Student Contest — Robert L. Vann Media Awards

ABOUT  THE STUDENT CONTEST

The Pittsburgh Black Media Federation’s annual journalism contest is launching its first competition for students at Western Pennsylvania colleges and universities.

The Robert L. Vann Media Awards will now recognize university and college journalism that demonstrates excellence in print, photography, broadcast, and online coverage of African-American and African Diaspora communities, individuals and issues of Western Pennsylvania. The Vann contest also includes new categories for multimedia, blogging and online media.

The deadline to enter the contest has been extended to 11:59 p.m. March 1.

College winners will be announced in April.  An awards dinner will be held in May.

THE RULES

1.  To be eligible for consideration in the student contest, the submitted work must have been created by students enrolled in accredited two-year or four-year colleges or universities in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Somerset, Venango, Warren, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

2.  All entries must have been published in a college’s newspaper or magazine, on its website, or broadcast on its radio or television station between Jan. 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2016.  Work published by eligible college students on independent blogs in 2016 is also acceptable.

3.  Submitted work must be focused on African-American or African diaspora communities, individuals and issues in Western Pennsylvania.

4.  All entries must be electronically/digitally submitted versions of published work.  Email entries to RobertLVannCollege@gmail.com. Entries may be submitted in the following formats: PDF, JPG, GIF, PNG, .mp3, URL links or screen captures. If possible, please do not submit entries that are behind a password-protected site or paywall. If this is unavoidable, please provide username/password so that judges can access the entry. Any entry that is inaccessible can be disqualified.

5.  When making submissions, please specify in the body of the email the category and subcategory for each entry, as well as the name of the media outlet, date of publication, name and title of the person or persons who should receive award and title of the entry.  For photo entries, please include cutlines, too.  Please provide a contact’s name and phone number in case questions should arise.

6.  Entries that miss the deadline will be disqualified.  College winners will be announced in April.  An awards dinner will be held in May.

7.  Student contest fees are $20 per entry. An individual or organization may submit multiple entries in each category.  One check or PayPal payment may cover multiple entries.  No entry without an accompanying fee will be accepted.

8.  Checks for entry fees should be made payable to the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation and mailed to Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, P.O Box 292, Pittsburgh, PA  15230.  Envelopes containing checks must be postmarked by March 1.  Payments also may be made via the PayPal link below until 11:59 p.m. March 1.

9.  Entries that do not meet the specifications outlined in this call-for-entry letter will be disqualified. PBMF reserves the right to re-categorize entries.  Entrants will be notified that a category adjustment has been made.

10.  Entries are judged by a panel of out-of-state journalism professionals selected by PBMF.  One award will be made in each subcategory in which judges find merit.  Decisions are final. The judges may elect not to give an award in a category.

11. Entries will not be used for any purpose beyond judging.  

Contact: For more information about the Robert L. Vann Media Awards, contact Ervin Dyer at 412-624-4796 or edyer@pitt.edu.

CATEGORIES & SUBCATEGORIES

PRINT AND ILLUSTRATION/GRAPHICS

Categories (newspapers, wire services and magazines)

Subcategories

All print and illustration/graphics entries must be in one of the following subcategories:

  • Editorial (Submit individual entries representing the opinion of the newspaper.  Editorials are judged per individual piece, not as a portfolio. Do not send multiple editorials as one entry.)
  • Column (Submit individual entries representing the opinion of the writer; sports columns are eligible.  Columns are judged per individual piece, not as a portfolio. Do not send multiple columns as one entry)
  • News Feature (can include articles drawn from history, arts & culture, fashion, home, food, etc.)
  • Series (Submit three or more pieces on a topic that are identified as a series in the published work.)
  • Investigative/Enterprise (Submit in-depth reporting presented as a single article that may have supporting components, such as sidebars, or a multi-part series.)
  • Business News
  • Health/Science/Environment
  • Public Affairs (Submit articles that highlight community service, or work that addresses a social problem or concern.)
  • Spot News/Breaking News
  • Sports News
  • Sports Feature
  • Art/Illustration (This can include page design and editorial cartoon.  Do not send multiple illustrations/graphics as one entry.)
  • Education

 

BROADCAST

Categories (television and radio)

Subcategories

All broadcast entries must be in one of the following subcategories:

  • Editorial (Submit individual segment that represents the opinion of the station.)
  • Documentary (Submit work that shows or analyzes a news event, issue or feature in a single broadcast.  The broadcast may be part of a series but must stand alone in telling its story.)
  • News Feature (can include history, arts & culture, fashion, home, food, etc.)
  • Series (Submit three or more segments on a topic that are identified as a series in the work.)
  • Investigative/Enterprise (Submit in-depth reporting presented as a single segment or a multi-part series.)
  • Business News
  • Health/Science/Environment
  • Public Affairs (Submit work related to community service, or work that addresses a social problem or concern.)
  • Spot News/Breaking News
  • Sports News
  • Sports Feature
  • Education

 

PHOTOGRAPHY

Photography entries must include cut lines, the titles of the work, dates of publication and the names and affiliations of the photographers.  

Subcategories

All entries for photography must be in one of the following subcategories:

  • Feature Photo
  • Sports Photo
  • News Photo
  • Photo Story (This is a collection of photos published together that tell a news or feature story.  This is not for continuing coverage on a topic.

 

ONLINE MEDIA

This category includes work created by online-only news media not connected with a traditional newspaper or broadcast outlet.

Subcategories

All entries for online media must be in one of the following subcategories:

  • News Feature
  • Investigative/Enterprise (Submit in-depth reporting presented as a single article that may have supporting components, such as sidebars, or a multi-part series.)
  • Business News
  • Health/Science/Environment
  • Public Affairs (Submit work related to community service, or work that addresses a social problem or concern.)
  • Spot News/Breaking News
  • Sports News
  • Sports Feature
  • Education

 

MULTIMEDIA

This category includes projects that can include many components, such as graphics, video, photos, audio, plus text posted on a media outlet’s website.  This can be a single article or a multi-part series.  The entry may have been produced by a traditional or online-only media outlet.  Entries may be on any topic.

 

BLOGGING

To show consistent engagement, commentary, and coverage of African-American and African diaspora communities and people, blog entrants must submit two samples of their work.  The entries will be judged on the quality of the writing and news value.

Categories

  • Independent blog
  • College media-affiliated blog