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JUDGING CONSIDERATIONS

Evaluation Scale
Included under each category description is a list of judging criteria, which can be used in evaluating the entry.  We have included a point scale guideline beside each of the criteria, which also could be used to help compare the merits of different entries.

Resources Available
In most cases, the entrants should have listed the resources available to them in preparing their story.  Hopefully, this will help you weigh stories, which were printed or broadcast with vastly different newsroom resources.  For example, a reporter from a small market newsroom with a staff of one may be competing with a network newsroom, which can devote more people and resources to a story.  As judges, we would like you to weigh what effects the fewer or more resources have on the final story.  In an ideal world, where the journalism was equal, the small market reporter would score higher on the Resource Scale because the story was completed with fewer resources.

CATEGORIES

BREAKING/SPOT NEWS REPORTING – Print and Online

Judges will look for entries which display the most skill in reporting a breaking/spot news event.  Breaking news applies to stories in response to an unanticipated occurrence.

An entry consists of the initial story or package of stories from the first newscast or issue after the event. An entry may include more than one report and more than one journalist.

Main Factors

Evaluation Scale

Degree of difficulty – logistical and other challenges experienced in getting and filing the story, including deadline pressure.

30

Comprehensiveness and quality of information.

30

The quality of writing and presentation.

30

Resources used by the journalists.

10

 

100

ENTERPRISE REPORTING – Print and Online
These awards, in the opinion of the judges, display initiative and show enterprise in journalism.

Judges will look for enterprising journalism that goes beyond the obvious, the ordinary, the expected, and the regular. They will look for journalism that puts issues in context and in perspective, and thereby makes those issues make sense.

Entries in Enterprise should include a story series of related stories that display enterprise and dedication as well as depth and quality of research. The difficulty of the story or stories will be considered.

Main Factors

Evaluation Scale

Entries which display initiative and show enterprise in journalism, going beyond the obvious, the ordinary, and the expected.

30

Issues are in context and in perspective.

30

The difficulty of the story.

30

Resources used by the journalists.

10

 

100

FEATURE – Print and Online

Judges should look for entries which display excellence and creativity in the presentation of feature or human-interest stories with journalistic merit.

Main Factors

Evaluation Scale

The substance of the story.

30

How well the story is told.

30

The treatment of the story including such ingredients as novelty or original treatment, drama, personalization, human interest, humor, and pathos.

30

Resources used by the journalist.

10

 

100

PHOTOJOURNALISM SPOT NEWS - Newspaper and Online
Spot News Photojournalism applies to photographs completed in response to an unanticipated event.  There will be three finalists and one overall winner.

Main Factors

Evaluation Scale

Creativity in capturing the breaking news visuals.

20

Degree of difficulty – logistical and other challenges the photographer had to contend with in getting and filing the pictures.

25

Deadline pressures.

20

Quality – composition, clarity and crispness of image.

25

Resources used by the photographer.

10

 

100

PHOTOJOURNALISM FEATURE – Newspaper and Online
The judges will look for entries that display excellence and creativity in the visual presentation of feature, or human-interest stories with journalistic merit.

Main Factors      

Evaluation Scale

Composition, clarity and crispness of the photographic image.

30

The narrative or story value of the photograph.

30

The imagination, persistence and creativity of the photographer. (Preference should be given to the capture of the spontaneous moment over the pre-planned and calculated set-up shot).

30

Resources used by the photographer.

10

 

100

EDITORIAL CARTOONING -- Print and Online

Editorial cartoonists may submit up to 3 separate cartoons as one Show of Work. Judges will look for the display of work which best captures visual commentaries, featuring art, argument, humour, and polemic. 

Main Factors

Evaluation Scale

Cogency of the editorial point and significance of the issue.

30

Bite, humour, and originality.

30

Quality of drawing and artwork

30

Resources used by the editorial cartoonist.

10

 

100

BEST PAGE PRESENTATION - Newspaper
The judges will look for entries which display excellence in creativity and page presentation by daily or community newspapers.  The award will recognize excellence in print page content presentation to convey the news information.
 
Judges will be asked to review submissions on journalistic merit as well as imaginative and informative design, colour, artistry, text positioning, fonts, typography, clarity, headline drama, impact and photography.

Main Factors

Evaluation Scale

Journalistic merit of the page.

30

Overall impact for readers.

30

Use of complimentary elements such as photography topography, artistry, and fonts.

30

Resources available to the editor.

10

 

100

BREAKING NEWS RADIO

Judges will look for entries which display the most skill in reporting a breaking news event.  Breaking news applies to stories in response to an unanticipated occurrence.

An entry consists of the initial story or package of stories from the first newscast or issue after the event. An entry may include more than one report and more than one journalist.

Main Factors

Evaluation Scale

Degree of difficulty – logistical and other challenges experienced in getting and filing the story, including deadline pressure.

30

Comprehensiveness and quality of information.

30

The quality of writing and presentation.

30

Resources used by the journalists.

10

 

100

BEST INFORMATION NEWS RADIO PROGRAM

Judges will look for entries that display the best news information program, the interaction of the journalist with listeners, the timeliness and relevance of the topic.

Main Factors

Evaluation Scale

Timeliness of the program.

30

Connection with listeners.

30

Relevance of information for listeners

30

Resources available to the journalist.

10

 

100

BEST RADIO NEWSCAST

Judges will look for the newscasts that have the best journalistic merit and which combine spot news, continuing coverage, feature, enterprise reporting and weather reporting into an informative newscast.

Main Factors

Evaluation Scale

Overall presentation.

20

Use of spot news, enterprise reporting, continuing coverage, features, weather, sports, interviews

30

Journalistic content and balance.

20

Relevance to audience.

20

Production values.

10

 

100

ENTERPRISE REPORTING – Radio
Judges will look for enterprising journalism that goes beyond the obvious, the ordinary, the expected, and the regular. They will look for journalism that puts issues in context and in perspective and thereby makes those issues make sense.

Entries in Enterprise should include a story or continuing coverage of a story that displays enterprise and dedication as well as depth and quality of research. The difficulty of the story or stories will be considered.

Main Factors

Evaluation Scale

Entries which display initiative and show enterprise in journalism, going beyond the obvious, the ordinary, and the expected.

30

Issues are in context and in perspective.

30

The difficulty of the story.

30

Resources used by the journalists.

10

 

100

FEATURE – Radio

Judges will look for entries which display excellence and creativity in the presentation of feature or human-interest stories with journalistic merit.

Main Factors

Evaluation Scale

The substance of the story.

30

How well the story is told.

30

The treatment of the story. It includes such ingredients as novelty or original treatment, drama, personalization, human interest, humor, and pathos.

30

Resources used by the journalist.

10

 

100

BREAKING/SPOT NEWS REPORTING – Television

Judges will look for entries which display the most skill in reporting a breaking news event.  Breaking news applies to stories in response to an unanticipated occurrence.

An entry consists of the initial story or package of stories from the first newscast or issue after the event. An entry may include more than one report and more than one journalist.

Main Factors

Evaluation Scale

Degree of difficulty – logistical and other challenges experienced in getting and filing the story, including deadline pressure.

30

Comprehensiveness and quality of information.

30

The quality of writing and presentation.

30

Resources used by the journalists.

10

 

100

ENTERPRISE REPORTING – Television
Judges will look for enterprising journalism that goes beyond the obvious, the ordinary, the expected, and the regular. They will look for journalism that puts issues in context and in perspective, and thereby makes those issues make sense.

Entries in Enterprise should include a story or continuing coverage of a story that displays enterprise and dedication as well as depth and quality of research. The difficulty of the story or stories will be considered.

Main Factors

Evaluation Scale

Entries which display initiative and show enterprise in journalism, going beyond the obvious, the ordinary, and the expected.

30

Issues are in context and in perspective.

30

The difficulty of the story.

30

Resources used by the journalists.

10

 

100

FEATURE – Television

Judges will look for entries which display excellence and creativity in the presentation of feature or human-interest stories with journalistic merit.

Main Factors

Evaluation Scale

The substance of the story.

30

How well the story is told.

30

The treatment of the story. It includes such ingredients as novelty or original treatment, drama, personalization, human interest, humor, and pathos.

30

Resources used by the journalist.

10

 

100

BEST TV NEWS BROADCAST

Judges will look for the newscasts that have the best journalistic merit and which combine spot news, continuing coverage, feature, enterprise reporting and weather reporting into an informative newscast.

Main Factors

Evaluation Scale

Anchor/in studio presentations

20

Use of spot news, enterprise reporting, continuing coverage, features, weather,sports, interviews

20

Journalistic content and balance.

20

Relevance to audience.

20

Production values.

20

 

100

VIDEOJOURNALIST - Television -- Print and Online

The video journalist award is based on a Show of Work.  Up to three different items could be entered for this category.  Judges should base their decision on the items submitted by each entrant.  Judges should look for entries in which a journalist, acting as a reporter, camera operator and editor, displays the most skills in reporting, shooting and editing a news story.

Main Factors

Evaluation Scale

The quality of research, writing and presentation.

30

The degree of difficulty – logistical and other challenges experienced in getting and filing the story.

30

Excellence of composition, clarity and crispness of the images and audio.

30

Resources used by the video journalist.

10

 

100

ATLANTIC MAGAZINE ARTICLE
Judges will look for magazine articles that combine writing, photography and layout, and demonstrate excellence, creativity, and journalistic merit in the presentation of any topic.

Main Factors

Evaluation Scale

How well the story is told.

25

Effective use of writing, photography/design in telling the story.

25

Substance, originality and importance of the story/subject.

20

Journalistic effort.

20

Resources available to complete the story.

10

 

100

ATLANTIC MAGAZINE BEST COVER
Judges will look for the cover which demonstrates the best creative integration of text and imagery for maximum visual impact and newsstand appeal including how quickly the cover conveys the magazines’ key editorial contents with visual clarity. As well consideration will be given to eye appeal in grabbing reader’s attention.

Main Factors

Evaluation Scale

The artistic/creative elements of the cover.

40

The covers' ability to convey key messages.

30

Eye appeal

30

 

100

ATLANTIC MAGAZINE BEST PROFILE ARTICLE
Judges will look for entries which effectively integrate written and visual excellence in the presentation of the person or company being profiled.  Judges will consider originality of the subject, as well as the information delivered.  As well judges will look for evidence of journalistic effort and the story’s ability to capture and maintain reader interest.  

Main Factors

Evaluation Scale

The substance of the profile.

25

How well the story is told.

25

Journalistic effort involved.

20

Effective use of photography/design in the profiling of the subject.

20

Resources available to complete the story.

10

 

100

ONLINE NEWS REPORTING

Judges will assess the entries for the best use of the on line medium as a news/information vehicle for a single news item.  Judges will look at the total package of the on line page(s) including uniqueness of the story to the on line environment, the fullness of information, writing, design, photography, navigation ease, interactivity, information architecture, legibility, links and other supporting information to inform readers about the story.

Main Factors

Evaluation Scale

Journalistic excellence in the on line environment.

30

Ease of navigation and legibility.

30

Links and other supporting information.

30

Resources available to the journalist.

10

 

100

BEST MULTIMEDIA FEATURE (SPECIAL PROJECT)

Judges will look at the total package of the use of new media including the fullness of information, writing, design, photography, video, audio, Flash, navigation ease, interactivity, links, and other supporting information to inform readers about the story.  Attention will be given to the creative use of new media and how well it contributes to the reader's in-depth understanding of the issue.

Main Factors

Evaluation Scale

Fullness of information presented.

30

Variety and completeness of new media sources used.

30

Overall contribution to viewers understanding.

30

Resources available to new media pages.

10

 

100

BUSINESS REPORTING - Any Medium

Judges will look for entries which display excellence and creativity in the presentation of Business Reporting with journalistic merit.

Main Factors

Evaluation Scale

The substance and relevance of the story.

30

How well the story is told.

30

Overall journalistic merit. 

30

Resources used by the journalist.

10

 

100

SPORTS REPORTING - Any Medium

Judges will look for entries that display outstanding sports reporting in print, television, radio or on line.  Entries may be spot news, enterprise reporting, feature items or any combination of journalistic elements. There are only three finalists from all the entries, irrespective of the medium.

Main Factors

Evaluation Scale

The substance of the story.

30

How well the story is told.

30

Overall journalistic merit.

30

Resources available to complete the story.

10

 

100

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT REPORTING - Any Medium

Judges will look for stories which demonstrate excellence, creativity, and journalistic merit in the presentation of an arts & entertainment story in print, radio, or television or on line.

There are only three finalists from all the entries, irrespective of the medium.

Main Factors

Evaluation Scale

The substance of the story.

30

How well the story is told.

30

Overall journalistic merit.

30

Resources available to complete the story.

10

 

100

COMMENTARY - Any Medium

Judges will look for entries which display outstanding editorial comment in print, television, or radio. Entries may be analytical, interpretive or humorous, or a combination of such qualities

Main Factors

Evaluation Scale

The cogency of the argument.

25

The quality (elegance, simplicity, and clarity) of the writing and/or presentation.

25

The significance of the issue.

20

The effectiveness of the commentary in generating light, as well as heat, on that issue.     

20

The resources used by the journalist.

10

 

100

JIM MACNEILL NEW JOURNALIST AWARD

These awards are open to journalists in print, radio and television with less than three years of experience. Nominations must be accompanied by a short explanation of the new journalist and the items along with a sampling of up to three stories representative of the entrant's body of work.

Judges will look at journalistic qualities such as enterprise, creativity, persistence, initiative and ingenuity.  Judges will look for journalism that provides insight and context to issues of significance.

No evaluation scale is offered.  Judges should use their own discretion in selecting the gold and silver winners.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Nominators should submit a 1-2 page nomination letter and any supporting documents clearly outlining why the person or organization should be honoured with the AJAs Lifetime Achievement Award.

This single annual award will be presented to an individual who has demonstrated a lifetime of dedication to journalism excellence in Atlantic Canada.  Nominations for this award can be submitted by anyone to the Atlantic Journalism Awards and the recipient will be selected by the AJAs Board of Directors.