CICM Contest Partial Results

Photo by Flickr user <a href=””>cole24</a&gt; used with Creative Commons permission.

Below are the results from most of the categories in the 2nd CICM contest. We had 30 schools enter, and some impressive entries to boot. There are still a couple of categories that are outstanding, and I will get those up as soon as possible.

There were also a few categories where we did not receive enough entries, as happened last year. I’ll write more about that in a later post.

Judges were allowed to choose as many winning entries as they wished, and they could provide comments or not. I would encourage everyone to read through the comments, because there is some good advice in there for college journalists.

Thanks to all who entered, and thanks to the judges who participated as well. And congratulations to the winners.


Best audio slideshow

1. Jillian Sloan, Cronkite Zine – Eyewitnesses to Violence: Comments: I love the experimental nature of this piece. It was the clear winner. The chances taken on the visual production, paid off. Emotional and visually striking, it takes your breath away. Outrageous content with a difficult subject matter. The cut-aways to the strong b-roll or supporting visuals was very well done.

2. Sarah Stapp, the Newhouse School Tough Choices, Tough Times: This is a very strong piece. It was straight forward, well presented with a clean design and above all, a great story. The images were FANTASTIC. The pictures were storytelling, composed well, with a great sense of light. The subject was very forthcoming and that usually comes from the reporter building a good rapport. Well done.

Best breaking news video

Overall comments: If my view of college life in America was only through these videos, I’d be convinced it consists of being boisterous and drunk out in the street in the middle of night with everybody else on campus until after the cops show up. My first-hand observation, however, suggests otherwise and certainly the students who created these breaking news video entries are working hard to learn to tell stories through video, and gain the experience, learning and skills necessary to be excellent journalists.

That said, the most common shortcoming running through these entries was the failure to effective use B-roll with interviews. All too often, the video is too much talking head, which is very hard to make compelling.

The key to breaking news video is being there and whether it was a 2 a.m. or an official press conference, these student journalists were there.

1. Franklin Street: The Celebration: Jarrard Cole, Andrew Dye, Zach Evans, Andrew Johnson, Nicolas Mendler, the Daily Tar Heel, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Extremely well done piece that told the story without one interview or voiceover. It didn’t need them. Outstanding journalism.

2. TV2 News College Fest Special Report – TV2 News – Kent State: Package included a very professionally done extended TV report on a block party turned riotous turned police action. In addition to the main video, it included several raw videos as well. Various points of view were presented, including students, police, fire department, university president, and neighbor.

The TV report, obviously, was a traditional broadcast TV style report for the channel TV2 and wasn’t done in the what I would call “Web style,” which tends not focus on on-screen reporters. I believe TV style video and Web style video are diverging. However, this category is “breaking new video” and this Kent State entry is very strong.

3. Elon charges Palin protestor with disorderly conduct – Dan Rickershauser – Elon University: What do you do when there’s an event that everybody is covering, even thenational media? You find a different angle. This piece on an anti-Sarah Palin protestor at a rally in Burlington, N. C., shows both the protester’s view, the feeling of the crowd about his protest, and how law enforcement eventually had to intercede. It’s a microcosm view of the American political debate that occurred during the 2008 election and continues today in issues like health care reform.

Honorable mention. Slow Flow Lets Go; Jaythreeoh does his last show – Eric Drummond – Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT): Not breaking news in the terms of a fire or a riot, but the journalist only had once chance to get the story. There weren’t going to be two last days for radio announcer Jaythreeoh. Very nice interplay of video, interviews, music and still photos. Shows the emotion of how listeners and a DJ bond.

Best video package

1. Endicott/IBM, Wasim Ahmad and Bruce Strong, Syracuse University: Excellent video quality (composition, use of tripod, framing of interviews, visuals tell a compelling story) Excellent audio quality (levels good throughout, clear and clean) Excellent editing (not over-edited, didn’t distract viewer with bells and whistles, very nice sense of timing)

Overall, a very compelling story of a once booming town hurt by pollution and economic woes. Strong interviews with passionate people. Would have liked the reporter to make a stronger connection (cause/effect) between IBM and condition of the town. Story would have been strengthened using a dispassionate third party for credibility. I also question the use of music in news stories. Music has become standard in documentary narratives. However, it is this judge’s opinion that the use of music in a video news story can be manipulative.

Terrific story.


Best use of data

1. The Daily Tar Heel – Student Elections

2. Cronkite Zine – Project 28

3. Mason Votes

Honorable Mention – The Daily Tarheel – Election 08

Best use of mapping

1. Mustang Daily: Very well done, and a great way to actually bring students together on campus. Packs a good deal of information into a single screen.

2. Cronkite Zine: The border “fence” graphic/timeline really stands out for its inventiveness, and this piece helps provide broad context to a complicated issue.

3. OU Daily: Combining a map with video and other sources helps introduce the newest Sooners to students (and other fans).

Honorable mention: Cronkite Zine: Map shows how maquiladoras aren’t just operated by border companies, but by firms around the U.S.


Best interactive package

1.Tough Choices, Tough Times, Newhouse School: Amazing collection of stories about how the economic meltdown is affecting younger people. Nice way to include so many stories and voices from the community.

2. Reality of Sex, Cronkite Zine: Well designed, provocative multimedia package, including video montage, audio interviews and interactive quizzes to get viewer involved.

3. Eve Carson: One Year Later, the Daily Tar Heel: Deep package of material, including interactive timeline, audio slideshow, video and tons of stories to give background. Plus annotated Google Map with key locations.

Best interactive graphic

1. History of the Economy – Newhouse School, Syracuse University: This clean, deep graphic showcases lots of content in an excellently browsable package.

2. Data Visualization:Results from Tuesday’s Election – The Daily Eastern News: This project was an excellent example of using an open source data visualization tool Many Eyes to report in-depth and interactively on deadline.

3. Economic Stimulus 101 – Amherst Wire: This is a good package explaining a complicated issue interactively. I would liked to see more graphics and less video but overall the presentation was very clean and usable.

Best overall design

1 – Mustang Daily, Cal State-San Luis Obispo: A clean mix of content with unique web tools showcased prominently — from multimedia to social media to blogs to topic pages. This website is not a standard shovel-ware site, it clearly showcases the Mustang Daily’s unique strengths available only online.

2 – The Miami Hurricane: An excellent mix of high-impact typography, multimedia tools and social media engagement with the audience.

3. Oklahoma Daily: This is good clean and balanced design that showcases featured content well, without overwhelming the user.

HM – Tough Choices, Tough Times: An excellent stand-alone site that balances high-impact photography and videography with story text covering an important issue.


Best online workflow

1. Miami Hurricane – Well done. Of all the entries, this is the only one where it’s clear that steps have been eliminated in the online production cycle: “Instead of e-mailing that story to a copy editor, they post it to the website, saving it in drafts. The copy editor reviews it, then posts directly without having to contact a web editor or anyone else.”

2. The District – Savannah College of Art and Design – the entry gives no information on actual workflow. Rather, we’re told that “editors can publish from any device with an Internet connection.” That’s wonderful. But it doesn’t tell me about workflow. Are stories edited within the CMS? Is copy moved via email? via project-management software? How do editors track edits? Deadlines?

3. The Shorthorn – it’s unclear what the folks at Shorthorn think is unusual or particularly efficient about their workflow. At best, it seems to be standard or average in nature. At worst, it’s time-consuming and includes too many steps. The problem is that the entry doesn’t actually explain workflow. It tells me that a reporter “turns in” a story. It doesn’t tell me if that is done via email, through a CMS, or via some other system. Example: “The reporter turns in the story, the section editor edits, (the editor-in-chief looks over front-page stories), the copy desk reads through it once, it goes to the copy desk chief, then to the online and design editors who pull the story together with other graphic elements and multimedia.”

4. Daily Tar Heel – I’m at a loss. What is it about workflow at the Tarheel that is efficient? The entry describes a management system with multiple silos. There are three different desks. And the entry assures us that the MEO “make(s) sure there is coordination between the multimedia and online desks and the print desks.” But we’re not told of a single procedure that is aimed at producing that coordination. Nor does the entry mention – even in passing – how stories and content pieces are moved through the production cycle (email? in the CMS? through project-management software? Etc.?)

Best use of social networking sites

1. Daily Tar Heel – They’ve built a strong following on Facebook to highlight the student paper’s work. This is a wise use of resources, as in spreading their work around Youtube, Vimeo and Twitter. The main home page of the site does a good job of promoting social media prominently also.

2. The Miami Hurricane – The Hurricane is another site that masters a few of the core social media tools while also promoting them prominently on their website and cross-promoting on the social media sites.

3. Daily Eastern News – This is another example of a site trying new social media and committing to it to promote it prominently on their website.

Best community engagement

The Daily Tar Heel: “The Daily Tar Heel has a very comprehensive approach to community engagement relying on their website but also using their print paper to reinforce those online interactions. Their recently launched designs which included a candid YouTube video of reporters speaking to the community was a great example of engaging an audience in an authentic and meaningful way. While other site used some of the same social media tools, the Daily Tar packaged and presented their tools in the most accessible and immediate way.”

Best overall innovation

1. Photo Bricks – The Pendulum: This is an interesting and innovative new way to showcase your website’s content in a new format, while also giving your photo/graphic/multimedia staff’s work an added boost.

2. Newsroom Wiki: The Daily Tar Heel: Using a wiki to manage internal (and external) information in newsrooms is a concept slowly gaining ground. You’ve done a great job starting your staff out early on this concept and saved resources to manage all this information and make it accessible to your staff.

HM – Economic Stimulus 101, Amherst Wire: This is an excellent way to keep your audience engaged when offering them many experts’ insights on an difficult issue to dissect and explain succinctly. Caring about your audience and their time is critical in the digital age and the creators of this package understand that.

Best of show

Best breaking news package


I say that everybody could improve on their audio production values. Pretty poor audio all around. That said, it was an honor and pleasure to see the work of future journalists. They get it!

1. Daily Mustang – Southern Methodist University – Students Reflect on Election Day – : Wonderfully comprehensive package. Nice clean presentation, along with informative and professionally produced content. The small updates, like the status from the airport, where a nice touch. I also enjoyed the webcam interview. Way to work all the forms of technology to leverage your coverage. Overall, the best package hands down.

2. Samford Crimson – Sunday of Snow – : Short sweet and to the point, kinda like the snowfall. This was produced well and had some great moments. It’s often a piece that might get overlooked or done quickly. You can tell that time was taken to create an informative and fun piece. Despite it’s ‘soft’ news angle, it rises to the top because of it’s production value and nice video moments.

3. KentNewsNet – Kent State – TV2 News Special Report: Dramatic footage coupled with the reader submitted content created a compelling package. Another nice use of reader content, student accounts and leveraging technology to present the readers with varied and informative content.