JACC broadens contest scope

The JACC Board of Directors this weekend adopted three new broadcast/new media mail-in contests for its annual competitions and eliminated or consolidated a number of other competitions. It also adopted a new policy to guide when new contests may be added or should be consolidated or eliminated; the policy sets up a regular review of contests to test their viability.

The changes will go into effect with the next state convention. Material currently being developed by student media staffs, or which have been produced in calendar 2006, will be eligible.

The three new broadcast/new media contests were designed to open JACC to campus radio and television programs, as well as capture the new media work of podcasts and videos that journalism staffs may be producing.

Added were On-Air Performance, Broadcast News Portfolio and PSA/Commercial. Three other proposals recommended earlier this year by a committing looking to expand broadcast offerings were not adopted at this time.

In addition to the three new contests, the board

  • Eliminated the Headline Writing on-the-spot competition from the convention
  • Renamed the on-the-spot Front Page Layout contest to News Judgment/Layout and reduced the number of possible contestants from four to two
  • Consolidated the mail-in Profile Feature and Sports Profile contests
  • Consolidated the mail-in News Feature and Sports Feature non-profile contests to Feature Story

  • Eliminated the Best Use of Photos and Graphics mail-in competition
  • Consolidated the mail-in Depth/News Series and Investigative News contests into one Enterprise News Story/Series contest
  • Renamed the Broadcast/Video Journalism to Broadcast News Story,
  • Renamed the mail-in Line Illustration contest to Illustration, and
  • Clarified wording in several other mail-in contests, including three magazine contests.

Minor tweaks in contest definitions were made in a number of categories.

Rules affecting the Pacesetter sweepstakes competition were changed to include Online Photo and Online General Excellence winners in calculating the award and opened the qualification for the award to those schools which win an Online General Excellence as well as those who win print publication General Excellence awards.

A new class of competitions that will affect how long students may continue to compete was added to accommodate the new broadcast/new media awards. Broadcast/New Media will be recognized with Publication, Writing, Photography, and Editing/Design. Students will be able to compete indefinitely until they win a first-through-fourth place award. After that they will have only two more years eligibility in that class of mail-in, on-the-spot and bring-in competitions. The existing Broadcast/Video News mail-in competition and the on-the-spot Broadcast News Writing competition will join the new contests in that class.

The new policy guiding adoption of new contests and consolidation or elimination of existing contests sets up a regular review process for all contests and criteria for flagging contests that may be under-utilized and establishes a process for determining when place-plus-honorable mention determinations should changed to unranked or “Meritorious” status and how such contests should affect the Pacesetter competition. It also establishes a regular procedure for members of the organization to propose new contests for consideration. New contests will automatically be assigned “Meritorious” status for their first two years of competitions.

Three proposed broadcast/new media contests were not adopted at this time. They include Entertainment Drama/Sitcom, Music Video and Political Commentary Animation. Definitions and criteria for the three new competitions will be available soon on the JACC web site.


5 responses to “JACC broadens contest scope

  1. I am not a big fan of losing the headline writing contest, nor am I a fan of only allowing two contestants for the layout contest. It seems like those schools who can field that many are being stopped because other schools can’t bring enough people. Why do the big schools have to suffer? No need to explain, I know there are more smaller schools than bigger schools and without the smaller schools, JACC would suffer.

    Also consolidating the mail-in Profile Feature and Sports Profile contests and the mail-in News Feature and Sports Feature non-profile contests to Feature is a bad idea. So 4 contests are now just one? A regular news feature and a sports feature are completely different and are written in different styles.

    I think adding more contests for new media is great, but how many schools do podcasting? And how many are going to do it in two years? Features however, those will still be around.

    One thing to look at as well is that normally the newspaper itself pays the JACC fees, yet now we have the radio and TV people entering contests on our dime. There seems to be a problem with that. Sure they all fall under the communications department, but each group gets an allotted amount of money and they sure aren’t going to chip in any money for fees, they get nothing from it expect an award every 6 months.

  2. Rich Cameron

    A couple of clarifications. The four feature contests were not reduced to one. They were reduced to two: News Feature (includes Sports Feature) and Profile Feature (inlcudes Sports Profile Feature).

    The inclusion of the broadcast/new media contests was a conscious decision to reach out to broadcast programs to encourage them to first get involved in JACC and then start their own similar organization. At the same time, we answer the needs of those schools who are getting into podcasting. If after two years the contests are a bust, the board will revisit them.

    I’ll have to let someone else answer the question on headline writing being eliminated as an on-the-spot contest.


  3. Thank you for the clarification. I still think there should be a sports feature/profile contest because it is a different genre all together. Again, the bigger schools who have an established sports department have to suffer at the hands of the smaller schools who don’t have established sports writers. Sure, it is the easiest to get rid of because they have the least entries. Only a guess on my part, but what else could it be?

    I am all about geting the broadcast programs involved, the one at our school is top notch and will only help us. But as for podcasting, out of the 70+ schools in JACC, was a poll taken to see how many do podcasting? Hell, as you have noted, most are having a hard time getting out their first issue. Podcasting is the last thing on their mind.

  4. Rich Cameron

    Again, to clarify, JACC did not add a podcast competition. It added broadcast/new media competitions where podcasting is just one possible entry format. While it may be true few student online pubilcations, radio stations or TV stations are producing podcasts as yet, the format was included as a forward-thinking measure as it is becoming more common in industry.

  5. SO, following the podcast logic —- being “forward thinking” —- does that mean JACC considers the practice of headline writing is becoming less common in the industry and no longer a required skill?

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