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Junior High/Middle School National Media Contest

General Procedures / Rules

The adviser to entrants must be a current JEA member.

All work must be from the 2014-2015 school year. Content must have been published in a school publication during the 2014-15 academic year, or must be set to be published in the yearbook that covers the 2014-15 academic year.

Each entry is $8.

All entries are from middle school/junior high school students.

All contestants must be registered at www.jeawriteoffs.org between Feb. 13 and March 13, 2015. All entries must be uploaded by the March 13, 2015, 11:59 p.m. EASTERN TIME deadline. NO LATE ENTRIES WILL BE ACCEPTED.

If more than three students worked on a particular entry, it should be submitted under the name of the publication staff.

There are no restrictions on the number of entries overall or per category.

The ratings are Superior, Excellent and Honorable Mention. Superior ratings, which are awarded with a medal, may be given to no more than 10 percent of the entries in any contest. Judges may give as many ratings in Excellent and Honorable Mention as appropriate.

Awards will be mailed to schools in late April.

Due to federal Internet regulations, ONLY advisers may upload the material on behalf of their students.

All entries will be submitted online at jeawriteoffs.org. See each contest for specific instructions.

Contest Categories

Photography & Captions

See directions on the website for submission directions.

  1. P1 –  News/Academic Photo and Caption: The picture captures a person or event at a decisive moment, is dramatic and makes readers think; technical quality – contrast, focus, effective cropping are important too. Caption should explain the photo, identify all important people and be written in proper journalistic style.
  2. P2 – Sports Action Photo and Caption: Like a news photo, the picture should capture a decisive moment, show action, tension or emotion; technical quality is important, too. Caption should identify players, jersey numbers and what is happening in the photo.
  3. P3 – Sports Reaction Photo and Caption: Like a sports action photo, the picture should show tension and emotion. Focus, effective cropping and technical quality are important too. Caption should explain the photo, identify important people and be written in proper journalistic style.
  4. P4 – Feature/Environmental Portrait Photo and Caption: This is a human interest or humorous photo with emotional impact. It uses elements of good composition, is artistic and has high technical quality. Captions support the photo by providing extra information that you cannot tell by looking at the photo. Writing supports good journalistic style.

Yearbook

Entries will be submitted as PDF files no larger than 2 mb. Items must be submitted as one PDF file in spreads where appropriate.

  1. Y1 – Theme Package: Include cover, endsheet (if printed), title page, opening spread, closing spread and one divider spread. You may choose to include one additional example demonstrating theme development elsewhere in the book (optional) and a one page document explaining the development of the theme (optional.) Superior entries in this category will show contemporary idea fitting to school population for current year and development with visual unifiers and/or wordplay or verbal spinoffs.
  2. Y2 – Yearbook DPS Design: May include Student Life, Clubs/Organizations, Sports, Academics, People, Chronological or Umbrella coverage spreads. For each entry, include a complete double-page spread. Superior entries in this category will include complete coverage of appropriate section-specific topics with storytelling photos in addition to supporting coverage all while following solid design principles.
  3. Y3 – Yearbook Copy: May include Student Life, Clubs/Organizations, Sports, Academics, People, Chronological or Umbrella coverage spreads. For each entry, include a story with its accompanying double-page spread. Superior entries in this category will include complete coverage of appropriate section-specific topics that emphasize the why and how of the topic in story copy. Judges will also look for supporting secondary coverage and captions that follow solid journalism principles.

Newspaper Design & Writing

Entries will be submitted as PDF files no larger than 2 mb. Items must be submitted as ONE PDF file in spreads where appropriate.

  1. N1 – Front Page Layout Design: The newspaper uses clean design to grab readers’ attention and guide them from story to story. Superior entries convey the publication mood through nameplate and graphic devices; editors emphasize stories important to readers.
  2. N2 – Inside Page Layout Design: Single Feature/Editorial/Opinion/Sports page layout. Design has a strong center of visual interest, attractive graphs/photos to help tell the stories (when appropriate) and a layout that helps readers understand content.
  3. N3 – News-Feature Writing: This story may focus on timely news matters or the human side of the topic. Story uses expert sources when possible, avoids reporter opinion and leaves no unanswered questions.
  4. N4 – Other Writing (Critical Review, Editorial, Column): Pieces may contain reporter opinion but facts help support the stand. A consistent tone unifies the piece and sufficient background is provided if necessary. Superior entries for Columns show a consistent “voice”;  therefore entries must include TWO COLUMNS by the same writer.
  5. N5 – Sports Writing: Sports coverage pieces cover a RECENT sporting event or one that will occur soon. The reporter does so without using reporter opinion; coach and player quotes add necessary insight. Sports features go behind the scenes or otherwise find out the “why,” the reporter conveys a sport’s background or mood, either scholastic, intramural or life sport, using sources, not author opinion.

Broadcast

Entries must have been broadcast at school or in the community or on the Web. Entries will be via a link to the video on YouTube, School Tube or Vimeo in a Google Form. Details are in the Broadcast Submission Section.

Video, Music and Image integration into Contests: Students may use portions of lawfully acquired copyrighted works (not bootlegged) in their Write-off entries provided that the material is no more than 10 percent of their overall project and they can provide documented proof at time of upload. Scanned permission letters and emails will be considered as acceptable proof. Works submitted with copyright material without copyright permission will be disqualified from award contention.

  1. B1 – Broadcast package (News, Feature or Sports story): Total running time no longer than 1:30. Pre-recorded stories contain reporter’s voice-overs, videotaped shots and sound bites. Must adhere to broadcast style (short sentences, present tense, conversational) and contain all necessary info. Sound bites are well shot, varied and relevant. Editing is free of glitches and jump cuts. Natural sound is used effectively. Superior entries have video and script, which complement each other. Broadcast packages should be uploaded to Vimeo, YouTube or SchoolTube, and entrants should then fill out this form to finalize their entry.
  2. B2 – Short Documentary/PSA: Documentaries are in-depth educational studies up to 5 minutes in length about classroom curriculum topics, issues or people in current events or history. PSA entries are promotional pieces not to exceed 60 seconds in length about an educational topic or community concern. Credits are not included in the 60 seconds. Superior entries use videotaped shots, voiceovers, sound bites and graphics as appropriate. Video and script complement each other. Broadcast packages should be uploaded to Vimeo, YouTube or SchoolTube, and entrants should then fill out this form to finalize their entry.

Please direct all questions to:

Contest Coordinator
Laura Zhu at Toby Johnson Middle School
LauraMZhu@gmail.com

Or

JEA Headquarters
Kansas State University
105 Kedzie Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-1505
Phone: 785-532-5532
Fax: 785-532-5563
Email: staff@jea.org

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