Call for entries:
What's your success story?

Have you —

  • Introduced a new product, service or go-to-market approach that is substantially changing your current or future business model?
  • Grown your digital revenue to be a critical portion of your revenue mix?
  • Tapped into new audiences with a new approach to publishing?
  • Diversified your revenue to be less dependent on traditional newspaper advertising?
  • Created a culture of innovation for your employees?
  • Dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic in an innovative way that might even be carried forward into the future?
  • Done something completely different that isn't listed here?

If the answer is yes, share your story with us!

DEADLINE: FEB. 25

Call for entries:
Mega-Innovation Award to be awarded in Orlando

Tell us about your best innovation from 2021!


Sponsored by America’s Newspapers

All entries must be submitted by 11 p.m. (CST) on Friday, Feb. 25.
Entry period for this year's contest: Calendar year 2021

With the return of the Mega-Conference, we also will be presenting the Mega-Innovation Award again in 2022!  This honor will be awarded at the Mega-Conference to a media company, newspaper or corporate office that best represents innovation in the industry.  We encourage you to submit a nomination and share your best innovations!

Three finalists will present their innovations at the Mega-Conference. The conference registration fee will be waived for one representative from each finalist company who makes the presentation.

In addition, the GRAND PRIZE winner will receive $500, a beautiful plaque and recognition by industry peers! 

Innovative companies take a wide variety of approaches to reaching additional readers and audience segments and improving subscriber engagement.  

Your approach may center around print products, digital products, events, agency services (PR work, logo development, competitive media placement), etc.  Perhaps company culture or your organizational structure is central to your newest innovative approaches.  Or, maybe you dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic in an innovative way that might even be carried forward into the future.

We want to make entering as easy as possible.  In whatever format works best for you:

  • Tell us about your latest innovations.
  • There are no specific questions to answer. We simply want to know how your company defines innovation, what you’ve done to advance in your market, and what results you have seen.  Depending on your strategy plan, this might mean revenue growth, improved employee morale, growth in your digital subscription numbers, growth in social media audience, etc. Perhaps your innovation centered around dealing with the effects of the pandemic in your local market. Share your success with the industry!
  • Be sure to include the basics to help judges see all of the positives behind your submission: your objectives, expected results, actual results, how this has changed or improved your business and how others can benefit from this innovation. 
  • Also, be sure to tell us who to follow up with if we have questions: name, job title, email and phone number.

There is no cost to submit a nomination.

The deadline for entries is 11 p.m. (CST) on Friday, Feb. 25.

Please email your entry and any supporting documents, graphics, etc., to cdurham@newspapers.org.

What could you win?

Pictured above: The winner of the 2020 Mega-Innovation Award was the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for its iPad strategy. Pictured with the award is Eliza Gaines, VP of audience development at WEHCO Media Inc. (left), and publisher Walter E. Hussman Jr. (Photo by Editor & Publisher magazine) 


Three finalists will present their ideas at the Mega-Conference.  

The conference registration fee will be waived for one representative from each finalist company who makes the presentation.

The GRAND PRIZE winner also will receive:

A beautiful engraved award.

Cash prize of $500.

Recognition for the great work that you and your company are doing!

Previous Innovation Award Recipients
2020 Recipient

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is awarded the Mega-Innovation Award

"When people comment on how innovative our digital replica iPad program is, I think about the tale my father once told me about the rabbit who climbed the tree," said Walter E. Hussman Jr., publisher. "When someone said rabbits don’t climb trees, the response was: this one had to do it to survive.”

2019 Recipient

GateHouse Live puts on the show

Putting on events has much in common with publishing, according to Jason Taylor, president of GateHouse Live and New Media Group Ventures. Publishers, he said, create content that attracts an audience, and they try to monetize that audience. "An event does the exact same thing."

2018 Recipient

Broadcasting from a newspaper rack

By putting a computer screen on top of a newspaper rack, Oahu Publications opened up a new profit center. Called the Digital Billboard Network, the screen runs a seven-minute loop of news and advertising in high-traffic areas where people are likely to pass by or stand in line.

2017 Recipient

Local newspaper also provides local TV

When Calkins Media was named a finalist for the 2016 Mega-Innovation award, its video stream produced by the Bucks County Courier Times was a repeating four-hour content block. Now, it is essentially a local TV station.

2016 Recipient

Innovation for all sizes

When Vince Johnson was first named publisher of the Forsyth County News, the paper had a rule about social media. Only one article was posted to Facebook each day, at 6 a.m. In his entry form for the Mega-Innovation competition, Johnson noted that rule officially died on Jan. 20, 2014. Since then, the paper has increased its social media following by more than 1,000 percent. That's just one example of how the Forsyth County News, described by Johnson as "wildly traditional" not so long ago, has changed.