Entering the 2023 Arkansas Press Women Professional Communications Contest yielded more than awards for KUAF National Public Radio investigative journalist Jacqueline Froelich.  Even her listeners were among those who conveyed congratulations.  Entries in the 2024 contest now are being accepted.

Jacqueline Froelich, an investigative journalist and news producer for KUAF National Public Radio since 1998, stopped entering contests a decade ago due to time constraints and costs.

This changed in 2023.

With the encouragement of two younger reporters and support of the station manager at KUAF, Froelich submitted two entries in the Arkansas Press Women (APW) Professional Communications Contest.

One of the entries, “ ‘Make or Break Year’ for Hemp Farming in Arkansas,” placed first this year in the Arkansas contest in the Prepared Report, Radio category, thereby advancing to the national tier of the contest conducted by the National Federation of Press Women (NFPW).

Froelich’s entry won a second-place award in the national contest.

She came away impressed from her contest experience.

“I am honored to be recognized by the hard-working Arkansas Press Women Association’s contest facilitators, as well as National Federation of Press Women,” Froelich said.

The 2024 APW contest opened on Oct. 1, 2023, which is the first day entries were accepted.  The deadline to submit entries published or broadcast in calendar year 2023 is noon on Jan. 17, 2024.

For entries submitted after this deadline, a one-time processing fee of $25 is charged in addition to entry fees.  The final deadline for books is noon on Jan. 31, 2024; for all other entries, noon on Feb. 7, 2024.

This link is to the Arkansas contest home page, from which entries can be submitted in the professional or high school contests.  There is information on this page about entry fees and deadlines, which differ in the two contests.

The categories and category requirements are described on this page of the NFPW Web site.

The APW contest categories reflect today’s responsibilities of professional communicators, including:  writing and editing for print or on-line; photography, graphics and design; radio and television; Web and social media, including podcasting; advertising; communications programs and campaigns; public relations materials; preparing information for the media; and speechwriting.  Books, short stories and poetry are judged in the writing category.

The collegiate section of the professional contest includes categories for writing for print or on-line; reporting for radio and television; podcasting; photography and design for student publications; public relations tactics; and faculty advisers.

An entrant in the Arkansas professional contest does not need to be a member of Arkansas Press Women, but entry fees are lower for APW members.  A first-place entry in the Arkansas contest is eligible to advance to the national tier conducted by NFPW if the entrant is a member of NFPW.  For a non-member, the deadline to join NFPW for these entries is March 15, 2024.

Questions about the Arkansas professional contest can be answered by contest directors Kristin Netterstrom Higgins at arkpresswomen@yahoo.com or Richard Plotkin at rsplotkin@conwaycorp.net.

Surely, those involved in conducting the contest hope all entrants respond as Froelich has.

“Such acknowledgment by my peers is gratifying to receive, personally and professionally,” Froelich said.  “As journalists, we work long hours for modest wages bringing forward critical issues to help improve the commons.  The Arkansas Press Women award further inspires that work.”

Editor’s note:  KUAF is the public radio station and National Public Radio affiliate for northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas River Valley; eastern Oklahoma; and southeastern Missouri.

Image courtesy of Bernard Hermant/Unsplash.