Video Editing Division – 2024 Proposed Categories

NOTE: These are the proposed categories for the 2024 cycle. You can submit a comment on this form until November 6, 2023.

This division recognizes visual journalists who, working through the medium of video, tell stories relevant to their communities, helping them understand trends and issues to make informed decisions. Judges will examine the editing process’s unique role in producing visual stories. They will look at the technical excellence of the final product. The critical factor will be the journalism demonstrated and the audience’s ability to understand the story. 

The Video Editing division is open to anyone in a storytelling environment (broadcast, newspaper, digital newsroom, etc.). Please read the descriptions carefully. This contest focuses on the craft of video editing. 

All categories are for individual journalists. Entries in this division are segmented into two sub-categories, Editor and Solo Video Photojournalist.

A Solo Video Photojournalist is someone that primarily works alone and produces nearly all their stories as a one-person journalist. All entrants must have filmed at least 90% of the video and be the sole editor.

An Editor is someone who crafts the story in the edit and is solely responsible for every action in the edit. For these categories, it does not matter who filmed the video; we only judge the craft of editing.

There is a limit of four entries per category in each story category in the Video Editing division per individual contestant. There are no compilations allowed in the Video Editing Division categories.  Significant changes for 2023:

  • Elimination of Team Edit, Social Edit, and Bumps/Teases/Pre-Show Edit
  • Category names changes
  • A new definition of some categories
  • New category for Long-Form Feature Edit
  • New category for Long-Form Investigative Edit

Individuals can submit an entry for the NPPA Video Editor of the Year Award. Significant changes for the entry year 2023. 

  • You must place at least twice in the individual categories to be eligible for the Editor of Year Award
  • You must enter Editor Effects or enter a story you did not shoot
  • You must submit your log of stories and their categories and if you did or did not shoot the video in the story

If the entrant’s name is mentioned in the story entry, you can leave it in. For example, if the reporter says, “With photographer John Doe…,” the photographer’s name does not have to be edited out of the entry. 

You are highly encouraged to write up a summary of your entries; in some categories, this is mandatory. 

Please refer to the Guidelines section of the competition website for more details, and contact b[email protected] for more information or questions about the contest.

60-Minute Edit: A 60-minute edited story is a news story edited in less than 1 hour. The clock begins for this category when you place your first Edit on the timeline, not when you first ingest media. Judging is based on storytelling elements (sequencing, natural sound, etc.), though judges will also look for creativity. Entries must be three minutes or less. Entrants will select and compete as either an Editor or a Solo Video Photojournalist.

Daily Hard News Edit: A time-sensitive significant news story that covers a planned or unplanned news event, an issue, persons, or topics of general interest and importance. Hard News Edits should involve serious facts and are important and consequential. Hard News Edits stories should contain no music, except when it’s part of the story’s natural sound. Stories must be captured, edited, and broadcast within 24 consecutive hours. Entries must be five minutes or less. Entrants will select and compete as either an Editor or a Solo Video Photojournalist.

Daily Light Report Edit: A daily news story focusing on lifestyle, entertainment, culture, arts, or human interests. Daily Light Report Edits are more entertaining than Hard News Edit news stories. Music is allowed. Entries must be five minutes or shorter. Stories must be captured, edited, and broadcast within 24 consecutive hours. Entries must be five minutes or less. Entrants will select and compete as either an Editor or a Solo Video Photojournalist.

Serious Feature Edit: Serious Features are stories on politics, social issues, economics, the environment, or significant issues for your audience. The edit shows show imagination and creativity. Entries must be five minutes or less. Entrants will select and compete as either an Editor or a Solo Video Photojournalist.

Light Feature Edit: Light Features are stories on exotic topics, fashion, adventures, lifestyles, or less-significant issues for your audience. The edit shows show imagination and creativity. Entries must be five minutes or less. Entrants will select and compete as either an Editor or a Solo Video Photojournalist.

Long-Form Feature Edit: Solo Video Photojournalists and Video Editors can both enter this category. This feature story is longer than five minutes. This can be a serious or light story. Judges will look at how the edits move a more extended form story forward. Entries must be five minutes minimum and 15 minutes maximum.

Serious Photo Essay Edit: Solo Video Photojournalists and Video Editors can both enter this category. A news story demonstrating exceptional use of natural sound, sound bites, sound effects, and/or music. There is no narration allowed in this entry. Serious Photo Essays are stories on politics, social issues, economics, the environment, or significant issues for your audience. Entries must be five minutes or less.           

Light Photo Essay Edit: Solo Video Photojournalists and Video Editors can both enter this category. A news story demonstrating exceptional use of natural sound, sound bites, sound effects, and/or music. There is no narration allowed in this entry. Light Features are stories on exotic topics, fashion, adventures, lifestyles, or less-significant issues for your audience. Entries must be five minutes or less.

Sports Edit: Solo Video Photojournalists and Video Editors can both enter this category. Any feature story about participants/athletes or those involved or interested in a sport or sporting event. Does not need to focus on the outcome of the game. The spirit of this category is to encourage stories about the emotional side of sports, not focused on the competition itself, highlights, or postgame soundbites. Entrants should try to avoid stories that aren’t really about the sporting event itself. Entries must be five minutes or less.           

Single Story Investigative Edit: Solo Video Photojournalists and Video Editors can both enter this category. An Investigative story covers a single news story demonstrating how an editor enhances journalistic enterprise on an important issue. Entries must be five minutes or shorter. You may enter a story that’s part of a series, just pick your best single story and explain to judges any setup if necessary. Entries must be five minutes or shorter.           

Long-Form Investigative Edit: Solo Video Photojournalists and Video Editors can both enter this category. An Investigative story covers a single news story demonstrating how an editor enhances journalistic enterprise on an important issue. This entry can be one story, or It may be divided into a series aired/broadcast on successive days. If so, edit the individual parts together, leaving three seconds of black between each piece. Entries must be five minutes minimum and 30 minutes maximum.

Effects Edit: Solo Video Photojournalists and Video Editors can both enter this category. A story entered into this category must show how an editor uses effects to enhance a story materially. This could be as simple as wipes or as complicated as creating animations with another program such as After Effects or Motion. The best entries will seamlessly integrate these elements and the rest of the Edit, enhancing the overall story. Simply adding graphics to a story is not enough for this category. Your submission must include a write-up notifying judges of all elements you did not produce, especially if you’re using templates to achieve a particular effect. Entries must be ten minutes or less.

Editor of the Year: Solo Video Photojournalists and Video Editors can both enter this category. This award recognizes an individual’s high skill level and professionalism across multiple categories.

 You must enter your composite; however, only entrants that place at least twice in the individual categories will move into the final round. Those placed stories must be on your reel.

Judges reserve the right not to watch a compilation entirely if they have reviewed the submitted stories in their individual categories. 

The EOY composite must be a minimum of six stories with a maximum of 10 stories. To qualify for EOY, you must have one of the two following conditions met; One story not shot by the entrant or submit an Effects Edit. A maximum of two per category may be used, in the following order:

You must have at least one story from the following categories.

  • 60-Minute Edit
  • Daily Hard News Edit

 The remaining entries in a composite reel should consist of at least one entry per category from the following categories as required to reach your minimum of six entries for the composite reel: 

  • Daily Light Report Edit
  • Light Feature Edit
  • Serious Feature Edit
  • Long-form Feature Edit
  • Serious Photo Essay Edit
  • Light Photo Essay Edit
  • Sports Edit
  • Single Story Investigative Edit
  • Long-Form Investigative Edit
  • Effects Edit

Stories must be entered under the same categories submitted as single entries, e.g., a Sports Edit single entry may not be submitted as a Soft Feature Edit in your EOY portfolio. Failure to follow this rule will result in disqualification.     

NOTE: These are the proposed categories for the 2024 cycle. You can submit a comment on this form until November 6, 2023.