National Student Media Contests

Fall 2020 National Student Media Contests information

Registration for the fall 2020 JEA National Student Media Contests is now closed.

  • Students must be registered for the virtual Fall 2020 National High School Journalism Convention.
  • Entries are limited to one contestant per category per school, except broadcast contests 36, 38, 39, 41, 43 and 46 that allow teams.
  • A student may enter only one category. 
  • The journalism teacher/adviser must be a current JEA member for the students to participate in the contests.

Entry fee: $20 per student

Make checks payable to

Journalism Education Association
105 Kedzie Hall
828 Mid-Campus Dr. S.
Manhattan, KS 66506

Purchase orders may be emailed to staff@jea.org, faxed to 785-532-5563 or mailed to the above address. 

It is IMPERATIVE that advisers and contestants CAREFULLY read all the rules to make sure all deadlines and requirements are met. What is being judged is not just the entry itself, but the contestant’s ability to read and follow directions, meet deadlines, and develop the necessary skills to produce a winning entry.

PLEASE NOTE: The instructions for all entries have been updated recently, so be sure to read them thoroughly.  No late entries will be accepted.

Introduction
Writing Contests: One person per school may enter each contest
News Layout Contests: One person per school may enter each contest
Press Law and Ethics: One person per school may enter
Yearbook Contests: One person per school may enter each contest
Literary Magazine Contests: One person per school may enter each contest
Graphic Design Contests: One person per school may enter each contest
Photography Contests: One person per school may enter each contest
Broadcast Contests: Some contests allow team entries

CONTEST RULES & POLICY (APPLIES TO ALL CONTESTS)

The JEA National Student Media Contests chair and coordinators will have overall supervision of the contests. The local committee media contest chair assists as directed by national contest chair and coordinators.

Before the convention

  • The adviser to entrants must be a current JEA member and a convention participant.
  • All contestants must be registered by the deadline, usually three weeks before the convention. NO LATE ENTRIES WILL BE ACCEPTED. Entries are processed in the order received. Missing deadlines due to "just received permission," "business office late" and similar situations will not be acceptable excuses for late entries. Contestants must be paid convention participants.The National Student Media Contests Rules and Regulations should be read thoroughly by the contestants and adviser.
  • A minimum of 10 category entries must be received for a specific contest to be conducted.
  • Please register early. There is a limit to the number of participants in each category. In the event the number of registrants for a contest category fills the capacity of the assigned contest before the deadline, JEA will CLOSE registration early for that category.
  • Entries are limited to one contestant per category per school. EXCEPTIONS: An individual, two-person team or three-person team may submit one story in designated categories. Team members must each pay the registration and contest entry fees by the convention. In contests that allow a team to enter, all students must register and pay. Junior high/middle school students may enter any contest. They will be judged against high school entries unless advisers indicate that they wish to receive only grade-level feedback.
  • Advisers requesting special accommodations for students with disabilities must do so by the registration deadline and furnish documentation (IEP/504) to the contest chair. No refunds will be given unless canceled 14 or more days before the convention. Call JEA Headquarters, 785-532-5532, for cancellations.

Online submissions

  • Students who do not upload their contest entries by the deadline will be disqualified. No refunds will be given unless the adviser calls and withdraws the student by the time registration closes on Oct. 19. After registration closes, students will not be able to switch to another contest. 
  • JEA staff is available to assist with any technical difficulties encountered while getting entries submitted to the media contest website, and to consult with advisers and students to advise them in getting their entry prepared for upload. JEA staff is not permitted to upload the entry on the student’s behalf nor to modify the entry in any way to make it suitable for upload. All work on the entry must be done by the student.

Convention and competition

  • Name substitutions, category changes and spelling changes must be made by the Oct. 19 deadline. 
  • A contestant ID number will be assigned to each entry once it is uploaded into the NSMC system.
  • With the approval of the NSMC chair, entries that do not meet the requirements (i.e. missed deadline, incorrect submission, entered wrong category, etc.) may be critiqued but will not be eligible for an award. Each participant must pay the entry fee.
  • Results are final when contest judging closes.
  • If any contestant’s name, school name or identifying mark is mentioned or implied, the entry will be disqualified with few exceptions: photo and graphic design entries in which a school identification appears incidentally as part of a picture; broadcast categories where names of contestants may be used. Online News Package is also exempt.
  • All entries must follow all federal laws regarding copyright. Winning entries may be posted on the JEA website.

Judging the contests

  • Each entry is judged by a minimum of two qualified people. judges may not participate in evaluating entries from their own schools.
  • Judges are to be instructed to provide written comments in the NSMC system. These comments are not solely how the entry is judged, but are used to provide additional feedback to the contestant. Sometimes it is a special spark or creative element that will push one entry to the forefront. 
  • If an entry indicates that the student is a danger to himself or others, the JEA executive director, national contest chair and the contestant’s adviser will be notified.
  • In the event of a controversy, the NSMC chair and JEA executive director will make the final decision.
  • The lead judge(s) also will prepare a critique session video that will be available to contestants on the NSMC system when the convention closes. Individual critiques for entries also will be available in the system at the close of the convention. 

Awards

  • Winners receive a certificate. 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.
  • Winning entries may be broadcast, displayed or published in JEA publications or on its affiliated websites. Winners’ names and schools will be published on the JEA website.
  • There will be no sweepstakes. Emphasis will be placed on the learning experience provided each individual contestant.
  • Entry critiques will be accessible Saturday, Nov. 21 after the list of winners is released at jea.org. Awards will be mailed to the adviser. 

Contest categories 1-8

WRITING CONTESTS

All writing contests are for individuals only.

MATERIALS PROVIDED BY JEA

Fact sheet with specific assignment

MATERIALS WHICH CONTESTANT MUST PROVIDE

Contests 1-5, 7:  Computer, internet access. 

Contest 6: Computer/tablet, internet access. Drawings may be done on computer/tablet or plain 8.5-inch-by-11-inch white paper, scratch paper with sharpened pencils, any color pens or markers of varying thickness, correction fluid, eraser. 

01: NEWSWRITING

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will view a 30-minute video with a presentation by a speaker/panel and a brief Q&A conducted by a JEA team member. You will also have a contest prompt sheet with some additional information on the subject. From that information only, you are to type a news story of no more than 350 words, using any word processing program you would like. The entry must then be uploaded to the NSMC contest system as a PDF.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

News writing style; informative lead hooks readers; use of facts instead of generalizations; use of direct quotes; pinpointing the news in the presentation and highlighting it with an effective angle; concise writing with good use of detail and description, well-organized story flow; accuracy; completeness; elimination of extraneous material; elimination of libelous statements; knowledge of AP style rules; few convention errors.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and materials

02: EDITORIAL WRITING

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will read several provided material sources on a contemporary topic. Using only that information and your own knowledge of the topic, you are to type an editorial, no more than 350 words using any word processing program you would like. The entry must be uploaded to the NSMC system as a PDF.

Remember editorials are written in third person to represent an editorial board's opinion. Knowledge of current events would be beneficial.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Persuasive leads that come quickly to an assertion; focus on a single, manageable proposition; clear purpose; editorial format for lead, body, conclusion; opposing arguments refuted; facts to support assertion in the lead; arguments fully developed; effective organization and transitions; strong conclusion; accuracy; completeness; elimination of extraneous material and libelous statements; knowledge of AP style rules; few convention errors; third-person voice. Contestants should not use any reference to their school or publication.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and materials

03: FEATURE WRITING

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will view  a 30-minute video presentation from a speaker. that will include a Q&A period conducted by a JEA team member.  You will also have a contest prompt sheet with some additional information on the subject. From that information only, type a feature story of no more than 350 words, using any word processing program you would like. The entry must then be uploaded to the NSMC contest system as a PDF.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Attention-grabbing lead; feature style as opposed to news style; colorful details; liberal use of direct quotes and anecdotes without stating the obvious; objective and fair; copy that appeals to the readers’ interest; writing evokes emotional response; accuracy; completeness; elimination of extraneous material; clear focus of the news peg; few convention errors; avoids passive voice; avoids cliches; variety of sentence beginnings; elimination of libelous statements and knowledge of AP style rules; few convention errors.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and materials

04: SPORTS WRITING

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will view a 30-minute video presentation that will include a Q&A period conducted by a JEA team member. You also will have a contest prompt sheet with some additional information on the subject. From that information only, type a sports story of no more than 350 words, using any word processing program you would like. The entry must then be uploaded to the NSMC contest system as a PDF.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Attention-grabbing lead; if story is a feature, the lead should be a feature lead; good story flow with effective transitions; colorful details; evokes emotional impact; use of informative direct quotes; accuracy; completeness; elimination of extraneous material; elimination of libelous statements and knowledge of AP style rules; few convention errors.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and materials

05: REVIEW WRITING

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will view a 30-minute video that includes a performance and a Q&A session conducted by a JEA team member. You will also have a contest prompt sheet with some additional information on the performer. From that information only, type a review of no more than 350 words, using any word processing program you would like. The entry must then be uploaded to the NSMC contest system as a PDF.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Persuasive lead that quickly reaches assertion and/or attention-grabbing lead; clear expression of opinions; strengths and weaknesses of event or performance are clearly noted; strong, effective voice; opinions supported with details and examples; use of colorful details; well-organized story flow with good transitions; facts rather than generalizations; avoids cliche; extraneous information and libelous statements eliminated; demonstrates knowledge of AP style rules; few convention errors.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and materials

06: EDITORIAL CARTOONING

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will read several provided material sources on a contemporary topic. Then you are to draw an editorial cartoon by hand. You may use any color/ thickness of pencil, pen and/or marker to complete your cartoon. Knowledge of current events would be beneficial. Drawings may be done on plain 8.5-inch-by-11-inch white paper. The drawing must be scanned/photographed and uploaded as a PDF.  

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

A simple and clear editorial statement; evidence of artistic ability; a novel approach; absence of trite and melodramatic imagery; wit; effective conveyance of a message; quality of drawing; simplicity of line.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and materials

07: COMMENTARY WRITING

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Commentary is used for a column written from a well-supported personal point-of-view. You will read several provided material sources on a contemporary topic. Knowledge of current events is beneficial in this contest. You will type a commentary of no more than 350 words, using any word processing program you choose. You may not make up or use additional facts or quotes from sources other than those provided to you. Contestants need to be careful not to make any reference to their schools or publications. The entry must be uploaded to the NSMC contest system as a PDF.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Writer’s opinion is clear; background information used accurately and purposefully; does not ignore or distort facts; addresses the high school audience; writer makes good use of provided material sources; voice of the commentary encourages the reader to think about the subject in a new light; first person is used effectively; follows AP style; few errors in conventions.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and materials

Top

Contest categories 9-10

NEWS LAYOUT CONTESTS

Both news layout contests are for individuals only.

MATERIALS PROVIDED BY JEA

Prompt sheet with specific assignment and photos to use in the design. 

MATERIALS WHICH CONTESTANT MUST PROVIDE

Contests 9-10: Students need to upload a PDF as spreads to the NSMC website. Instructions and rules appear on the contest prompt and materials, which are available on the day NSMC registration opens.

09: NEWSPAPER LAYOUT

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Prepare materials and upload a PDF to the NSMC website by the posted deadline. Instructions and rules appear on the contest prompt, which is available the day NSMC registration opens (see Helpful Links below). With software available to you, design the front page for a newspaper. The contest directions and materials, including downloadable photos, will be provided the day registration opens at jea.org/contests. Be careful that you do not download the material for the prior convention.

You will need to plan and edit stories for use, using fill text as you wish. Any graphics, photos or artwork included on the submission may not be from another publication or from the Internet; use only the photos provided to you. These guidelines are in place to ensure equity among contestants and adherence to copyright laws. If judges feel images are obtained in a way that violates the spirit of these rules, the entry will be disqualified.

Do not add your own stories or miscellaneous information. Contestants should write headlines and use fill text for captions. Only the placement, size and font selection for those elements will be judged.

Students are encouraged to include design special effects. There are no font specifications; use what you have available.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Clean layout; creativity; effective positioning of the elements; effective selection, scaling and cropping of photos; effective font choices and sizes; varied headline sizes; a clear focal point; text flow easy to follow; evidence of consideration for readers; consistent use of styles; creative graphics; a sense of personality or style.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and materials

Preparing layout entries

10: NEWSMAGAZINE LAYOUT

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Prepare materials and upload a PDF to the NSMC website by the posted deadline. Instructions and rules appear on the contest prompt, which is available the day NSMC registration opens (see Helpful Links below). With software available to you, design the cover and center spread for a newsmagazine. The contest directions and materials, including downloadable photos, will be provided the day registration opens at jea.org/contests. Be careful that you do not download the material for the prior convention.

You will need to plan and edit stories for use, using fill text as you wish. Any graphics, photos or artwork included on the submission may not be from another publication or from the Internet; use only the photos provided to you. These guidelines are in place to ensure equity among contestants and adherence to copyright laws. If judges feel images are obtained in a way that violates the spirit of these rules, the entry will be disqualified.

Do not add your own stories or miscellaneous information. Contestants should write headlines and use fill text for captions. Only the placement, size and font selection for those elements will be judged. Students are encouraged to include design special effects. There are no font specifications; use what you have available.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Clean layout; evidence of ability to distinguish importance of stories and photos and to position them accordingly; a focal point; effective display of nameplate with full information; copy blocks, headlines, caption blocks and photos placed effectively; proper selection, cropping and scaling of photos; usage of appropriate headline sizes; consistent use of styles throughout; creative graphics.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and materials

Preparing layout entries

Contest category 11

PRESS LAW AND ETHICS

11: PRESS LAW AND ETHICS

MATERIALS PROVIDED BY JEA

Test sheet

MATERIALS WHICH CONTESTANT MUST PROVIDE

Computer, internet access

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Students enter as individuals and take a test that assesses their knowledge and understanding of scholastic press law and ethics. This contest will consist of an essay prompt. 

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Judges will look for a comprehensive understanding of media law and ethics as they apply to the scholastic media. They will also evaluate the contestants’ ability to apply the law and Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics to situations.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and materials

Contest categories 12-18

YEARBOOK CONTESTS

All yearbook contests are for individuals only.

MATERIALS PROVIDED BY JEA

Fact/assignment sheet.

MATERIALS WHICH CONTESTANT MUST PROVIDE

Contests 12-15: Computer, internet access

Contests 16-18: Prepare materials before the convention and upload a PDF to the NSMC website. Instructions and rules appear on the contest prompt and materials, which are available on the day NSMC registration opens (see Helpful Links below).

12: YEARBOOK COPY/CAPTION: SPORTS

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will receive a prompt that includes story facts and quotes as well as two photos and photo information. Use any word processing program you would like to write a primary headline, secondary headline/deck head, copy block of no more than 200 words and two captions.You will not be allowed to add additional facts or make up quotes although you may describe as if you were there. You may not change any of the information provided to you on the fact sheet. There is no limit on the caption length. Information for captions and copy may be used as you see fit in either the story or captions. The entry must be uploaded to the NSMC contest system as a PDF.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Good judgment in fact and quote selections; well-written active-verb copy that appeals to the reader; interesting lead; quotations used correctly and effectively; colorful details; good use of transitions; avoids cliche; original angle, focus; headline intriguing and inviting, reflects the dominant photo and directs reader to the story; minimum two-sentence captions state more than the obvious, are varied in beginnings and add to the body of reader knowledge; correct AP style; contains few convention errors.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and materials

13: YEARBOOK COPY/CAPTIONS: ACADEMICS

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will receive a prompt that includes story facts and quotes as well as two photos and photo information. Use any word processing program you would like to write a primary headline, secondary headline/deck head, copy block of no more than 200 words and two captions.You will not be allowed to add additional facts or make up quotes although you may describe as if you were there. You may not change any of the information provided to you on the fact sheet. There is no limit on the caption length. Information for captions and copy may be used as you see fit in either the story or captions. The entry must be uploaded to the NSMC contest system as a PDF.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Good judgment in fact and quote selections; well-written active-verb copy that appeals to the reader; interesting lead; quotations used correctly and effectively; colorful details; good use of transitions; avoids cliche; original angle, focus; headline intriguing and inviting, reflects the dominant photo and directs reader to the story ; minimum two-sentence captions state more than the obvious, are varied in beginnings and add to the body of reader knowledge; knowledge of AP style; contains few convention errors.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and materials

14: YEARBOOK COPY/CAPTIONS: CLUBS

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will receive a prompt that includes story facts and quotes as well as two photos and photo information. Use any word processing program you would like to write a primary headline, secondary headline/deck head, copy block of no more than 200 words and two captions.You will not be allowed to add additional facts or make up quotes although you may describe as if you were there. You may not change any of the information provided to you on the fact sheet. There is no limit on the caption length. Information for captions and copy may be used as you see fit in either the story or captions. The entry must be uploaded to the NSMC contest system as a PDF.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Good judgment in fact and quote selections; well-written active-verb copy that appeals to the reader; interesting lead; quotations used correctly and effectively; colorful details; good use of transitions; avoids cliche; original angle, focus; headline intriguing and inviting, reflects the dominant photo and directs reader to the story; minimum two-sentence captions state more than the obvious, are varied in beginnings and add to the body of reader knowledge; knowledge of AP style; contains few convention errors.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and materials

15: YEARBOOK COPY/CAPTION: STUDENT LIFE

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will receive a prompt that includes story facts and quotes as well as two photos and photo information. Use any word processing program you would like to write a primary headline, secondary headline/deck head, copy block of no more than 200 words and two captions.You will not be allowed to add additional facts or make up quotes although you may describe as if you were there. You may not change any of the information provided to you on the fact sheet. There is no limit on the caption length. Information for captions and copy may be used as you see fit in either the story or captions. The entry must be uploaded to the NSMC contest system as a PDF.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Good judgment in fact and quote selections; well-written active-verb copy that appeals to the reader; interesting lead; quotations used correctly and effectively; colorful details; good use of transitions; avoids cliche; original angle, focus; headline intriguing and inviting, reflects the dominant photo and directs reader to the story; minimum two-sentence captions state more than the obvious, are varied in beginnings and add to the body of reader knowledge; knowledge of AP style; contains few convention errors.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and materials

16: YEARBOOK LAYOUT: THEME

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Prepare materials and upload a PDF to the NSMC website by the posted deadline. Instructions and rules appear on the contest prompt which is available the day NSMC registration opens (see Helpful Links below). With software available to you, design a Division Page (one double-page layout) according to the directions given to you from the JEA website. The directions and contest material, including downloadable photos will be available the day NSMC registration opens at jea.org/contests. Be careful that you are not downloading the material for the prior convention.

Using the material provided, you will create a layout including pictures, caption blocks, headline and copy block(s). You are not required to write headlines, copy or captions, but use dummy (fill) copy for those with your choice of fonts and point sizes that guide the reader through the spread. You may select as many photos as you wish.

Use graphics that add to the design and that follow current trends. You will need to plan and edit, using fill text as you wish. No photos other than the ones provided may be used. These guidelines are in place to ensure equity among contestants and adherence to copyright laws. If judges feel images are obtained in a way that violates the spirit of these rules, the entry will be disqualified.

Decide your own column or grid format, and create folios and page numbers for your spread. Spread may be designed in color or black and white. Include spot color if you wish.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Adhering to instructions, designed as a double-page theme spread; impact of photos; adhering to design rules; using dominant photo; effective positioning of headlines, copy and captions; using current design trends; using point sizes for copy, headlines and captions that indicate visual hierarchy and guide reader through page; effectively balancing photos and copy; using creative graphics; effective cropping of photos; including essential layout elements such as page numbers and folio design.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and materials

Preparing layout entries

17: YEARBOOK LAYOUT: INSIDE PAGES

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Prepare materials and upload a PDF to the NSMC website by the posted deadline. Instructions and rules appear on the contest prompt which is available the day NSMC registration opens (see Helpful Links below). With software available to you, design one double-page spread for a specified section of the yearbook. The directions and contest material, including downloadable photos, will be available the day NSMC registration opens at jea.org/contests. Be careful that you are not downloading the material for the prior convention.

Using only the material provided, create a layout including pictures, caption blocks, headline and copy block(s). You are not required to write headlines, copy or captions, but use dummy (fill) copy for that with your choice of fonts and point sizes that guide the reader through the spread. You may select as many photos as you wish. No photos other than the ones provided may be used.

Use graphics that add to the design and that follow current trends. You will need to plan and edit stories for use, using fill text as you wish. Any graphics or artwork included on the submission may not be from another publication or from the Internet; this includes clip art or images even if you have manipulated the original images into something new. Any artwork added to the page must be of your own creation either through drawing or manipulation of the images provided. These guidelines are in place to ensure equity among contestants and adherence to copyright laws. If judges feel images are obtained in a way that violates the spirit of these rules, the entry will be disqualified.

Decide your own column or grid format, and create folios and page numbers for your spread. Spread may be designed in color or black and white. Include spot color if you wish.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Adhering to instructions; designed as a double-page spread, using a dominant photo; effective positioning of headlines, copy blocks, and captions; using current design trends; adhering to design rules; using effective fonts and point sizes for copy, headlines and captions; adhering to visual hierarchy and guiding reader through the spread; effectively balancing photos and copy blocks; using graphics that add to design; effective cropping of photos; including essential layout elements such as page numbers and folio design.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and materials

Preparing layout entries

18: YEARBOOK COVER/ENDSHEETS

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Prepare materials and upload a PDF to the NSMC website by the posted deadline. Instructions and rules appear on the contest prompt which are available the day NSMC registration opens (see Helpful Links below). With software available to you, design a front and back cover and 1-inch-wide spine and front endsheets for a yearbook, relating to the theme provided on the prompt. The directions and contest material, including downloadable photos, will be available the day NSMC registration opens at jea.org/contests. Be careful that you are not downloading the material for the prior convention.

You also will design front endsheets on which you will depict the theme in some way. This may be done by creating a table of contents with spin-off titles from the theme for each section of the book or in any way that enhances or evokes the theme.

Any graphics or artwork added to the page must be of your own creation either through drawing or manipulation of the images provided. These guidelines are in place to ensure equity among contestants and adherence to copyright laws. If judges feel images are obtained in a way that violates the spirit of these rules, the entry will be disqualified.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Cover and endsheets reflect visual and verbal representation of the theme; design conveys theme; spine includes school name, city and state, volume, year, publication name; cover includes theme, publication name, year; instructions and rules followed, graphics add to theme, effective cropping of photos (if used); creative and visually attractive.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and materials

Preparing layout entries

Contest categories 19-22

LITERARY MAGAZINE CONTESTS

All literary magazine contests are for individuals only.

MATERIALS PROVIDED BY JEA

Fact sheet, assignment sheet

MATERIALS WHICH CONTESTANT MUST PROVIDE

Contest 19: Computer, internet. Students need to upload a PDF as spreads to the JEA website. Instructions and rules appear on the contest sheets which are available at www.jea.org/contests on the day NSMC registration opens.

Contest 20: Computer, internet. Students need to create their poem in a word-processing program and upload their entry as a PDF to the NSMC website. 

Contest 21: Scanner and computer for uploading. Plain 8.5-by-11-inch paper, scratch paper, eraser, correction fluid, any art supplies including but not limited to pens, charcoal, markers or pencils. Color or black and white is fine. 

Contest 22: Camera and computer for uploading.

19: LITERARY MAGAZINE: LAYOUT

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Prepare materials and upload a PDF to the NSMC website by the posted deadline. Instructions and rules appear on the contest prompt which is available the day NSMC registration opens (see Helpful Links below). 

With software available to you, design one double-page layout for a literary magazine. The directions and material,  including downloadable art will be available the day NSMC registration opens at jea.org/contests. Be careful that you are not downloading the material for the prior convention.

You may select from the photos, art, poetry and/or prose available. Do not change the photos or artwork in any way except for sizing or the poetry format as presented by the writer. You may use any fonts that you have available in any effective size.

Any use of graphics should add to the design and follow current trends. Any graphics or artwork included on the submission must come from the images provided on the NSMC website. These guidelines are in place to ensure equity among contestants and adherence to copyright laws. If judges feel images are obtained in a way that violates the spirit of these rules, the entry will be disqualified.

Decide your own column or grid format, and create folios and page numbers for your spread. Spread may be designed in color or black and white. Include spot color if you wish.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Clean layout and design relating to selected copy; impact, action or emotion in design; instructions adhered to; positioning of copy, title, art, photos and captions in relation to each other; use of current graphic trends.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and materials

Preparing layout entries

20: LITERARY MAGAZINE: POETRY

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will be given a general theme on the contest prompt sheet. Using that theme, use any word processing program to type an original poem of six to 28 lines for a literary magazine. Title your poem and clearly indicate your lines through indentation and use of margins. You are to exhibit your understanding of poetry, its conventions, punctuation and potential to create a setting, convey a tone, connect to feelings and to delve beyond the surface. The entry needs to be uploaded to the NSMC website as a PDF.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Originality and creativity in developing theme, concise writing and word choice. Judges will consider use of concrete language, figurative language and imagery; the use of literary devices (simile, metaphor, repetition); cadence; verb tense; and development of tone and mood to create an emotional impact. Few convention errors.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and downloads

21: LITERARY MAGAZINE: ILLUSTRATION

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will prepare a piece of art to accompany a poem, for a literary magazine according to the instructions on the prompt sheet. You may use any medium you choose, including, but not limited to, pencil, pen, charcoal, markers, pastels, watercolors, etc. You may use color or black and white. Your art should be prepared as if in its final form, ready for the printer. Size of art and place in relation to the copy should be considered and written on the final copy. Also, make a note on your page for the judges indicating the medium you used in case it is not apparent from the scanned copy. The final drawing should be scanned and uploaded as a PDF.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Adaptation of the art to the copy; originality in interpretation that captures the spirit of the poem prompt. Students will exhibit their control of the medium, design and artistic techniques. The work is a simple, accurate design to illustrate the context of the copy.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and downloads

22: LITERARY MAGAZINE: PHOTOGRAPHY

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will shoot a photograph to accompany the poem provided in the prompt, for a literary magazine according to the instructions. The photo can be either vertical or horizontal. Entries will be uploaded for judging. No editing of the image will be allowed, so capture a proper exposure and the crop you need when you take the picture. The entry should be a single file, JPEG (no RAW files) and able to view through any standard image browsing program.

The photographer’s name must be included in the Author field. (For example: In Adobe Photoshop, go to File > File Info.) Contestants will need to make sure their camera is set to the proper local time and date. Images that do not show a timestamp from Sept. 14 through Oct. 19, 2020, will not be considered for an award.

Because this contest focuses on the photographic ability of the student, please use standard lenses and filters. Creative filters or specialty lenses are prohibited. Photos must be taken with a traditional camera, not a cellphone.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Photos that demonstrate original interpretation; photograph is framed in an interesting and visually striking way; photograph demonstrates good use of composition techniques and lighting to effectively communicate the interpretation of the poem; photograph offers effective contrast, depth of field and tone; the subject is not cliche. The work is a simple, accurate design to illustrate the context of the copy. The photograph will be judged based on both the subject composition and technical quality.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and downloads

Contest categories 23-26

GRAPHIC DESIGN CONTESTS

MATERIALS PROVIDED BY JEA

Fact sheet, photos, clip art, miscellaneous images

MATERIALS WHICH CONTESTANT MUST PROVIDE

Students need to upload a PDF to the NSMC website. Prepare materials before the convention and upload a PDF to the JEA website. Instructions and rules appear on the contest prompt and materials, which are available on the day NSMC registration opens (see Helpful Links below).

REQUIREMENTS

All designs should fit on an 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheet of paper. 

23: GRAPHIC DESIGN: LOGO

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will be designing one logo that you will submit in full color and grayscale for an event, business, club or organization based on a fact sheet provided to you. A logo traditionally combines art with text. With software available to you, design the logo based only on the information provided on the contest sheet. You do not need to use all the information provided. Remember, you are designing just a logo, not an advertisement. Prepare materials and upload a PDF to the NSMC website by the posted deadline.

Instructions and rules appear on the contest prompt and materials, which are available on the day NSMC registration opens at jea.org/contests. (see Helpful Links below)

Contestants may create or legally obtain any art, photos or graphics to use in the logo. Any images that are used that do not appear to follow copyright laws will be disqualified. If the judges believe the images were not obtained legally, contestants may be asked to provide documentation during the critique session. 

Students are encouraged to include design special effects. There are no font specifications; use what you have available.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Professional typographic details; fonts, photos and art work together well; creativity, originality and innovation; clean and well-executed work; logo clearly identifies a section, theme or story concept; follows current design trends.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and materials

Preparing layout entries

24: GRAPHIC DESIGN: INFOGRAPHICS

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will be designing one infographic to accompany a news story for a publication utilizing typography and/or art and graphics. An infographic provides additional information to the reader rather than just being a visual — a diagram, chart or map that conveys information pictorially (i.e. favorite music survey). Participants will be provided with a fact sheet and story notes to use in creating the infographic. No other outside facts/statistics may be used. Prepare materials and upload a PDF to the NSMC website by the posted deadline. Instructions and rules appear on the contest prompt and materials, which are available on the day NSMC registration opens at jea.org/contests (see Helpful Links below). Contestant entries may ONLY include images, photos and clip art provided with the contest material on the JEA website. NO OTHER IMAGES MAY BE USED. If the judges feel that the entry violates the spirit of this rule, it will be disqualified.

Students are encouraged to include design special effects. There are no font specifications; use what you have available.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Proper attribution for information. Makes a point visually using an appropriate format. Typography and artistic details fit topic or content. Follows current design trends.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and materials

Preparing layout entries

25: GRAPHIC DESIGN: ADVERTISING

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will be designing one 5- by-7-inch black-and-white or color ad. Participants will be provided with a prompt at jea.org/contests the day registration opens. Prepare materials and upload a PDF to the NSMC website by the posted deadline. Instructions and rules appear on the contest prompt and materials, which are available on the day NSMC registration opens (see Helpful Links below).

Contestants may create or legally obtain any art, photos or graphics to use in the advertisement. Any images that do not appear to follow copyright laws will be disqualified. If the judges believe the images were not obtained legally, contestants could risk disqualification. 

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Typography and artistic details fit the topic or content. Follows current design trends. Creative and imaginative concept. Considers what motivates the audience. Includes appropriate pitch, business, event or organizational identification. Design moves the reader’s eye through the ad.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and materials

Preparing layout entries

JEA Logo Graphic

26: GRAPHIC DESIGN: PHOTO ILLUSTRATION

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will be designing one black-and-white or color photo illustration. You will submit one photograph that has been manipulated through Photoshop or another photo manipulation program to accompany a story package for publication utilizing typography and/or art and graphics. 

Prepare materials and upload a PDF to the NSMC website. Instructions and rules appear on the contest prompt and materials, which are available on the day NSMC registration opens at jea.org/contests (see Helpful Links below).

Contestants must shoot and use their own photographs and then manipulate those images using desktop publishing software. No stock photos or other copyrighted images may be used in the photo illustration. All of the work must be completed by the contestant.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Follows current design trends. Visually communicates an idea. Shows originality and innovation. Shows creativity and artistic details. Clean and well-executed work. Sophisticated use of software.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and materials

Preparing layout entries

Contest categories 27-35

PHOTOGRAPHY CONTESTS

All photography contests are for individuals only. All critiques will be accessible online at the NSMC website after the awards list is released Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020.

MATERIALS PROVIDED BY JEA

none

MATERIALS WHICH CONTESTANT MUST PROVIDE

Online submission of photos that you have taken with a caption included in the Description field.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

  • All images must have been published in the scholastic media during this academic year (in print or online) or planned for publication during this academic year — except those in Themed Photo and Portfolio.
  • No image may have been entered in a previous JEA NSMC (formerly Write-off contest) — except those in Portfolio.
  • Pictures need not be cropped for competition in the same manner as they appeared or will appear in the publication.
  • Photos may be color (RGB) or black-and-white (grayscale) or a combination of color and black-and-white.
  • Note the number of photos required for each contest entry. If a contest requests three photos and the student does not upload three photos by the deadline, the entry will be disqualified.

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS

  • Photos must be no more than 5000 pixels in the long direction and saved as RGB (or grayscale), JPEG files. (For example: In Adobe Photoshop, adjust the photo's size under Image > Image Size.) The photo will not upload if it is too large.
    Captions must be included in the Description field. Photographer's name must be included in the Author field. (For example: In Adobe Photoshop, go to File > File Info.)
  • Full directions for online submission of photos are available online at NSMC: Preparing Photo Entries.

DO NOT

  • Do not mail the photographs.
  • Do not submit images in which the content has been significantly digitally altered. Such images should be entered in contest 26: Graphic Design – Photo Illustration. Photo illustrations are acceptable as part of a portfolio in contest 33: Portfolio.

27: THEMED PHOTO

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will submit ONE image related to a theme that will be released via social media, email distribution lists and online at jea.org one month prior to the submission deadline for entries. Photos taken before the theme is released may not be used in this contest and the metadata embedded in the image will be used should a question arise regarding when an image was taken.

Photo entered must not have been entered in a previous national JEA competition. The photograph should be taken by the entrant. A full caption should be included. Photos neither need be published in scholastic media nor considered for publication.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Imaginative subject matter; technical quality and excellence; photo composition; visual impact; simplicity; cropping; lighting. Quality of the caption may also be considered.

Theme for fall 2020 Orlando: Fun in the Sun.

HELPFUL LINKS

Preparing photo entries

28: SPORTS ACTION PHOTOGRAPHY

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will submit THREE action photos — one each from three sporting events.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Imaginative subject matter; technical quality and excellence; photo composition; visual impact; story told in each photograph; simplicity; cropping; and lighting. Judges also will look for a variety of sports-related images, not three similar images. Quality of the caption may also be considered.

HELPFUL LINKS

Preparing photo entries

29: SPORTS FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHY

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will submit THREE images related to sports, not including sports action images, including images outside the area of competition.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Imaginative subject matter; technical quality and excellence; photo composition; visual impact; story told in each photograph; simplicity; cropping; lighting. Judges will also look for a variety of images, not three similar images. Quality of the caption may also be considered.

HELPFUL LINKS

Preparing photo entries

30: FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHY

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will submit THREE feature images, typically found moments or slices of life — not sports. Pictorial images — images that show graphic and aesthetic qualities of a person or group with strong emphasis on composition — may also be entered here.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Imaginative subject matter, technical quality and excellence; photo composition; visual impact; story told in each photograph; simplicity; cropping; lighting. Judges also will look for a variety of images, not three similar images. This can include any aspect of student life. Quality of caption may also be considered.

HELPFUL LINKS

Preparing photo entries

31: GENERAL OR SPOT NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will submit ONE news image — not sports. Includes coverage of events for which no advance planning was possible. Examples include, but are not limited to, accidents, fires and natural disasters. Also includes coverage of planned events when advanced planning was possible. Examples include, but are not limited to, speakers on campus, news conferences, mock exercises and campaigns.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Imaginative subject matter, technical quality and excellence; photo composition; visual impact; story told in each photograph; simplicity; cropping; and lighting. Quality of caption may also be considered.

HELPFUL LINKS

Preparing photo entries

32: PHOTO STORY

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will submit THREE, FOUR OR FIVE of your photographs related to a common theme and should visually tell a story.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Imaginative subject matter; technical quality and excellence; photo composition; visual impact; story told in each photograph as well as in the package of images; simplicity; cropping; lighting. Upload each image separately. Quality of caption for each individual image also may be considered.

HELPFUL LINKS

Preparing photo entries

33: PORTFOLIO

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

This is a contest for expert high school photographers. It is designed to help photographers, generally graduating seniors, prepare for scholarship applications, internship applications or job interviews by giving them the opportunity to prepare a portfolio and to have it critiqued by a professional. Students should submit a MINIMUM OF FIVE images and a MAXIMUM OF EIGHT images that reflect their abilities as a photojournalist. A student may enter the portfolio contest only once during his/her high school career. Captions for images in this competition may be a simple title but may also be full journalistic captions.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Strong, clear message within a variety of assignments; creativity; technical quality; photo composition; visual impact; simplicity; effective cropping; lighting. Quality of the caption may also be considered as will presentation of the entire portfolio.

HELPFUL LINKS

Preparing photo entries

34: PORTRAIT PHOTO

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

You will submit ONE portrait photograph, either a formal portrait or an environmental portrait.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Imaginative subject matter; technical quality and excellence; photo composition; visual impact; simplicity; cropping; lighting. The caption, although required, need be nothing more than the name of the individual in the photograph with some identifying characteristics such as grade, major, sport or activity. Students should NOT enter mug shots, sometimes called head shots, but students may enter portraits taken in a studio.

HELPFUL LINKS

Preparing photo entries

35. FIRST-YEAR PHOTO

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Only students in their first year of any journalism, photojournalism or media class (or in their first year on a media staff if the campus does not offer such classes) are eligible for this competition.

Contestant will submit ONE photograph taken by the entrant of any subject matter. A full caption should be included.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Imaginative subject matter; technical quality and excellence; photo composition; visual impact; simplicity; cropping; lighting. Quality of the caption may also be considered.

HELPFUL LINKS

Preparing photo entries

Contest categories 36-46

MULTIMEDIA BROADCAST CONTESTS

Check each contest to see if it is for an individual or if a team entry is allowed.

NOTE: By submitting a student’s work, the adviser confirms that it is the work of the student entered and has not been entered in a previous JEA NSMC (formerly Write-off) competition. 

In broadcast contests, students must provide documentation that all audio, video and photographic material submitted belongs to the school submitting the work. Upon upload, students should provide proof that written permission has been granted from the copyright holder to use the material. This can be done by emailing the broadcast coordinator proof of subscription, purchase or contract with your entry. Royalty free music and self-produced music is permitted, as long as the student indicates the website and/or license agreement for the music. Failure to do so will result in no award and disqualification. The NSMC broadcast coordinator will Shazam every video with music to check copyright material.

*If your story uses music you must include the song title and provide a link to the song in the description below your YouTube or Vimeo video.  

(example: Big Horns Intro by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/music)

MATERIALS PROVIDED BY JEA

Varies with contest. Please read individual contest requirements.

MATERIALS WHICH CONTESTANT MUST PROVIDE

This varies with the contest. Please read individual contest requirements.

REQUIREMENTS

The following applies to all broadcast contests.

  • The following applies to all broadcast contests.
  • Do not include your school name on your video title, nor in the description on the video players (like YouTube or Vimeo). (Exception: broadcast categories where names of contestants may be used. Online News Package is also exempt.)
  • Entries must not have been submitted in any previous JEA contest.
  • Contestants cannot consult with advisers or students other than their teammate regarding the contest entry.
  • All entries must be submitted in advance of the convention. Visit the link below for directions for submitting video:

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ONLINE SUBMISSION OF VIDEOS

36: BROADCAST NEWS STORY

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

*Entries will be submitted online before the convention (see Broadcast submission guide).

Students enter as individuals or in pairs (reporter and camera operator). Total Running Time (TRT) 1:30 to 2:00 minutes. A package is a prerecorded news story containing (usually) a reporter’s voice-over, videotaped shots and sound bites. The story must have been broadcast at school or in the community from April of this calendar year for the fall convention and during this school year for the spring convention and may include an introduction or outro (tag) done by an anchor but it, too, must have been broadcast.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

A news story shows a clear reliance on the news values of timeliness, proximity, conflict, impact and prominence.

Adherence to broadcast style (short sentences, present tense, conversational, clear). Contains all the necessary information and exhibits news judgment. Video sound bites are well-shot close-ups, relevant and interesting. A variety of shots are used and are steady and in focus. Editing is free of glitches and jump cuts, and natural sound is used effectively. Overall, the script and video complement each other, telling the story in an interesting and informative manner. The voice-over is effective and delivered with clarity. Time limit is met + or – 3 seconds.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ONLINE SUBMISSION OF VIDEOS

37: BROADCAST SPORTS STORY

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

*Entries will be submitted online before the convention (see Broadcast submission guide).

Students enter as individuals or in pairs (reporter and camera operator). Total Running Time (TRT) 1:30 to 4:00 minutes. A package is a prerecorded sports story containing a reporter’s voice-over, videotaped shots and sound bites. The story must have been broadcast at school or in the community from April of this calendar year for the fall convention and during this school year for the spring convention. It may include an introduction or outro (tag) done by an anchor but it, too, must have been broadcast.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Broadcast sports stories may be focused on a news event and be timely stories that address serious topics related to athletics. For example, these may include investigative reports about facilities, drug use, injuries, budgets, scholarships, rules and regulations, etc. Or, the story may be a feature that covers sports-related people, art or culture. This may include profiles, reviews or other sports stories related to community events, figures or places.

Adherence to broadcast style (short sentences, present tense, conversational, clear). Contains all the necessary information and provides a new perspective. Video sound bites are well shot close-ups, relevant and interesting. A variety of shots are used, steady and in focus. Editing is free of glitches and jump cuts, and natural sound is used effectively. Overall, the script and video complement each other, telling the story in an interesting and informative manner. The voice-over is effective and delivered with liveliness and clarity. Time limit is met + or – 3 seconds.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ONLINE SUBMISSION OF VIDEOS

38: BROADCAST FEATURE STORY

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

*Entries will be submitted online before the convention (see Broadcast submission guide).

Students enter as individuals or in pairs (reporter and camera operator). Total Running Time (TRT) 1:30 to 4:00 minutes. A package is a prerecorded story containing a reporter’s voice-over, videotaped shots and sound bites. The story must have been broadcast at school or in the community from April of this calendar year for the fall convention. It may include an introduction or outro (tag) done by an anchor but it, too, must have been broadcast.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

A broadcast feature story is one that covers people, art or culture. This may include profiles, reviews or other stories related to community events, figures or places.

Adherence to broadcast style (short sentences, present tense, conversational, clear). Contains all the necessary information and provides a new perspective. Video sound bites are well shot close-ups, relevant and interesting. A variety of shots are used, steady and in focus. Editing is free of glitches and jump cuts, and natural sound is used effectively. Overall, the script and video complement each other, telling the story in an interesting and informative manner. The voice-over is effective and delivered with liveliness and clarity. Time limit is met + or – 3 seconds.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ONLINE SUBMISSION OF VIDEOS

39: BROADCAST COMMERCIAL/PSA

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

*Entries will be submitted online before the convention (see Broadcast submission guide).

Students enter as individuals or in pairs (writer and sound/video editor). Total Running Time (TRT) must be exactly 30 seconds or 1 minute. The piece entered must be produced for school announcements or TV programs. Commercials should publicize school events, activities and social functions. PSAs should attempt to shed light on an issue or situation of importance to teens. Any commercial or PSA scripted and produced by radio or TV students is eligible if it has been broadcast at school or in the community from April of this calendar year for the fall convention.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

A strong overall impact is critical. Judges will watch for solid videography; editing, audio, graphics/effects and pacing will all be considered. Content material should be accurate and appropriate to the message being delivered. Entries must not exceed either the 30- or 60-second maximum length.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ONLINE SUBMISSION OF VIDEOS

40: VIDEOGRAPHY

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Individual entries only. Total Running Time (TRT) 1:30-2:00 minutes. When contest registration opens, students will receive a theme for the contest. Contestants must shoot a video essay addressing some aspect of the topic. No interviews may be included.This is a story told by video and natural sounds ONLY — no music tracks, including recording someone singing as anything more than a short clip of NAT sound. NO MUSIC TRACKS SHOULD BE USED.

The topic for this contest will be over a broad topic. It is up to each entrant individually to decide the way in which they present the topic. Use of any stock footage or earlier recorded footage is not permitted.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

The judges will evaluate overall videography skills displayed including but not limited to creative angles, sequences, use of proper technique, ability to utilize natural sound, development of a story line addressing the general topic and the overall impact of the piece. Time limit is met + or – 3 seconds.

Theme for fall 2020 Orlando: A Walk in the Park.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ONLINE SUBMISSION OF VIDEOS

41: SHORT DOCUMENTARY

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

*Entries will be submitted online before the convention (see Broadcast submission guide).

**Audio-only entries must be submitted as a video file (see Broadcast submission guide).

Students enter as individuals or in pairs. TRT is 4:00 to 8:00 minutes. The short documentary (radio or television) offers contestants a challenge to select a complex topic of interest to students that demands research.

This long-format news story should cover complicated topics that are serious in tone, using a variety of techniques such as data analysis, longitudinal research, and interviews with a variety of experts and primary sources. The longer format allows the reporting team to explore multiple dimensions of the topic and provide nuanced coverage of the topic (think “Frontline” or “60 minutes”).

The short documentary presents facts that have been selected to illustrate a point. It may create argument, enhance understanding of the breadth of a topic or develop a desire to explore a topic more. Individuals selected should personalize the topic and provide perspective; through them, the subject becomes more relevant and interesting.

The story must have been broadcast/podcast at school or in the community from April of this calendar year for the fall convention.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

The topic merits the attention given to this longer piece The completed short documentary provides an understanding, perspective or insight into the chosen topic. A national or international subject has been given a local angle; a local story has been placed in perspective with attention to historic, political, social and cultural perspectives. Judges expect the short documentary to be factual, accurate and informative.

The opening quickly draws the listener/viewer into the story. It reaches an identifiable and appropriate ending. The storytelling is organized, written for the ear and sustains viewer/listener interest. Viewers/listeners are presented with multiple perspectives. Sufficient information is provided for the listener/viewers to arrive at their own conclusions, to agree or disagree with the short documentary’s perspective or to inspire further exploration.

Artistic reenactment and representational video are clearly labeled. If archival footage has been used, credit is given at the end of the story. Permission to use copyrighted music, video and audio is clearly indicated in the credits.

The television short documentary includes a variety of shots (long, medium close and close-up). Natural sound is used to establish setting, to convey popular culture, to portray societal conditions or to set tone. Audio levels are acceptable and consistent throughout. Lighting is used effectively. Time limit is met + or – 3 seconds.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ONLINE SUBMISSION OF VIDEOS

42: VIDEO PACKAGE EDITING

MATERIALS PROVIDED BY JEA

Raw video and material

MATERIALS WHICH CONTESTANT MUST PROVIDE

All hardware and software required for video editing.

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Individual entries only. Students entering this contest will be evaluated on their ability to edit video and audio in their creation of a news package. JEA will provide a collection of video/audio clips for contestants to choose from. Clips will include interviews and b-roll. Contestants will download all of the clips, choose the one(s) they intend to use in their final product, and edit using their own school’s equipment and software.

Final package TRT is to be 1:30. Entries outside +/- 3 seconds of the required 1:30 will be disqualified.

Once the clips are downloaded the student is not to receive advice or assistance on the package from friends or advisers. The addition of video not provided by JEA is not permitted.

Name keys or lower thirds may be added using your school’s standard graphics. Names may be made up if they are not provided in the material.

WHAT JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR:

Judges will look for student’s ability to edit the provided clips and interviews into the most informative and effective package. An attention grabbing establishing shot, quality transitions, and use of b-roll to support claims being made in the interviews used will be important.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and downloads

43: ONLINE NEWS PACKAGE

MATERIALS WHICH CONTESTANT MUST HAVE

All necessary hardware/software for producing a multimedia package (i.e. computers, power cords, cameras, memory cards, memory card readers, video cameras, digital recorders, power strip, microphones, tripods, all editing equipment, wireless card for laptop)

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Students enter as individuals or in a team of no more than three students. Students will create a multimedia news package and post it to their own school’s news website. Only students may post material and should have knowledge and appropriate passwords to do so. Students will be provided with a general topic (will be released Sept. 14, 2020). After that, they need to write copy, shoot photos and create other multimedia material by the Oct. 19 deadline or sooner. Contestants must do all the posting, and the content will be posted to the school's media website. No outside help is permissible. Only students entered in the contest can provide content. Students must create all content for the package. Students will type the URL into a document and upload it as a PDF to the jea.org/contests website. 

  • Zoom/virtual interviews are acceptable.
  • Masks must be worn on screen during any in-person filming.
  • Maintain 6-foot distance rule.
  • Your own safety is priority.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Judges will look for a comprehensive online news package that includes a main story, photos, video and/or audio (no more than 2:00 minutes long total) and at least one additional layer of coverage that might include a sidebar, links to related resources, interactive reader feature, etc. Students should make use of social media for the post as well.

Package should be visually pleasing. Copy should be organized for online presentation and be relevant to students at the contestant’s schools. Video and audio used in the package stay on topic and enhance the story content.

Material should be clearly accessible and easy to navigate. All items in the package should adhere to ethical standards and journalistic style.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and downloads

45: BROADCAST NEWSWRITING

MATERIALS WHICH CONTESTANT MUST PROVIDE

Paper, pen or pencil, timing device.

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Individual entries only. Total Running Time (TRT) 90 seconds. Each contestant will receive news copy to rewrite into broadcast style. The contestant will turn in a typed script, uploaded as a PDF to the NSMC system, that judges will evaluate by reading aloud. Timing is crucial. Begin with an introduction, such as, “I’m Lauren Green, and this is your morning news update.” Finish with some sort of closing, such as, “That’s a brief look at news. I’m Lauren Green reporting.” (Contestants may use whatever sign off they feel best fits the piece). 

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Judges will look for accuracy, balance, news style, an interesting lead, transitions between points, paraphrases, an effective closing, correct grammar and overall structure. Since judges will read the scripts aloud, participants are encouraged to time their scripts before turning in their final entries. Scripts should be well timed and neatly written in broadcast style. Time limit is met + or – 3 seconds.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and downloads

46: BROADCAST PACKAGE

MATERIALS PROVIDED BY JEA

Package topic or theme

MATERIALS WHICH CONTESTANT MUST PROVIDE

Editing equipment, extension cords, camera, microphone, tripod

NATURE OF THE CONTEST

Students enter in pairs (reporter and camera operator) as a team. Total Running Time (TRT) 1:30 minutes. Students will edit on their own digital system. 

Students will be provided with a general topic (will be released Sept. 14, 2020). After that, they need to shoot, edit and upload a final video package by the Oct. 19 deadline or sooner. Contestants must do all the planning, filming and editing, with no outside help from the adviser or other students.

  • Zoom/virtual interviews are acceptable.
  • Masks must be worn on screen during any in-person filming.
  • Maintain 6-foot distance rule.
  • Your own safety is priority.

WHAT THE JUDGES WILL LOOK FOR

Judges in this event will carefully study the development of a storyline, pacing, transitional elements, sound editing techniques appropriate for a news story, use of video and audio for impact and segments which stay on topic. Time limit is met + or – 3 seconds.

HELPFUL LINKS

Contest prompts and downloads

Password Reset
Please enter your email address and press [Return] or [Enter]. You will receive a new password via e-mail.

If you don't receive it within a few minutes, please call (785-532-5532) or email us (staff@jea.org), and we'll be happy to assist you.