Broadcast Journalist of the Year

NOTE: Each current CSMA member medium may sponsor ONE portfolio, by ONE student journalist. 

What is this?
This competition honors our best broadcast journalists by selecting the best portfolio of work from this school year. This contest differs from Best of Colorado individual broadcast contests, though such entries might be part of a broadcast portfolio. This contest honors broadcast journalism (whether part of stand-alone broadcast programming or part of the larger news media offering of a school, such as news websites) from the current school year that demonstrates broad excellence.

The designer who submits the top portfolio (accompanied by an optional reel) will be named the CSMA Broadcast Journalist of the Year. This award includes a $250 prize for the winner along with another $250 for the winner’s media program.

The online form for all entries in this competition is here. Please note that the entire form must be completed in one sitting — the system will not save partial forms. Sorry. Take a look ahead of time to be sure of what you need to gather before completing the entry form.

What is a portfolio?
Entrants should select at least five, with a maximum of 10, examples of their broadcast journalism work created during the current school year and share the links to the videos either in a Word document or on a website (a personal site, perhaps using WordPress.com free hosting).

The general purposes of a portfolio include helping attain scholarships and getting hired as a journalist, among other things. This specific portfolio is to demonstrate a broadcast journalist’s skills to best communicate information to specific audiences. You can check out our story on the 2017 contest, and find links to the top work. 

Though not required, we recommend entrants produce a reel for this contest, which will also benefit them in college admission and applying for professional positions. Here is an example of a website with a reel, produced by a professional broadcast journalist. And here is another reel example.

What will judges look for?
The following categories will be assessed based on quality, scope and impact. Taken together, the top entries should demonstrate:

  • Variety of broadcast journalism experiences.
  • Skilled and creative use of videography and editing for sequence.
  • Clear, clean and purposeful use of NAT sound and soundbites.
  • Clear and concise broadcast style writing for the ear.
  • Inquiring mind and investigative persistence.
  • Examination of conflict/ tension and human impact.
  • Courageous and responsible handling of issues.
  • Sustained and commendable work with school media. Impact of storytelling on the community

*Entries may not include copyrighted material, including audio, from another source without written permission directly from the copyright holder and proper attribution. Entries violating copyright will be disqualified.  

Quality — Does the material presented in this portfolio demonstrate superior quality of work in the category over a period of time?

Scope — Does the material presented in this portfolio demonstrate a wide range of quality work in the category over a period of time?

Impact —Does the material presented in this portfolio document the impact of this student’s journalistic work in the category over a period of time?

Along with the 5-10 examples included in the portfolio, a written explanation for each example chosen should be included. Written explanations should include why the student chose the example, what the student did to create the example, what the student learned while creating it, what the student might do differently in creating a similar piece in the future.” These written commentaries should be part of the website or included as a Word document upload when the student completes the online application form, which can be found here.

Who may enter?
Each current CSMA member medium may sponsor ONE portfolio, by ONE student journalist. Entrants may be of any grade, but must have been a staff member of at least one student medium at the school. The work in the portfolio must have been broadcast or publicly posted to qualify.

How do we enter?
Carefully gather links to specific examples of your best work since last August and label them clearly so the judges can connect your broadcast work with your written explanations. All entries must use the online application form – and then the portfolios/reels will be distributed to the judges by CSMA.

When is the deadline for submission?
Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. MT, April 15.

When do we get results?
Judging will be finished by May 15, and CSMA will announce the winner plus any runners-up or honorable mentions awarded by judges, during the last week of May. Award certificates will be mailed to schools that week. This contest is not a critique, so only general comments from the judges will be shared.

There are no enrollment classifications for this contest. All grades are eligible.

Top portfolios may also be shared through the CSMA social media, Flickr site. Pinterest site, and website following judging and notification of winners.

What if we have more questions?
Contact Elise Carlson at [email protected] or call 970.930.1877.

Past Winners
2022 – Benjamin Parris, Cherry Creek HS – See his portfolio here.
2021 – Benjamin Parris, Cherry Creek HS – See his portfolio here. Read judge Aaron Manfull’s comments here.
2020 – Bella Rulon, Eagle Valley HS – See her portfolio here. Read judge Aaron Manfull’s comments here.
2019 –  Anthony Miles, Rampart HS
2018 –  Nick Sangalis, Regis Jesuit HS
2017 –  Gannon Rushall, Mountain Vista HS
2016 – Patrick Arsenault, Rampart HS

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Broadcast Journalist of the Year