The most sought after journalism award in the South is now open for entries

2018 Green Eyeshade art

By Sarah Jones, SPJ Region 3 intern and SPJ student member, junior at Francis Marion University

It is a journalism award that recognizes exceptional work as a journalist. It affirms the hard work and time a journalist has given to produce great journalism. It is the Green Eyeshade Awards.

For the 68th consecutive year, the Green Eyeshade Awards are inviting participants Green Eye Shade logofrom 11 states to submit their work for the chance to win this prestigious southeastern award.

The award, which began in 1950 by the Society of Professional Journalists, is the nation’s oldest regional journalism contest. Journalists from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia are allowed, and encouraged, to enter. The Green Eyeshade Awards recognize the best professional and student journalists in print, television, radio and online journalism.

The award got its name from the literal green eyeshade, a visor worn often from the late 1800s to mid 1900s by copy editors, accountants and telegraphers among others. Green eyeshades were worn with the intention of helping them [copy editors] see better in the harsh lighting conditions from

Rebecca Baker
Rebecca Baker

candles and lights.

SPJ National President Rebecca Baker said an award such as the Green Eyeshade is an important acknowledgement by your colleagues that your news story or report was exceptionally done. It’s a “gold star” on your resume and shows that you go above and beyond to produce high-quality work, said Baker in an email to SizingUpTheSouth.

Josh Salman, writer for Flordia’s Sarasota Herald-Tribune, won a Green Eyeshade Award three consecutive years. His first award was in 2015 for first place consumer reporting, then again in 2016 for first place business reporting, and lastly, in 2017 for first place courts and law reporting. Salman also said he went on to win a national SPJ Sigma Delta Chi award last year for first place in non-deadline news reporting.

Josh Salman
Josh Salman

“It’s [the award] is a good judge of yourself [and your work]. When you work hard on something and see that you did good work, but you see all the other good work out there, it forces you to step up your game and do your best journalism,” Salman said. “It gives you ambition to do bigger things and keep improving yourself.”

Lauren Sausser, writer for The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina, won first place for her public affairs piece in 2016.

Lauren Sausser Post Courier
Lauren Sausser

“I spent several months on this. I wrote this back in 2015, so it’s been a few years, but it took several months and a significant amount of travel across the state,” Sausser said. “It’s a nice recognition.”

The competition consists of 83 professional categories and six collegiate categories

All professionals and students encouraged to enter their work for a chance to be recognized and awarded by the Society of Professional Journalists. The deadline for submissions is February 28 for all applicants.

Sarah Jones FMU
Sarah Jones

Sarah Jones is a junior at Francis Marion University, Florence, South Carolina, majoring in mass communications and minoring in  psychology. She is a member of the FMU Student Media Association and is a staff writer for The Patriot, FMU’s student newspaper. Her hometown is Lugoff, South Carolina. She hopes to pursue a career in public relations.

Jones’ SPJ Region 3 internship also includes tasks for its March 24 SPJ spring conference in Charleston, South Carolina.

Society of Professional Journalists

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