Journalists, sharpen your investigative reporting skills. DigitalJournal.com is launching two contests for February, giving away cash prizes for high-quality journalism.
DigitalJournal.com's "Cover Your Community" contest begins Feb. 1 and runs through to midnight ET on Feb. 28. The challenge: Report on a story from your community.
This contest is open to any member of DigitalJournal.com. DigitalJournal.com is giving away two prizes of $250 USD to two recipients in both a written and photo category.
(1.) Best Original Report: $250 prize
In this category, entrants must publish an original news article or blog ("Special Report") on a topic within their community. It can be an investigative article, a profile of a local hero, a feature on a local business or an interview with an up-and-coming band.
How to Enter: If you are already an approved Digital Journalist, you can click "Contribute > Post News" from the top of the page to enter. Simply mark your article as a "Special Report" in the "Extra Effort" section and you will be automatically entered. If you are not yet an approved Digital Journalist, create an account on the site and you can apply to become one by (clicking here). You may also publish your written entry as a blog post in this Group. You must be a member of DigitalJournal.com.
• The written entry must be at least 500 words, but no longer than 1,000 words.
• Interviews or on-the-ground reporting from the scene of a news event must occur between 12:01 AM (Eastern) on Feb. 1 and 11:59 p.m. (Eastern) on Feb. 28, 2010. Every submission must contain original reporting and interviews and must relate to a timely newsworthy subject affecting your community, no matter where you live. If you traveled to another community on vacation or on business for this contest, you may report on a community other than your own.
• You must provide contact information for all interview subjects (if you publish an article, use Digital Journal's Special Report system to input your source(s) information.
If you publish a blog, contact us and provide the telephone number and email address to your source(s). Digital Journal Staff members will contact your interview subjects to verify quotes and facts. In the event you do not perform interviews but instead report first-hand from the scene of a news event, you must provide your own contact information so Digital Journal Staff can contact you to confirm facts and details.
• Short statements or only a few quotes from interview subjects will not qualify as an interview or original reporting. In the case of an interview, your interview material must form the basis of the article.
• It is optional to include original photography in the article. In this contest, photography will not be a factor in deciding the winner.
• Entries will be judged in the sole discretion of staff members of DigitalJournal.com, and a winner will be announced in March 2010. Entries will be judged on journalistic merit, unbiased reporting, depth of reportage, accuracy, overall structure and composition. DigitalJournal.com will give special consideration to reports that were challenging or difficult to complete.
• Reporters can file as many original reports as they like throughout February. Only one entry will be selected as a winner, but there is no limit on the number of times you can enter.
• One winning entrant in the written category will receive a prize of $250 US, sent via PayPal. The winning entry will be promoted through various media (and especially on the front page of DigitalJournal.com).
• Any article or blog post found to contain plagiarized or erroneous content will be immediately disqualified and a runner-up will be chosen.
(2.) Best Photo Essay: $250 prize
Two women browse through photos taken on a digital camera.
In this category, you must submit a photo essay of three or more photographs that tell a story. Photos should cover newsworthy subjects about your community or a community you visited.
Be creative and unique when you enter this contest. Perhaps you can snap pics of a local protest or an annual parade. They may be a series of photos for a profile of a community leader. Photography can relate to any subject, such as a crime, an environmental wonder, sports or business. It may be a series of breaking news photos taken from your cellphone at the scene of an event, or it may be a pre-planned photo shoot.
How to Enter: Each entry of photos must be completed by adding or embedding them into an article or blog. To submit a photo as a Digital Journalist, click "Contribute > Post News" from the top of the page to enter. Check off the "extra effort" boxes to indicate your article is a Special Report and write an appropriate news headline (i.e. "Inside the Haitian refugee camps," or "Fires blaze across Australia") and embed your photos into the story and you will be automatically entered. If you are not yet an approved Digital Journalist, create an account on the site and you can apply to become one by (clicking here). You may also publish your photo essay as a blog post in this Group. You must be a member of DigitalJournal.com.
• Photojournalists can file as many photo essays as they like throughout February. Only one entry will be selected as a winner, but there is no limit on the number of times you can enter.
• Photo essays do not need to be accompanied by full text reports, but they should include proper descriptions and cutlines to describe what is happening in your photos. All photos must be taken by the author of the news article or blog.
• Original photography must have been taken between 12:01 a.m. (Eastern) Jan. 1, 2010 and 11:59 p.m. (Eastern) on Feb. 28, 2010.
• Entries will be judged in the sole discretion of staff members of DigitalJournal.com, and a winner will be announced in March 2010. Entries will be judged on journalistic value, composition, clarity, realism, photographic skill, timeliness, and a flair for the unexpected. You may use your camera of choice, or a cellphone for your photo essay.
• Digital Journal recommends you avoid generic, non-newsworthy photography such as photos of your cat, garden, family, food, skylines, fields, etc.
• One winning entrant in the photo essay category will receive a prize of $250 US, sent via PayPal. The winning entry will be promoted through various media (and especially on the front page of DigitalJournal.com).
• The winner will be asked to submit contact information before a prize is awarded, and he/she may be asked to submit additional material or photos related to their entry. Any photo found to be taken from another source will result in the entrant’s disqualification and a runner-up will be selected.
• You may enter both contests as many times as you wish.
• Rules subject to change without notice. Digital Journal reserves the right to update this page at any time.
• The contest is open to citizens of any country in which PayPal operates (see list).
• Decisions of the contest judges are final.
• By entering this contest or claiming the prize, entrants authorize the use, without additional compensation of his or her name and/or likeness and/or voice/photograph and/or news article and/or blog and/or photographs and municipality of residence for promotion and/or advertising purposes, related to this contest, in any manner and in any medium (including without limitation, radio broadcasts, newspapers and other publications and in television or film releases, slides, videotape, distribution over the Internet and picture data storage) which Digital Journal, Inc. may deem appropriate.
• By entering this contest, or accepting the prize, the winner acknowledges that Digital Journal, Inc. will not be held liable for any loss, damages or injury associated with entering this contest, accepting or using this prize(s).
• This contest is subject to all federal, provincial and municipal laws.
• By entering this contest, you agree Digital Journal, Inc. is not responsible or liable in the event of lost, removed, or missing entries. Each entrant is responsible for maintaining a copy of their entry/submission.
• All entries must be submitted electronically.
Contest photos courtesy pedrosimoes7, Ctwirler12, alex-s, thivierr and sskennel.