Beacon Awards

Recognizing voices in media that help educate and inform.

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Application Status

Application Window: Closed

Applications accepted August 15, 2024 - October 1, 2024.


The GSBA Beacon Award acknowledges exemplary reporting on public education, focusing on comprehensive coverage that informs the public about educational programs, policies, and issues. It honors journalists and media entities, recommended by school boards, for their enduring commitment to highlighting important educational matters through various media channels, including online and print publications, television, radio, and podcasts. This award underscores the vital role of informed journalism in shaping public understanding and dialogue around educational topics

Beacon Award Reporter

Submission Requirements

Please review the submission requirements below for comprehensive guidelines on submitting your entry to the GSBA Beacon Awards. This section provides detailed information on eligibility and how to submit your nomination for award consideration.

The following requirements must be met in order to be eligible to apply for the GSBA Student Video contest:

Board Nomination: The board of education must officially nominate and approve the nomination for a Beacon Award.

Organizations and Content: Eligibility for the award hinges on sustained, insightful coverage of public education through various media, including digital and traditional platforms (online publications, television programs, radio broadcasts, printed publications, podcasting, etc.), that enhances public understanding of educational issues.

Restriction for Previous Winners: Individuals and organizations are not eligible to win the award in consecutive years.


Beacon Awards Eligibility

Submission Platform: GSBA uses Award Force, to streamline the application process. This enables applicants to input information, upload documents, and adjust entries up to the submission deadline. New users may register for a free account to submit their application. Prior to submission in Award Force, ensure the nomination is validated with signatures from the local board of education on the Board Signature Document.

Board Endorsement: Each nomination must be validated with signatures from the local board of education (board chairman and superintendent) using the Board Signature Document. The document should then be uploaded to Award Force as part of the comprehensive application submission.

Beacon Award Submission

Evaluation Criteria:

Depth of Coverage: Does the reporting explore the subject matter thoroughly and offer comprehensive insights?

Journalistic Integrity: Is the reporting fair, unbiased, and fact-checked?

Impact: Has the reporting led to any changes or greater public understanding of educational issues?

Community Feedback: What is the reception of the work among the community or audience?

Expert Opinion: Do educational professionals recognize the work as valuable?

Consistency: Is the reporting consistently high-quality over time?

Presentation: Is the information presented in a clear and accessible way? 

Award Ceremony: Three winners will be selected from the nominees to be highlighted at the GSBA/GSSA Annual Conference.

Beacon Awards - Celebrating Success

Activity Timeline

Key Dates and Milestones: A Helpful Timeline for Award Submission and Notifications

August 15, 2024
Application Window Opens
October 1, 2024
Application Window Closes
November 4, 2024
Finalists and Winners Notified
December 12, 2024
Winners Accounced at GSBA/GSSA Annual Conference

2023 Contest Winners

Congratulations to the 2023 Beacon Award recipients! Through their exceptional work, they have demonstrated outstanding journalistic integrity, shedding light on significant educational programs, policies, and community issues, and exemplifying the highest standards of media excellence in education.

The Oglethorpe Echo

Nominated by: Oglethorpe County Schools

Liberty County Schools Public Relations

Nominated by: Liberty County Schools

The Baldwin Bulletin

Nominated by: Baldwin County Schools

Get In Touch

Unleash your creativity with the GSBA Student Video Contest! High school students across Georgia are invited to showcase their talents for a chance to win prizes. Have questions? Fill out our form for more info and get started!

GSBA Beacon Award - Media Outlet

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