CSMA

ONE DAY coverage contest focuses on Friday, Feb. 9

Our new Winter Coverage Challenge asks staffs to report on a single day of the year

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Ernie Pyle, the great WWII reporter, once said, “If you want to tell the story of a war, tell the story of one soldier.”

He was highlighting, of course, the importance of focusing on stories, and on the human scale of the event. We might feel that way about telling the story of a school year. There is just so much we could cover in our student media that we don’t know where to begin, but what if we focused on one student at a time, on one day her life?

Or what if we simply focused on ONE DAY in the rich tapestry that is a school year?

That’s the thinking behind the newest CSMA challenge for our members. We have chosen our ONE DAY to be Friday, Feb. 9, and we hope your students will have some fun, and perhaps uncover some stories that would otherwise slip by us.

  • A print news staff can produce one double page spread, whatever paper size you normally use, with the only requirement being that everything on that spread must be from Feb. 9.
  • A yearbook staff would have the same challenge, producing a spread (perhaps based on the same design approach as the 2018 book).
  • A video staff can produce a video of the day, with a two-minute maximum length.
  • An online staff can enter up to 20 URLs demonstrating how they covered the day, whether through website posts or social media, or some combination.

Everyone can take part, and each CSMA member medium may submit one entry. There will be categories for each of our four media types, and we will offer small and large enrollment classifications (“small” is under 1,700 students, just FYI).

Once the reporting has been completed, you have plenty of time to edit, write, proof, design, etc. Entries may be uploaded to our contest site (betternewspapercontests.com) anytime from Feb. 10-21. Please download this Word document with step-by-step instructions for entering this contest. These instruction will look very familiar to those who have entered Best of Colorado awards in the past.

Entries will be judged by experts, and winners will receive special certificates of commendation. Results will be announced in early March.

But everyone will be a winner if we produce great reporting on ONE DAY in the life of your school community, particularly if you find some way to share your work with your community.

CSMA wants to share your work even more widely, and will produce a compilation of all the entries, shared through our website.

We know this can be a tough time of year for many staffs, with looming deadlines and the accumulation of work they have already produced. But we offer this as a change of pace, as a new challenge, and as a different approach to journalism in your school.

We can’t wait to see what everyone produces!

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