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ARRL Public Relations Committee Invites Nominations for Bill Leonard Award


The ARRL Public Relations Committee is seeking ARRL members’ assistance in recognizing print, radio, and television/multimedia news stories that have best showcased Amateur Radio this year. Nominations are open for the 2019 Bill Leonard Award, which honors professional journalists or journalistic teams whose outstanding coverage highlights the enjoyment, importance, and public service value of the Amateur Service. The award honors its namesake, the late CBS News President Bill Leonard, W2SKE (SK), who was an avid radio amateur and advocate.

Awards are presented in each of three categories — print/digital, audio, and visual. Nominations are judged by members of the ARRL Public Relations Committee, and the ARRL Board of Directors will make the final decision on award recipients at its January 2020 meeting. The award winner in each category, either an individual or a group, will receive an engraved plaque, and a $250 contribution will be made in each winning entry’s name to the charitable organization of their choice.

The 2018 Leonard Award for Video Reporting was won by Andrew Schmertz, a correspondent for New Jersey Television (NJTV Online), for his coverage of a HamSCI conference that explored the impact of the 2017 Solar Eclipse on radio communication. The 2018 Leonard Award for Print/Digital Reporting went to Tom Knapp, a reporter with Lancaster Online, for his coverage of ARRL Field Day 2018 activities by the Red Rose Repeaters of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. No award was given in the audio category.

To be considered, nominees must be professional journalists or professional journalistic teams in print, electronic media, or multimedia. A nominee’s work must have appeared between December 1, 2018 and November 29, 2019, in English 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), a website operated by a generally-recognized journalistic organization (e.g., newspaper, magazine, broadcast station, or network), or multimedia format intended for and readily accessible to the general public within the US. The scope of the work nominated may be a single story or series.

Stories 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.

Entries must be received at ARRL Headquarters, c/o Communications Manager, ARRL, 225 Main St., Newington, CT 06111, by 5 PM on November 29, 2019.

For more information, contact ARRL Communications Manager David Isgur, N1RSN (telephone 860-594-0328). Visit the award web page for award rules. Scroll down the page for a link to a downloadable nomination form.