Conditions of Entry

  1. The Quill Awards were established to promote and recognise excellence in Victorian journalism. The award judges may use the following criteria in determining that entries have sufficient connection to Victoria:
    • Entrant is employed by a Victorian media organisation.
    • Entrant works primarily in Victoria.
    • Entrant has been sent from Victoria on specific interstate or overseas assignment for a Victorian media organisation.
    • Should you be a winner of a Quill/s, you may be asked to speak about your entry as part of a MPC event in 2014.
  2. "Victorian media organisation" means an organisation that conducts substantial publishing or broadcasting activities in the State of Victoria.

  3. Each entry must have been published or broadcast between 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2013.
  4. Entries must be submitted no later 7 February 2014.
  5. Each entry must comply with the MEAA Code of Ethics and must declare any subsequent formal corrections, claims of plagiarism or any other legal proceedings commenced in relation to the entry.
  6. Each entrant may submit a maximum of two (2) entries in one category but must not submit the same entry in more than one (1) category. The judges reserve the right to transfer an entry to another category and to reject an entry that, in their opinion, does not comply with the requirements of the awards.
    Note: This rule does not apply to the Young Journalist of the Year Award or the Best Coverage of an Issue or Event categories. An item which constitutes or forms part of an entry in either or both of these categories may also be entered in one further category.
  7. Each entrant must certify that the entry is the entrant's original work and that it complies with all copyright requirements of the awards.
  8. The judges reserve the right to utilise and reproduce all entries submitted for the purposes of promoting the awards.
  9. The judges' decision is final. Entries will not be returned and the entrant should keep copies of the work submitted.
  10. MPC committee members shall be eligible to enter. A committee member or entrant who submits an individual entry in any category shall be ineligible to serve as a judge in respect of that category or any other category. Three Quill Awards are designed to recognise team effort - Best Use of Digital or Social Media, Best Coverage of an Issue or Event and Best Breaking News Coverage - although individuals are also entitled to enter. A member of a team which submits a team entry in either of these categories may not serve as Judge in the category entered, but may serve as a Judge in respect of any other category apart from the Gold Quill.
  11. Each entrant must nominate one article, broadcast or pictorial item as the primary item sought to be considered by the judges. Where the primary item forms part of a series or a package, up to two (2) further associated items may be submitted by the entrant, to provide necessary context. If this condition is not adhered to, the judges may either (i) select one item from those submitted by the entrant as the primary item, or (ii) exclude the entry from consideration.
    Note: This condition does not apply to the 'Best Three Headlines' category. In the Best Coverage of an Issue or Event Category, the entrant is not required to nominate a primary item and may submit up to 10 items or stories.


Judging Criteria

1. Reporting Categories:

ORIGINALITY: Has the entrant broken a news story? Was it a scoop?
IMPACT: Has the story contributed to changes in public (or private) policy?
RELEVANCE: How many people were impacted?
QUALITY OF WRITING: Was it accurate and accessible?
PLATFORM: Did the story run on one or more platforms with offerings tailored to each of those platforms?
INVESTIGATIVE SKILLS: How much research was involved?
INITIATIVE: A handout or not?

The weighting given to each of the above criteria in different categories will be at the judges' discretion, and may differ by category.  In feature categories, for example, the quality of the writing is likely to come to the fore, whereas in 'hard news' categories greater emphasis may be placed on aspects such as news value and whether the item constituted a scoop.

2. Additional considerations for Broadcasting category

LIVE WORK: A weighting for extra degree of difficulty involved in "live" as opposed to pre-recorded work.
EXEMPLARY USE OF THE MEDIUM: Creative use of atmospheric sound to bring listeners/viewers closer to a story.
DIFFICULTY IN GETTING 'TALENT TO THE LINE': Degree of difficulty in getting exclusive footage or interviews.
VIDEO: Submissions in the TV category can now include stories created for online video-on-demand or live streaming.
RADIO: Submissions in the radio category will now include podcasts and audio available for online streaming.

3. Photographic Categories

SUCCESS IN DISTILLING: the essence of a breaking news story or providing a new insight into a current issue.
DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY: (particularly for photographic and cinematographic work).
EXCLUSIVITY OF IMAGES: (particularly for photographic and cinematographic work).

4. Columnist/Blogger Category

This will be awarded to the best columnist, defined as a column writer published at least 10 times a year. Entries are restricted to a maximum of three columns.

Best columnist will be selected on criteria including, but not limited to, the following:
IMPACT: Contribution to any official change or practice, reader response.
INITIATIVE: Ability to identify issues on the pulse and raise public awareness.

This award is also open to bloggers who have been wholly or mainly responsible for maintaining a blog site for all or a substantial part of a year. Up to three days' worth of blog postings may be submitted together with a supporting statement providing context as to the blog's aims and achievements (400 words maximum). Use of the medium and the level and quality of interaction with website users will be considered.

5. Best Cartoon

AMUSEMENT: You can't go past the amusement factor.
ENCAPSULATION: With an editorial cartoon, the artist is attempting to express in one picture what the editorial writer takes many words to do. Succinctly encapsulating an issue is the key to a successful cartoon.
RELEVANCE: The topicality of the drawing. Its relevance to that day's events. Does it combine several issues?
METAPHOR: The wit or use of creative visual metaphor.
DRAFTSMANSHIP: Execution of the idea. The ability of the artist to completely lay their idea out on paper.

6. Best Illustration or Graphics in any Medium

Areas for consideration:

  • quality of execution
  • appropriateness of style or technique
  • comparative or surprising uses of new media (or old) techniques
  • conventional composition or unusual use of space context

Areas for consideration:

  • fidelity to the text
  • appropriately, or overly literal, or subtle and oblique
  • enrichment of, or perspective on the text
  • kind of viewer impact: quick, sharp, broad, shallow etc

Areas for consideration:

·       power

·       beauty

·       sweetness/bitterness

·       originality

7. Best Use of Digital or Social Media

PRESENTATION: Is the report well presented and viewer-friendly?
USES OF THE MEDIUM: Does the entry effectively or innovatively utilise the medium, incorporating audio, video or other multi-media tools?
JOURNALISTIC EXCELLENCE: Journalistic excellence forms part of the criteria for this award. This includes originality, impact, investigative skills, relevance, quality of writing and initiative.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Does the report make use of social media to engage or widen audience readership and or participation?

8. Best Suburban Report in Writing

This award is restricted to items published in a suburban forum and not available statewide or nationally.  A report originally published in a suburban forum and later picked up in a statewide or national forum will remain eligible for this award. If the story ran on varying platforms with offerings tailored to each, please detail.

9. Best Regional or Rural Affairs Report in any Medium

Stories dealing with primary production, regional or rural infrastructure and environment issues...published in any forum (regional, state or national). If the story ran on varying platforms with offerings tailored to each, please detail.

10. RACV Transport Quill Award

RACV Transport Quill Award is given to the journalist or team of journalists who produce excellence in the reporting of any transport issue. Subjects are not restricted to roads or motor vehicles and can include air, sea and rail transport issues. Any subject relating to personal or commercial transportation is eligible for the award. If the story ran on varying platforms with offerings tailored to each, please detail.

11. Grant Hattam Quill Award for Investigative Journalism

The Grant Hattam Quill Award for Investigative Journalism is awarded to the best investigative journalism of the year. It is named in memory of the prominent media lawyer Grant Hattam.

It was first awarded in 1998, and until 2004, was presented to a person who fought to publish "against the odds" and in defence of Press freedom, qualities that marked Grant's career as a media lawyer to the Herald & Weekly Times and other media organisations.

In 2004, the award was merged with the Investigative Journalism Quill. It is a link the Melbourne Press Club believes Grant would have approved and reflects even better his contribution to journalism in Melbourne.

The prize is awarded to a journalist whose article or broadcast is judged to have made an outstanding contribution to investigative journalism. The work will uphold the right for journalists to publish or broadcast material in the public interest under difficult circumstances, which might include legal restraints.

To recognise the significance of this award, and the importance of investigative journalism, the prize money for this Quill is $1000, provided by the Herald & Weekly Times.

The Hattam winner will be considered along with other Quill winners for the $5,000 Monash University Gold Quill.

12. Best Coverage of an Issue or Event

Most Quills categories recognise the individual work of journalists (or occasionally, also, a small group working jointly on a particular story). This category is designed to recognise outstanding teamwork on the part of a larger group or news team in the coverage of a major news event or ongoing issue. Such coverage may extend over a period of hours, days, or months.

Up to 10 related items or stories may be submitted in this category. It is recognised that this may place a restriction on some entries where the event or issue being covered is particularly significant or long running. Therefore, in this category the supporting statement (400 word maximum) may assume particular importance for entrants to give the judges suitable context and background.

The judges will give special attention to stories that specifically tailor offerings to varying platforms, including online, mobile devices, social media and others.

ORIGINALITY: in the case of big news events many organisations will cover the same story. What set this apart?
INNOVATION: creative use of new technology, use of multiple platforms.
RELEVANCE/COHESION/CONCISENESS: how effectively did the coverage draw together the multiple threads of a major story?

13. Young Journalist of the Year

This award will be presented to the entrant judged to be the most outstanding young journalist in 2013. Judges will consider material printed or broadcast between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2013.

The judges will consider how the story was conceived, the amount of direction the entrant received, research and influences such as time constraints.

The Melbourne Press Club's Young Journalist of the Year 2013 will receive:

  • $1000 Melbourne Press Club grant.
  • Return travel to the United States.
  • Return domestic travel within the United States between 26-29 June 2014 to attend the annual IRE conference and one year's international membership of IRE.
  • One week's work experience in USA (subject to conditions).

The Young Journalist of the Year Award is funded by the wife of David Wilson, Ms Josephine Nicholls, and the Wilnic Family Trust on behalf of David Wilson. David died in August 2008. He was a Walkley award winning investigative reporter who headed The Age Insight team for 10 years.
He mentored many young journalists attached to the Insight team and was the first Australian journalist to attend the IRE conference in the United States.

The award is restricted to journalists aged 25 years or under on 1 December 2013 working in either print or electronic media. Entrants must be employed by a Victorian media organisation and working in Victoria or on specific interstate or overseas assignment for publication in Victoria (and nationally, if appropriate), or be based in Victoria reporting Victorian affairs for an interstate or international organisation. Material submitted may be a single news story or feature or a series.

14. Victorian Government Quill for reporting on disability

This category is designed to recognise journalistic excellence in the positive portrayal of people with disability and the issues people with disability may face.  Entries that depict the real life experiences of people with disability are encouraged.  The category is open to both journalists and teams of journalists.  Any subject relating to people with disability or the issues people with disability may face is eligible for entry into this category.

Category prize:
Cash prize of $2,500.