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Colorado Student Media Association


Colorado Student Media Association


Colorado Student Media Association


J-Day Best of Show – a quick competition for media with students attending the conference

Best of Show Entry Directions

Questions or issues: Contact Elise Carlson at [email protected] or call 970.930.1877.

Deadline for 2023: Sept. 8, 2023, at 10:00pm MT

Print News Publication Best of Show Criteria
Each print news publication represented at J-Day may enter one front page plus four (4) additional pages/spreads from any one issue either published thus far in the current school year, or to be published this semester (NOTE: this is a change from previous years, acknowledging the earlier date for J-Day and the reality that many schools have gone to a quarterly magazine). These may be single pages or spreads.

Yearbook Best of Show Criteria
Each yearbook represented at J-Day may enter three (3) photographs plus captions planned for inclusion in your current book. Once you have chosen the photos and captions, create a 3-page document and place one photo and one caption per page.

Video Program/Segment Best of Show Criteria
Each video/broadcast program represented at J-Day may enter one video broadcast (the length is up to you, but should contain news, sports or feature reporting) during the current school year.  Please note that the entry may be a complete program (for instance, a weekly news update) or a shorter video that either stands alone or that accompanies other online reporting.

Live Broadcast Best of Show Criteria
Each live broadcast program represented at J-Day may enter one live broadcast (the length is up to you, but it must be a true live broadcast and cannot be edited) thus far during the current school year.  Any content you have streamed or broadcast may be included here.

Podcast Best of Show Criteria
Each school represented at J-Day may enter one student-produced podcast published during the current school year. Your entry must be posted online (through your own website or some hosting service), and you simply share the link to that program in your entry on our contest site. Judging will focus on production values, presentation, and appeal to specific audiences.

Online News/Website Best of Show Criteria
Each website represented at J-Day may enter UP TO THREE URLs, representing online reporting thus far this school year. These may include the site as a whole, though that is NOT mandatory, plus social media platforms student journalists use to communicate with readers. An entry might consist of the program’s Facebook news feed, for instance, and nothing else. The entry might be the student website, all alone. Or it could include a combination, including a website, Instagram, and Twitter. The combination is up to each school.

Special Note for Online members of CSMA: The line between a video program and an online program is increasingly vague, and most experts would maintain that a website without a strong multimedia component is not really at the top of its game. Until we figure out how to categorize student media that include the entire range of possible online reporting, we ask that you simply contact Elise Carlson at [email protected] to ask for access to video competitions, on an ad hoc basis. Please do not wait until the very last moment to do this.

Stuff You Should Know

The J-Day Best of Show competition is completely online, with no paper or CD entries.

Best of Show is NOT a critique. The judges will simply holistically rank entries in each contest and enrollment category. We are using the official CHSAA enrollments for 2023-24. Judges will name first, second, third and honorable mentions, depending on number of entries in a category. You will NOT receive comments, and certificates will be first announced during J-Day. Each medium entered MUST be represented by at least one student at J-Day to compete.

How to Upload Your Best of Show Entries

Step 1: Make sure you have properly exported your entry as a PDF (newspaper and yearbook) or created a working link (url) for broadcast and website/social media. Be sure you have named your entry by school and media name.

Entries to the Best of Show competition must be submitted using BetterBNC Media Awards Platform. IMPORTANT: Only media with at least one student registered for J-Day may enter the Best of Show competition. Entries found to not represent student media represented at J-Day will be disqualified.

Below are directions for preparing and submitting entries. If you have questions, please contact Elise Carlson at 970.930.1877 or [email protected].

The deadline for all entries is Sept. 5 at 10:00pm MT

    1. Go to betterbnc.com.
    2. Click contestant login (upper left) or the appropriate Contestant Login button on the right side of the page.
    3. Select the appropriate contestant type:
      • Select Contestant Manager. NOTE: Once you have submitted 2 entries, you will receive an email validating your Contestant Manager account. DO NOT select Authorized Entrant.

Contestant Manager only

  1. Select the appropriate Contest (2023 CSMA J-Day Best of Show).
  2. Select the appropriate News Organization (this is usually your school name plus your media type, all in one line). If you do not find your school plus media type listed in the drop down, contact Elise Carlson immediately so this can be added.
  3. If you entered Best of Show last fall, your password is still good. If you forget your password, there is a button to click to reset your password.
  4. If your medium did NOT enter Best of Show recently, enter your temporary Password: bnc (all lower case), and click Login. When you first login, the system will prompt you to create a secure password and enter your contact information. If you forget your password, there is a button to click to reset your password. Problems? Your first step should be to fill in a HELP TICKET. CSMA pays BNC a lot of money to host our contests, and one reason is the customer support. Of course, feel free to email Elise Carlson at [email protected] if you have questions.
  5. On the Manage Entries page, click Submit Entry (left side).
  6. Select the appropriate Division (the only one is Best of Show).
  7. Select the appropriate Category (note that there are two options under Video).
  8. Complete the Headline/Title field.
  9. Add entry content (may vary by category).

Once you have entered any Best of Show category, you will no longer see the contest category as available, since each school program is allowed ONE entry per category.

To upload digital file attachments (other than audio/video), click Browse, navigate to the desired file, and select Open. Allowed file types are PDF, DOC/DOCX, TXT, JPG, GIF, and PNG. If more than one attachment is desired for this entry, click Attach More and repeat these steps. If you reach a point where you cannot add any more attachments to an entry, you may have reached the attachments limit, set by your contest administrator. Please keep file sizes under 5mb, to aid judges in accessing entry content. For larger files (between 5-50 MB), you may upload your file(s) to a 3rd-party website such as www.issuu.com, and copy and paste the hosted item’s web address into the Website URL field. This is rarely necessary!

  1. To add web/audio/video content, copy and paste the content’s web address into the provided Website URL field. To host your content online, either upload it to a free streaming content website (e.g. YouTube) or talk to your IT person about adding it to your station’s website. Make sure the content will be accessible online throughout the contest and awards process. Here are some examples of free streaming content websites where you can upload audio and video content:

Audio: www.kiwi6.com, www.tindeck.com

Video: www.youtube.com, www.vimeo.com

Confused at any step? Lost as to procedures? Contact Elise Carlson at [email protected] or call 970.930.1877.

Remember: no entries will be allowed after 10:00pm MDT, TBD. NO EXCEPTIONS.