Coming Soon: 2022-2023 SNO Distinguished Sites

We have some good news for our SNO awards enthusiasts. It’s (almost) SNO Distinguished Sites season!

Starting next Monday, you and your staff can start working on, submitting and earning your SNO Distinguished Sites Badges.

The SNO Distinguished Sites program was developed in an effort to outline and disambiguate standards of excellence in scholastic and collegiate online journalism. It’s composed of six badges, each addressing aspects of outstanding journalism and components of a modern news website, including:

  • Writing Excellence (Best of SNO)

  • Site Excellence

  • Story Page Excellence

  • Audience Engagement

  • Multimedia

  • Continuous Coverage

The program is exclusively developed for SNO customers and includes no “winners” or “losers.” In fact, your staff can submit badges as many times as you want or need to and receive individualized feedback on each submission from our team of reviewers.

Sites that achieve all six badges earn their SNO Distinguished Sites status and get recognized with a plaque in the mail, a press release, a letter to the principal and a spot on our Award Winners page.

For returning participants, we’ve updated and made a few minor adjustments to all our badges, but there are two big changes we think you should be aware of heading into this year.

Writing Excellence:

We know Best of SNO has gotten more competitive in recent years, and we know it can feel tough sometimes to get your content recognized. That’s why we’ve lowered the requirements for this badge from three stories published on Best of SNO to one. While our reviewers will still only publish around 10% of total submissions, we hope this will help alleviate a little bit of the pressure.

For a refresher on what we’re looking for in Best of SNO content, take a look at our Best of SNO publishing standards here.

Site Excellence:

Some people don’t like change. We get that. So, rather than requiring you to make three substantial design changes to the live version of your site, we’re now requiring the creation of a Design Draft instead. Show us your design skills while keeping the live version of your site unchanged in the meantime. If you like your Design Draft, feel free to push it live after your badge is assessed. If you don’t like your Design Draft, feel free to delete it after and leave your site’s design as is. The choice is yours.

You can brush up on how to create and edit Design Drafts here.

To see a complete list of all 2022-2023 badges and requirements, view the SNO Badges dashboard on the back end of your site. Good luck!