Entries are now being taken for the 2017 digital (formerly website) contest. This year’s contest will take place from May 31-Dec. 31 and with two mandatory “windows” in which judges will be required to look at each site at least once.
Viewing Windows: The windows this year will be two weeks. This allows the judges to take more time with looking at the sites and not feel rushed.
The first two-week window will be chosen at random from May 31-August 31. The second window will be between Sept. 1-Dec. 31. Judges will have the option of looking at sites during the rest of the year as time allows.
For the 2017 contest, a top 10 and honorable mentions in each category will be revealed at the start of the 2018 Winter Conference.
Once again, website-only news organizations also are eligible for the digital contest.
Entries will be judged by category determined by average daily circulation for news organizations with daily print products; and by unique monthly visitors for website-only news organizations:
Here are the categories:
Category A: Over 175,000/more than 2 million unique monthly visitors
Category B: 75,001 to 175,000/from 750,001 to 1.999 million unique monthly visitors
Category C: 30,000 to 75,000/from 250,000 to 750,000 unique monthly visitors
Category D: Under 30,000/less than 250,000 unique monthly visitors
The entry should include:
The name of the news organization (i.e. Midtown Daily Gazette)
Category the news organization is entering
The URL/web address of the website(s) to be judged: news organizations which utilize more than one website platform should include all pertinent website addresses
For websites with pay walls of any sort, the entry should include a password or passwords which judges can use to access the website(s)
Entries may include a cover letter explaining how the website’s primary focus of coverage and key navigation points (i.e. “All of our prep coverage can be found on www.localpreps.com, while our community sports coverage is under the sports tab on our main website, midtowngazette.com — and you can find our special projects under the ‘sports reports’ tab on the midtowngazette.com website). Please keep the cover letter short. Do NOT send links to specific multimedia work (i.e. nothing along the lines of “Make sure to check out our big college football enterprise project that we did last summer, go to ww.midtowngazzette.com/footballproject” – that work can be submitted for the multimedia contest). The cover letter may also include “suggested” dates and times for judges to look at the site (i.e. Sunday, June 18 between 4-8 p.m. ET, for U.S. Open coverage). Please note, judges will not be required to look at the sites during suggested times.
Name, email address, work and cell phone for contact person from the organization.
A url/web address or place to find downloadable application for mobile site, if different from website. If this is not included, it will be assumed that your mobile site is the same as your website.
Websites will be judged on the following criteria, weighted as listed in parenthesis:
* Subject matter: Quality of staff-produced material (30 percent)
* Display: Proper arrangement of content for an enriched user experience (25 percent)
* Timeliness: Up-to-date content that reflects the news organization’s commitment to keeping the online product fresh (25 percent)
* Navigability: Ease of ability to maneuver around the site, user-friendliness (10 percent)