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The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) is an organization of journalists and photographers that report on the entertainment industry activity and interests in the United States for information outlets (newspaper, magazine and book publication, television and radio broadcasting) predominantly outside the U.S. The HFPA consists of about ninety members from approximately fifty-five countries with a combined following of more than two hundred and fifty million. It conducts the annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony in Los Angeles every January that honor notable examples of cinema and television and achievements in entertainment business.
The first Golden Globes awardees were for the cinema industry in early 1944 with a ceremony at 20th Century Fox. There, Jennifer Jones was awarded Best Actress honors for The Song of Bernadette which also won for Best Film, while Paul Lukas took home Best Actor laurels for Watch on the Rhine. Awards were presented in the form of scrolls.
The following year members came up with the idea of presenting winners with a golden globe encircled with a strip of motion picture film, and mounted on a pedestal.
In 1950, differing philosophies among members caused a schism within the organization, resulting in a split into two separate groups – The Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association and the Foreign Press Association of Hollywood. The separation ended in 1955 when the journalists reunited under the collective title “The Hollywood Foreign Press Association” with firm guidelines and requirements for membership.
In 1955, the Golden Globes began honoring achievements in television as well as in film. The first honorees in the Best Television Show category that year were “Dinah Shore,” “Lucy & Desi,” “The American Comedy” and “Davy Crockett (TV miniseries).”
Membership meetings are held monthly, and the officers and directors are elected annually. A maximum of five journalists may be admitted to the organization each year. To retain "Active" status, each member must be currently accredited by the Motion Picture Association of America and must submit clippings of their work every year to renew their Active status [or be reassigned to a non-voting, "Affiliate" status].
Requirements for Active membership include primary residence in Southern California and a minimum of four published articles per year. The HFPA does not release a list of acceptable publications for those articles, but they are not restricted to popular, main-stream ones.