Deadline extended until, Friday, December 3, 2021!

The 2021 Better Newspaper Competition includes three new categories in the Photojournalism Division. Pandemic Photo, Sports Feature Photo, and Sports Action Photo are the new categories joining 11 others to offer the most options for news photographers in New England to showcase their work.

All photographers are eligible to be named Photojournalist of the Year. This award is presented to the most outstanding photojournalist in the competition for both the daily and weekly classes. Finalists are chosen based on the highest number of points garnered from all of their winning entries.

Submission Guidelines:

  • All entries must be the work of the newspaper staff or its contractors. Photos from syndicated services, wire services, etc. are not eligible. Entries must have appeared either in print or on the newspaper’s website during the contest year. A paper may enter photos from as many photographers as it wishes. A series of photos may be entered in only the Photo Series and Photo Story categories, but photos entered as part of a series may also be entered as individual photos in other categories.
  • All entries must be submitted as JPEG files.
  • Tearsheets – In addition to the JPEG, each entry MUST be accompanied by a tearsheet (either a hard- copy from your printed paper or a digital reproduction of the page).
  • If the image appeared online only, a screenshot and/or a link to the image must be provided.
  • Download 2021 Editorial Categories and Rules
  • Enter 2021 BNC Contest


Contemporary Issues Photo – Any photo that portrays the most critical issues we face that have altered lives, perspective or behavior. Examples include: environment, climate change, human rights, guns, violence, homelessness, etc.

Feature Photo – Any photo showing an unusual event, item or person, (not necessarily of a specific news event) or an unusual photo of a commonplace event, item or person.

General News Photo – Any photo of a community happening that is known, assigned and planned for in advance, such as political rallies, town meetings, drum and bugle corps competition, etc.

News Feature Photo – A photo that occurs in the public domain. It can be at a news event but it can also be a stand-alone photo.

Pandemic Photo – Any photo showing life in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Examples include heroes of the pandemic, isolation, family, lockdown life, etc.

Personality Photo – Any photo of a person or group of people, whose point is to tell, photographically, who the people are, what they are like, and why they are newsworthy.

Photo Series – Two or more photographs relating to the same subject that were published over several editions relating to the same subject.

Pictorial Photo – Any photo of natural scenery, buildings or street scenes, etc. in which the emphasis is on the overall scene rather than people or news events.

Photo Story – Two or more images that are taken and tell a story from beginning to end.

Portrait Photo – An image of a person or a personality that is the focus of the photo.

Photo Illustration – A picture produced from a preconceived idea and intended to clarify or dramatize non-visual or editorial concepts — including, but not limited to, food and fashion.

Spot News Photo – Photos of unexpected news events, such as fires, accidents, unrest or disasters of any kind, for which there is no advance assignment or planning.

Sports Feature Photo – A sports-related feature photo captured outside the action of the game.

Sports Action Photo – An action photo that captures the spirit of a sports competition.

Spot News Photo – Photos of unexpected news events, such as fires, accidents, unrest or disasters of any kind, for which there is no advance assignment or planning.