of a single unanticipated news event. Entry should convey a sense of immediacy in the coverage of an unfolding event. Entry should be a composite of at least two (2) reports on the same topic – as they were originally broadcast or streamed. This category is exempt from composite limit rules. Entry may include live or taped elements and online video content. Time Limit: 30 minutes.

     9.  Investigative

A.  Single Report
For excellence in a single report focused on a community problem requiring research and investigative journalism. Entry will be judged on the quality and extent of research, the presentation and the impact of the reporting, which may include new legislation, policies, government or legal investigations, public outcry, etc. Entry must include written documentation in the synopsis section of the online entry form. Time limit: 15 minutes.

B.  Multiple Reports
For excellence in a series of reports covering one investigation focused on a specific community problem requiring research and investigative journalism. Entry will be judged on the quality and extent of research, the presentation and the impact of the reporting, which may include new legislation, policies, government or legal investigations, public outcry, etc. Entry must include written documentation in the synopsis section of the online entry form and a minimum of two (2) reports. Time Limit: 30 minutes.

13.  Business/Consumer New

For excellence in news or journalistic coverage of business, finance, consumer affairs or economic topics. Or for excellence in content about business, finance, consumer affairs or economic topics.

A.  News (Single shift/No time Limit) or Short Form Content (up to 10 minutes)
B. 
Long Form Content (longer than 10 minutes)

     14.  Education/Schools – New

For excellence in news or journalistic coverage of schools, teaching or education related topics.

A.  News (Single shift/No time Limit) or Short Form Content (up to 10 minutes)
B. 
Long Form Content (longer than 10 minutes)

     15.  Environment/Science – Split

For excellence in news or journalistic coverage of environmental impact issues, science or related topics or for excellence in content about environmental impact issues, science or related topics.

A.  News (Single shift/No time Limit) or Short Form Content (up to 10 minutes)
B. 
Long Form Content (longer than 10 minutes)

     16.  Health/Medical Split

For excellence in news or journalistic coverage of health or medical related topics or for excellence in content about health or medical related topics.

A.  News (Single shift/No time Limit) or Short Form Content (up to 10 minutes)
B. 
Long Form Content (longer than 10 minutes)

      20.  Politics/Government/Societal Concerns – New

For excellence in news or journalistic coverage of political, civil or government related topics or for excellence in content about political, civil or government related topics.  Or For excellence in news or journalistic coverage of current issues of societal concern, community or immediate public interest or for excellence in content about current issues of societal concern, community or immediate public interest.

A.  News (Single shift/No time Limit) or Short Form Content (up to 10 minutes)
B. 
Long Form Content (longer than 10 minutes)

     21.  Technology New

For excellence in news or journalistic coverage of technology industry stories and related topics. Or for excellence in content about technology industry stories and related topics.

A.  News (Single shift/No time Limit) or Short Form Content (up to 10 minutes)
B. 
Long Form Content (longer than 10 minutes)

Enter a composite not to exceed 30 minutes. Material entered in this category cannot be entered by the same entrant in any News Content categories.

New and changed categories: SPANISH

  1. Daily News ReportSpanish (single shift) – New

For excellence in coverage of a single news story or topic which is shot, edited and aired within one work shift. Entry may include live and/or recorded elements and online video content. Topic covered must not be considered a news investigative report or news specialty report. Time Limit: 10 minutes.

NOTE: This is the basic news reporting done day-in and day-out by a news department. Entries in this category typically evolve out of the daily planning of a newscast or other news distribution product.

  1. Hard News ReportSpanish (no time limit)New

For excellence in coverage of a single hard news story or topic which has no time limit for its preparation. Entry may include live and/or recorded elements and online video content. Topic covered must not be considered a news investigative report or news specialty report. Time Limit: 10 minutes.

NOTE: This is the basic news reporting done day-in and day-out by a news department. Entries in this category typically evolve out of the daily planning of a newscast or other news distribution product.

     60.  Business/Consumer-SpanishNew

For excellence in news or journalistic coverage of business, finance, consumer affairs or economic topics. Or for excellence in content about business, finance, consumer affairs or economic topics.  Short Form Content (up to 10 minutes); Long Form Content (longer than 10 minutes)

     61.  Crime-SpanishNew

For excellence in news or journalistic coverage of crime, violations of the law or criminal justice related topics. Or for excellence in content about crime, violations of the law or criminal justice related topics.  Short Form Content (up to 10 minutes); Long Form Content (longer than 10 minutes)

     62.  Education/Schools-SpanishNew

For excellence in news or journalistic coverage of schools, teaching or education related topics. Or for excellence in content about schools, teaching or education related topics.

News (single shift) or Short Form Content (up to 10 minutes) or News (no time limit or Long Form Content (longer than 10 minutes)

  1. Environment/Science-SpanishSplit

For excellence in news or journalistic coverage of environmental impact issues, science or related topics or for excellence in content about environmental impact issues, science or related topics.

News (single shift) or Short Form Content (up to 10 minutes) or News (no time limit or Long Form Content (longer than 10 minutes)

  1. Health/Medical-Spanish Split

For excellence in news or journalistic coverage of health or medical related topics or for excellence in content about health or medical related topics.

News (single shift) or Short Form Content (up to 10 minutes) or News (no time limit or Long Form Content (longer than 10 minutes)

     67.  Politics/Government-Spanish New

For excellence in news or journalistic coverage of political, civil or government related topics.  Or for excellence in content about political, civil or government related topics.

News or Short Form Content (up to 10 minutes) or News or Long Form Content (longer than 10 minutes

     68.  Societal Concerns-Spanish  New

For excellence in news or journalistic coverage of current issues of societal concern, community or immediate public interest.  Or for excellence in content about current issues of societal concern, community or immediate public interest.

News or Short Form Content (up to 10 minutes) or News or Long Form Content (longer than 10 minutes

  1. TalentSpanish (combines some previous categories)

For Anchor categories only: A segment is an excerpt from a news program (newscast, news special, breaking news, etc.) with the material that doesn’t include the entrant edited out. An entry may include up to five segments. Each segment can include material from only ONE news program: think of this as “five segments equals five changes of clothing” rule. Entrants may not cherry-pick short segments from various points throughout the program and edit those together (that would be a montage). It’s allowed, but not required, for the co-anchor’s and reporters’ video to be edited out of a segment. Anchor entries may include examples of studio anchoring, field anchoring, specials, breaking, etc., but NOT reporter packages (if an anchor also does reporter packages, they must enter those in one of the reporter categories.)

  1. Anchor – News-Spanish
  2. Anchor – Weather-Spanish
  3. Reporter – News-Spanish
  4. Program Host/Moderator/Correspondent-Spanish

   76. Live News ProducerSpanish – New

Enter a composite not to exceed 30 minutes. Material entered in this category cannot be entered by the same entrant in any News Content categories.

CALL FOR ENTRIES OPEN – Tuesday, December 1, 2020
ENTRY DEADLINE – Friday, January 8, 2021
AWARDS Page


Chapter Awards Chair Wayne Freedman is featured on this month’s “Setting President’s” podcast. Wayne along with Joshua Mellars discuss the changes in the awards and our upcoming 50th Emmy® Awards Gala.


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