NSMA Tweaks Voting Protocols, Adds Awards

08.23.2021

AMENDED POLICIES REGARDING NSMA VOTING

A months-long process involving the NSMA's Diversity and Inclusion in Voting Committee has resulted in new voting protocols and added awards.

Based on the Committee's consensus, here are the changes:

On October 15 of each year, NSMA members will be emailed a blank ballot, on which they will nominate up to five people for their state’s sportscaster, and sportswriter of the year, and for national sportscaster and sportswriter of the year.

Nomination balloting will end on November 15.

  • For state races, the top two (plus ties) names will appear on the final ballot, along with the names of those selected by the Diversity/Inclusion Committee, so that no fewer than five finalists appear for sportscaster and five for sportswriter.
  • For national races, the top seven (plus ties) names will appear on the final ballot, along with the names of those selected by the Diversity/Inclusion Committee, so that no fewer than ten finalists appear for sportscaster and ten for sportswriter.

The current Hall of Famers, in consultation with the Diversity/Inclusion Committee, will determine the ten Hall of Fame finalists for sportscaster, and ten finalists for sportswriter.

The results of member voting will be emailed to the Diversity/Inclusion Committee by November 17. The Committee will then provide a list of additional finalists by December 1. The final ballot will be emailed to members no later than December 8. Voting will end on December 31.

Regional Chairs will be selected from the Diversity/Inclusion Committee. They will work with State (and Sub-State) Chairs to select additional state and national finalists, and to grow NSMA membership, so that the NSMA voting body will be representative of the industry at large.

Finalists will be encouraged to submit their work that will be shared on the NSMA website through the completion of final ballot voting.

The previous year’s state and national winners cannot win in consecutive years and will be added to the Diversity/Inclusion Committee to help select finalists.

In addition, the NSMA will add the following awards, chosen by the Diversity/Inclusion Committee:

  • Young (Under-30) Reporter Award to one sportscaster and one sportswriter, presented at the annual awards banquet.
  • Sports Book of the Year, chosen by the Diversity/Inclusion Committee, presented at the annual awards banquet.
  • Sports Documentary of the Year, chosen by the Diversity/Inclusion Committee, presented at the annual awards banquet.
  • Story of the Year, chosen by the Diversity/Inclusion Committee, presented at the annual awards banquet.
  • Photo of the Year, chosen by the Diversity/Inclusion Committee, presented at the annual awards banquet.
  • AIPS/NSMA (International) Story of the Year, chosen by the Diversity/Inclusion Committee from materials submitted by those who hold dual AIPS/NSMA memberships, presented at the annual awards banquet.
  • AIPS/NSMA (International) Photo of the Year, chosen from materials submitted by those who hold dual AIPS/NSMA memberships, presented at the annual awards banquet
  • Best Podcast, chosen by this awards committee, presented at the annual awards banquet.
  • Sideline Reporter, chosen by this awards committee, presented at the annual awards banquet.
  • Studio Host, chosen by this awards committee, presented at the annual awards banquet.
  • Digital Content Producer, chosen by this awards committee, presented at the annual awards banquet.

The Diversity/Inclusion Committee is also working on a series of Regional Sportscaster/Sportswriter of the Year Awards to be presented at regional conferences, dates/sites TBD.

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WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Today’s announcement reflects NSMA’s passion to foster and reward excellence among ALL sports media professionals. At the 2022 awards weekend, we hope to honor a more diverse group of winners gaining the recognition they deserve from their peers.” – Dianne Blixt, NSMA board president

“It’s been an honor to be part of expanding our award categories and to make sure we are continuing to honor the work being done by so many deserving colleagues. I’m grateful to our committee members for their time and input into this exciting new direction of NSMA.” – Wes Durham, Atlanta Falcons’ radio/ACC Network play-by-play, NSMA board VP, Diversity/Inclusion Committee Chair

“There is so much outstanding work being done and going unrecognized. This is a small way we can make sure that changes.” – Mary Jo Ford, freelance sportscaster, NSMA board member, Diversity/Inclusion Committee member

“NSMA’s goal is to identify and recognize people doing the best sports journalism, period. Expanding our award categories hopefully will allow for more voices and talent in our widely diverse field to be found and honored accordingly.” – Jay Harris, ESPN anchor, NSMA board member, Diversity/Inclusion Committee member

“I'm very happy with what our committee put together and feel this is the best way to recognize the many different talented individuals in this great industry." – Katie Storm, Bally Sports North host/reporter, NSMA board member, Diversity/Inclusion Committee member

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