Government Programming Awards

The Government Programming Awards (GPAs) are annual awards that recognize excellence in broadcast, cable, multimedia and electronic programming produced by local governments, public school districts and government related agencies. Categories cover a variety of programming including, among others, community events, documentary, public affairs and public service, interview/talk show, performing arts, sports, election coverage and children’s issues. Celebrating over 35 years of programming excellence, the GPA’s celebrate the achievements of programmers across the country.

GPA Entry Site

The 2024 GPA Call for Entries is open. Entries are due by April 24th. Select the GPA Entry Site link above to access the entry site. Download the 2024 GPA Call for Entries brochure here. 

2024 GPA Important Dates
  • April 12, 2024:  All entries must be submitted online
  • April 12, 2024: All entry fees must be paid online or received at NATOA
  • May 10 – June 17, 2024: Judging Period
  • July 15, 2024 (tentative): Finalists Notified
  • August 28, 2024: Winners Announced in Charleston, SC

Program must have been originally produced between May 8, 2023 and April 11, 2024.

New and Notable in 2024

  • Award of Excellence trophies will be distributed during the GPA Banquet this year in Charleston. Make plans to attend to pick up your physical award(s) to take home with you to show off!

  • Entries must be submitted electronically and include a URL to a YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, or your channel’s On-Demand video only.

  • New Category - Category #6: State of the City/State of the County

    This category is designed specifically for State of the City or State of the County entries. The entire program or an edited highlights version can be submitted.

  • New Category - Category #16: Historical – Cultural

    A story or program that refers to the history of a culturally related topic.

  • New Category - Category #30: Public/Mental Health

    In-depth treatment of public health issues focused on subjects of concern to a community (i.e., mental health, AIDS awareness and immunizations).

  • New Category - Category #37: Public Safety – Law Enforcement 

    In-depth treatment of public safety issues focused on law enforcement subjects of concern to a community (i.e., Police, Sheriff, Bomb Squad, EMS).

  • New Category - Category #38: Public Safety – Fire

    In-depth treatment of public safety issues focused on fire subjects of concern to a community (i.e., fire prevention, wildfires).

When Are The GPAs Held?

The GPAs are an Annual Awards Program that is commenced in the Spring each year, with judging over the Summer months, and the award winners being celebrated at an awards ceremony in conjunction with the NATOA Annual Conference.

Where Do I Get the “Call For Entries Brochure” for the Awards Program?

Download the 2024 GPA Call for Entries here. Be sure to review the brochure carefully for entry rules and requirements prior to submitting your entries.

How Do I Submit An Entry?

You will simply need to create a profile and submit your entry. Entries and payment for entry fees must be received by April 12, 2024.

When Will I Be Notified That I’ve Won?

Finalists will be notified in July and judges feedback and scores will be available to view.

How can I purchase additional trophies if I've won?

Duplicate awards can be ordered directly from our awards vendor. Contact L&K Trophy at 

For Award of Honor certificates, contact

What Do I Need to Know to Participate? 

Budget Worksheet (pdf)

All entries must:

  • Be submitted by a local government, such as a city, town, township, village, or county; a public school district; or a non-profit organization whose scope of programming includes government access, such as an access corporation, community media center, foundation or other entity serving local government interests.   Each award is granted only to the jurisdiction or organization, not to individual contributors.
  • Be produced in-house, that is using your facility's equipment, staff, interns, volunteers, freelancers or contract personnel.  The only exception is acquired documentary file/news footage, opens, special graphics or equipment rental that your facility outsourced for added enhancements. 
  • Identify your annual operating budget for video programming on the entry form. Annual Operating Budget is defined as the budget for video production personnel (include benefits in salary calculation), supplies and services (i.e. use of outside production facilities, equipment rentals, talent fees, etc.). Any outside funding (grants/underwriting) should be included in the operating budget if those funds were used in program production. Do not count budgets for franchise enforcement regulated activities, capital budgets (equipment) or building leases/rentals.  An example of operating budget calculations can be found here
  • Ensure your entry is submitted under the correct budget guidelines.
  • Include programs, stories and segments originally produced between May 8, 2023 and April 11, 2024.
  • All entries must be submitted online.  A separate online entry form must be submitted for each individual entry.  On the entry form, include a link to an online video of your entry (YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, or your channel’s On-Demand video only).
  • No DVD entries will be accepted.
  • The name of the jurisdiction, governmental entity or organization and program title must be consistent with the information provided on the official entry form and will be used on any awards. 
  • Categories and Operating Budget breakdowns may be modified to accommodate the number of entries received.
  • Direct any questions about the NATOA Government Programming Awards to Jennifer Harman (703) 519-8035 Ext. 201,

All entrants must authorize the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) the non-exclusive right to use, reproduce, display and distribute in whole or in part video content selected from the jurisdiction’s video entry in the 2024 Government Programming Awards in any manner to facilitate the promotion of NATOA, the Government Programming Awards and the importance of local programming nationally. The entity submitting the entry must further authorize NATOA the non-exclusive right to compile the video content in whole or in part with other video content for promotional and informational purposes. The entity submitting the entry understands and acknowledges that the video content released may be broadcast, cablecast, video streamed or otherwise publicly distributed. The entity submitting the entry warrants that they are authorized on behalf of the jurisdiction to enter into this release and to grant the rights to the video content to NATOA. Any entrant warrants that to the best of their knowledge that this release conforms to all applicable laws and government rules and regulations, and that the released content does not contain any matter which in any way infringes or violates any copyrights, trade secrets, patents or similar intellectual property rights of any person or entity. By signing or submitting the entry via the on-line process, all entrants are deemed to have granted such release.

The fees for NATOA members are as follows:

  • Categories 1-57 $70 per entry
  • Categories 58-62 $60 per entry
  • Categories 63-66 $80 per entry

The fees for non-NATOA members are as follows:

  • Categories 1-57 $120 per entry
  • Categories 58-62 $110 per entry
  • Categories 63-66 $135 per entry

There is no limit on the number of entries you may submit. However, a program may be entered in no more than three categories if it fits each category description (this limitation does not include programming entered in the Overall or Craft categories). Programs entered in the wrong category or technically unviewable will be disqualified at the discretion of the GPA Committee Chair, however every effort will be made to accommodate each entry. No refunds. To join NATOA and pay the member entry fees, please visit us on-line at

Before mailing your submission, review this checklist to ensure your entry is complete:

  • Entry must be made online. An official entry form must be completed for each entry and submitted online with a link to an online video of your entry.
  • Pay online or mail payments to:
    PO Box 45792
    Baltimore, MD 21297-5792
  • A purchase order does not constitute payment. Entrants whose payments are late will not have their entries sent to the judging site and will be disqualified.
  • Follow rules and guidelines that pertain to the section that the entry is being made in. Failure to comply may result in disqualification.
  • Not sure which category to enter your video in? Watch previous winners at for help identifying which categories are the best fit for your programming.
  • Not sure how to determine your annual operating budget? Annual operating budget is defined as the budget for video production personnel, supplies and services including equipment rental, freelance staff, on-air talent, external production support, and grants. Do not include franchise/ regulatory costs, capital budgets for one-time equipment costs, or building lease/ rental. A budget worksheet can be found here

Payment must be received by the entry deadline, April 12, 2024. The online entry system will allow you to pay by credit card or print an invoice if paying by check. If paying by credit card, the payment must be made by April 12, 2024. If paying by check, the check must be mailed by the deadline. A purchase order does not constitute payment. Entrants whose payments are not received by April 12, 2024, will not have their entries judged and will be disqualified.

Please make all checks payable to NATOA and mail them to:

PO Box 45792
Baltimore, MD 21297-5792

A panel of at least three judges will judge all qualified entries. The recommended judging panel consists of at least one NATOA member. Judging will occur from May 10 - June 17, 2024.

Entries will be rated upon criteria that consider the diversity of local government production facilities by recognizing the value of effectiveness and creativity. Only production elements that are specific to the category as defined in the Call for Entries are judged for that entry.

Award of Excellence and Award of Distinction winners will be recognized at NATOA’s Government Programming Awards Banquet on August 28, 2024 in Charleston, SC. Fourth and fifth place winners will receive an Award of Honor certificate. There is no charge for the initial award won. Duplicate copies of trophies may be purchased.

Award of Excellence trophies will be presented during the GPA Banquet. Award of Distinction trophies will be sent to winners following the GPA Banquet.