Journalist of the Year

Each year, GSPA recognizes the top student journalist in the state with the Georgia Champion Journalist Award. The winner receives a $100 prize and represents the state in the Journalism Education Association's National Journalist of the Year competition.

Entrants must be seniors, maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, have at least two years of journalism experience and be planning to major in journalism in college. Entrants must prepare a comprehensive portfolio showcasing their journalistic work and include an official transcript and three letters of recommendation.

The 2018 Georgia Champion Journalist and Junior Champion Journalist competitions require entrants to complete an online portfolio of their work. View the JEA guidelines for portfolios.

Click here to fill out the 2018 GSPA Champion Journalist entry form.

Click here for 2018 Champion Journalist & Jr. Champion Journalist Guidelines.

Postmark deadline for both the Champion Journalist and Junior Champion Journalist Award is Feb. 2, 2018.

2017-2018 General Excellence Critique and Competition


On Jan. 3, GSPA will begin accepting entries for newspaper, newsmagazine, news websites, and broadcasting published between Feb. 1, 2017 and Feb. 26, 2018. All entries must be be submitted by February. 26, 2018.

Please note GSPA membership is required to enter all GSPA competitions. 


1. The contest/critique entry form is available online here. 

2. Submit:

  • Newspaper & Newsmagazine- Send one copy each of your best two issues for the 2017-2018 year.
  • News Websites & Broadcasts- Provide link to publication on the entry form. 

3. Prior to completing the entry form, please mail one copy of the publication(s), which will be critiqued. 

4. An entry form is required for each publication being critiqued/entered in the contest. 

5. Please mail payment with the publication. Make check payable to GSPA. 

6. If an invoice is required, please email 

7. Please mail materials to GSPA, 120 Hooper St. Journalism 211A, Athens, GA 30602

Individual Awards

GSPA offers 59 separate categories to recognize outstanding student work in journalism (see categories here). Work published in newspaper, newsmagazine, news website and video broadcast may be entered in the spring competition, while yearbook and literary magazine entries are accepted in the summer.

On Jan. 3, we will begin accepting entries for individual student work published in newspaper, newsmagazine, news website and video broadcast. Entries must be published between Feb. 1, 2017 and Feb. 26, 2018. ALL REQUIRED FORMS WILL BE SUBMITTED ONLINE.


1. $2 fee for each individual entry

2. A form is required for each individual entry. The form is available online here: 

3. Entries are limited to THREE PER STAFF per category. We will not accept multiple entries from one individual in the same category. 

4. Staff members should work with their fellow staffers and advisers to select the three best individual pieces from your staff per category. 

5- Individual entries for newsmagazine & newspaper should be in a PDF. The PDF title should  be the following: Category #-Headline/Title-Publication Name-Student Name. The PDF should also include the title of entry and name of students in the document. 

6. Enter the URL below for individual entries submitted for the broadcast & news websites type of media.

7. Entries that do not follow guidelines properly will be disqualified.

8. Once you completed all entry forms, please compile all individual entries in a dropbox folder and email link to or a google folder and email the link to

Achievement Awards

The GSPA Achievement Awards recognize "behind-the-scenes" work of staffs or individuals.

Fill out the 2018 GSPA Achievement Awards Entry Form. 

Deadline for entries is Feb. 26, 2018.

Achievement Award Descriptions:

Administrator of the Year recognizes an administrator who has demonstrated strong support for the journalism program.

Adviser of the Year recognizes a journalism adviser who goes beyond the “call of duty” in supporting his or her staff.

Community Service recognizes a staff that through its forum has initiated significant change within the community.

First-Year Adviser recognizes a new adviser who has demonstrated success and desire in strengthening the program.

Freedom of the Press recognizes a producer(s) of work that demonstrated solid reporting and/or insight, but was censored from student publication.

Perseverance recognizes a staff that has overcome significant adversity to put out a quality product.

Start-Up recognizes a first-year publication/program that has demonstrated significant quality.

Turnaround recognizes the staff that has significantly changed the quality of its product from the previous year.