Every year, the Illinois Press Association solicits entries from local newspapers to participate in a statewide journalism competition. Entries are judged in three dozen subject categories. One of the categories – Best School Board Coverage – is sponsored and presented by the Illinois Association of School Boards.
The Robert M. Cole Award for best school board coverage, named for the first full-time executive director of the Illinois Association of School Boards, recognizes outstanding coverage of education issues that emphasize the community’s connection with its local public school district.
Judges evaluate entries for contribution to public understanding of local school governance and support for effective dialogue that helps the community and school board define major public policy issues. Judging criteria also includes enterprise, depth of reporting, and clarity of writing.
This contest is not directed at school public relations campaigns or school district newsletters; rather, it is intended for general circulation newspapers that cover local school districts.
Winners are announced at the annual IPA “Best of the Press” event in June.
Questions about the Robert M. Cole Awards can be directed to the IASB communications staff at 217/528-9688.
2017 Cole Awards
2016 Cole Awards
2015 Cole Awards
2014 Cole Awards
2013 Cole Awards
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