KPA Contest changes include establishing the Jon Fleischaker Freedom of Information Award

Category will be sponsored by the AP to honor the Father of Open Meetings/Open Records in Kentucky

A few weeks ago, there was mention of a couple of changes being considered for the KPA News Contest. Those caught the eye of Adam Yeomans with the Associated Press and led to the AP becoming involved. With no statewide AP contest for newspapers, Adam offered the AP’s assistance by sponsoring a couple of categories.

Jon Fleischaker

One idea had been discussed briefly by the News Editorial Division, to re-establish a Freedom of Information Award. Then Adam showed a model of some categories the AP has sponsored elsewhere and it included an FOI Award. So the News Editorial Division took the idea, named Kentucky’s the Jon Fleischaker Freedom of Information Award Sponsored by the Associated Press and KPA members will see that category added for the 2019 contest.

Fleischaker, of course, is the father of Open Meetings/Open Records, the state’s foremost authority on open government and media law, and remains general counsel to KPA and several newspapers across the state. He and his wife Kim Greene were the first attorneys for the KPA FOI Hotline when it was established in the mid-1980s and Jon remains one of the main contacts today when newspapers call the hotline.

A specific category description of entries that will be considered for the Fleischaker FOI Award is still being drafted and will be shared in the near future. While newspapers will enter through the KPA contest, the entire process will be coordinated by the AP.

The Associated Press has also offered to sponsor a second category and ideas are still being tossed around by the AP and the News Editorial Division.

In a conference call Thursday afternoon on potential contest changes, the division has approved some changes in the KPA News Contest:

• establishing the Journalist of the Year Award. One award will be presented in the Weekly Division, one will be presented in the Daily Division, and one will be presented in the Student Publication Division.

• allowing individuals to enter up to three of their own entries in most all categories. Previously, individuals were limited to no more than two per category. Unless otherwise noted, newspapers will not be limited in the total number of entries in any category. Only individuals will be limited, to three.

• putting more individualism in some categories by renaming Best Editorial to Best Editorial Writer; Best Column to Best Columnist; Best Sports Column to Best Sports Columnist; and Best Headline to Best Headline Writer.

• combining Best Use of Social Media and Creative Use of Multimedia (previously Categories 13 and 14) into one category and establishing the Best Video category. For the Best Video category,  all Weekly newspapers will enter as one division, all Daily newspapers will enter as one division, and all Student Publications will enter as one division.

• deleting Best Lifestyle Page.

• combining Best Special Section and Best Sports Special Section (previously two separate categories) into Best Special Section/Sports Special Section. The category can also include Best Special Edition.


These and other revisions are being made and will be presented to the division officers for final approval. We plan to have all changes made and announced by the end of June.

The 2019 KPA News and Advertising Contest entry deadline will be Friday, October 18, and will cover all issues between October 1, 2018, and September 30, 2019.

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