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The ARRL Bill Leonard Award honors three professional journalists per year whose outstanding coverage highlights the enjoyment, importance and public service value the Amateur Radio Service has to offer. The award was created as a tribute to the late CBS News President Bill Leonard, W2SKE. He was also an avid Amateur Radio operator and advocate.
The Award is divided into three categories, based on format:
c. Print and Text
Nominations are judged by members of the ARRL Public Relations Committee, and the final decision is made by the ARRL Board of Directors at their meeting in January 2017. Each recipient receives an engraved plaque and a $250 contribution will be made in each of their names to the charity of their choice.
1. Each recipient must be a professional journalist in print, electronic media or multimedia. The term "professional" refers to full time, part time, stringers, freelancers and contract journalists. In the case of a group project, the recipient may be the group, but only one prize will be awarded.
2. The recipients will receive the award based on their work which appeared in the English language and covers the topics of Amateur Radio in (a) an audio format such as broadcast radio or podcasting; (b) a visual format such as television, movie and other video media; (c) print and text format such as newspapers, news website, magazine or journal. The scope of the work nominated may be a single story or series.
3. The work must have appeared between December 5, 2015 and December 2, 2016 in a commercially-published book, recognized general-circulation (non-trade) daily or weekly newspaper, general or special interest magazine (except publications predominantly about Amateur Radio), commercial or public radio or television broadcast (including services delivered via cable), Internet World Wide Web site operated by a generally-recognized journalistic organization (e.g. newspaper, magazine, broadcast station or network), or multimedia format (e.g. CD-ROM), intended for and readily accessible to the general public within the United States.
4. "Amateur Radio" means the activities of licensees, clubs and other organized groups participating in the activity of licensed Amateur Radio or "ham radio," as governed by Part 97 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
5. The story must be truthful, clear and accurate, reflecting high journalistic standards. Submission may be by the author of the work, or on his or her behalf by another individual who believes the work merits the award.
6. The winner will be selected by the Public Relations Committee of the American Radio Relay League, and will be granted to the work deemed the best reflection of the enjoyment, importance and public service value of Amateur Radio. The award will be approved by the ARRL Board of Directors at its January meeting. Individuals on the committee who may be related to or have a professional relationship with any applicant will excuse themselves from the deliberations.
7. Only one submission per entrant will be accepted. If a winning project was a team effort, only one award will be granted to the team.
Submit completed application form with appropriate work sample:
Submit CD with audio file(s) in mp3 format with name of candidate written on each disk.
Submit CD with mp4 file or DVD of the work with name of candidate written on each disk.
Submit clear, easily readable copy of printed text, any related Web addresses, and 8.5x11 sheets displaying the writing exactly as it appeared to the public.
9. The ARRL reserves the right to withhold the awards for any reason, to grant duplicate awards, or to disqualify any entry. Incomplete nomination submissions will not be considered. All decisions are final.
10. Each of the award winners will receive a plaque and a donation in their name of $250 will go to an Internal Revenue Service 501[c](3) recognized non-profit organization of the recipient’s choosing. A winning group entry will receive a single plaque and donation on its behalf.
11. Submit entries to: ARRL PR Committee, c/o Manager of Media Relations, American Radio Relay League, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111.
12. Entries must be received at ARRL HQ by 5pm December 2, 2016.
For more information about the award, or to obtain a nomination form,
contact ARRL's Media & Public Relations Manager Sean Kutzko at email@example.com or call 860-594-0328.
All entries must be received at ARRL Headquarters by end of business on Friday, December 2, 2016. No late entries will be accepted.
Click here for the official nomination form.
The Enquirer Journal (Monroe, NC)
“Ham Radio Enthusiasts Believe Hobby will Continue to Cast its Magic Spell”
The Standard Observer (Irwin, PA)
“There’s More to This Hobby Than Meets The Eye”
The Jersey Journal (Jersey City, NJ)
“Radio Operators Took to Air; Aided Rescue at Ground Zero”
Jill Valley (Assistant News Director) & Greg Schieferstein (News Director)
KPAX-TV (Missoula, MT)
High School Senior Jenna Rettenmeyer Makes Moonbounce Contact
Potomac News & Manassas Journal Messenger
“Negative Effects of BPL on Amateur Radio”
Randall D. Larson
Homeland Protection Professional magazine
Importance of Amateur Radio in Emergencies (July 2004 issue)
Coordinating Producer, WPBT-TV (South Florida Public Broadcasting - Miami, FL)
Coverage of the Role Amateur Radio operators played during 2004 hurricane season, plus coverage on the 2004 ARRL Toy Drive for kids affected by hurricanes in South Florida
RJ Harris, W3HP
Operations Manager & Morning Host, WHP-AM Radio
Professional coverage of Amateur Radio on WHP
WANE-TV (Fort Wayne, IN)
Highlighting Emery McClendon, KB9IBW’s efforts to promote Amateur Radio Military Appreciation Day
Ted Randall , WB8PUM
Host of “QSO Radio Show” on shortwave & podcast
Long-standing program with interviews with members of the Amateur Radio community
(first year of three separate awards for Audio, Video & Print)
Audio: Ted Randall, WB8PUM
QSO Radio Show
Consistently high-quality interviews and news about Amateur Radio
Video: Kim Byrnes
WDAF-TV (Kansas City, MO)
Coverage of Raytown ARC’s 2009 Field Day effort
Print: Vicky Taylor
“Public Opinion” magazine - Chambersburg, MD
Coverage of two young girls getting their Amateur Radio license
Audio: Bill Colley
WGMD-FM (Rehoboth, DE)
Interview with Bill Duveneck, KB3KYH - Sussex ARA
Video: Jennifer Crompton
“New Hampshire Chronicle” - WMUR-TV (Manchester, NH)
Contoocook Valley Radio Society’s Field Day effort
Print: Phillip Lucas
Washington Post - Loudon, VA
Virginia Amateur Radio Club’s Field Day effort
Audio: Joel Rose
National Public Radio Network
Story on effect of proposed federal legislation’s impact on Amateur Radio’s ability to communicate during emergencies
Video: Ken Grimball
News-12 Long Island (NY)
Hurricane Irene: Local Amateur Radio club featuring youth as net control ops & Amateur Radio’s response to the storm
Print: Brad Barr
“Today in Mississippi” magazine
Article on Billy Beard, K5FUR’s love and commitment to Amateur Radio and his community
Audio: Lucy Ann Lance
WLBY-AM (Ann Arbor, MI)
Interview with 3 ARES/RACES/SKYWARN amateurs that aided in reporting of an EF3 tornado in Dexter, MI.
Video: No award winner
Print: Lynn Anderson
“The Best Times” (Johnson County, KS)
“Johnson County Hams: Cruising the Airwaves for Fun and Services”
Audio: Jim Rash
WGMD-FM Rehoboth Beach, DE
Interview with Sussex Amateur Radio Association (SARA) about their upcoming Amateur Radio license class
Video: Rich Luterman
Fox-2 Television Detroit MI
SKYWARN Recognition Day
Print: Kim Hoey (writer) and Gary Emeigh (photographer)
The News Journal - Wilmington DE
“Calling Fans Of Hams”
Audio: Steve Kraske and Beth Lipoff
KCUR-FM, Kansas City, MO
"Exploring Ham Radio in a Digital World"
Video: Christine Kim
KSNV-TV, Las Vegas, NV
“Local Heroes” profile of the Nevada Amateur Radio Emergency Service.
Print: Marti Attoun
American Profile magazine (national)
Print: Don Keith, N4KC
American Legion magazine (national)
"Wave of Popularity"
Video: Jackie Lukas
News 12 Long Island, New York
Coverage of the Great South Bay ARC's lighthouse activation
Audio: No award winner