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Honor a Professional Journalist: Nominate Them for the ARRL’s Leonard Award


Television, radio, magazines, newspapers, blogs, webcasts -- Amateur Radio has been featured in all of them in 2011. Now it is time to thank the professional media people who made it happen by nominating them for the Bill Leonard, W2SKE, Professional Media Award. This annual national award is sponsored by the ARRL and honors three professional journalists whose outstanding coverage in audio, video and print formats best reflects the enjoyment, importance and public service value of the Amateur Radio Service. The deadline for nominations is December 9.

According to ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, 2011 has been a great year for Amateur Radio’s public relations activities: “Not only did Field Day get more media attention than ever before, the number and quality of the media hits about us increased dramatically. Because of the media attention, more people became ‘radio aware,’ which contributed to the increase in the number of hams overall. Government agencies and offices, large and small, kept Amateur Radio on their agendas in part because of the media about our services. There were more articles about our technological activities.”

Nominations are judged by members of the ARRL’s Public Relations Committee, with the final decision made by the ARRL Board of Directors at its January meeting. Pitts said that the PR Committee is looking for media pieces that are “truthful, clear and accurate, and reflect high journalistic standards. The award will be granted to the work deemed the best reflection of the enjoyment, importance and public service value of Amateur Radio.”

The award was created as a tribute to the late CBS News President Bill Leonard, W2SKE, an avid Amateur Radio operator. Recipients must be professional journalists 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.

While media professionals can submit their own work, Pitts notes that it is best when hams show their thanks, action and consideration: “Stories about the Amateur Radio Service and education, space stories and ham technology were well covered -- and many of these stories could be winners. Special events and promotions also got excellent coverage, as did contacts with the ISS and other technical achievements. If a reporter covered your activity well, nominate them!”

The Leonard Award is divided into three categories -- audio, visual, and print and text -- each with its own award. The three winners will each receive an engraved plaque, and a donation of $250 will be made in each of their names to the charity of their choice.

  • Audio format: Submit a CD with audio file(s) in mp3 format, with name of the candidate written on each disk.
  • Visual format: Submit a CD with an mp4 file or a DVD of the work, with the name of candidate written on each disk.
  • Print article: Submit clear, easily readable copy of printed text, any related Web addresses and 8.5×11 sheets displaying the writing in situ as it appeared to the public (photocopies are fine).

All entry forms and supporting disks and documentation must be received by 5 PM (EST) December 9, 2011. Packets should be sent to Manager of Media Relations, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111.



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