Hi dear JACC friends,
I hope you and your loved ones are all well and that your semesters are winding down smoothly as we look forward to summer and, hopefully, the start of some face-to-face classes in the fall. At long last I was able to go into my journalism lab at the college and print the hundreds of award certificates you have been waiting for from fall and spring. I packaged them up and popped them into the mail to everyone last week. So look for them at either your home address, or your college, and let me know if there are any errors I need to fix.
And now it is time to start the process all over again 😉 Because we know some colleges integrate their contest entry selection process into their final projects for media production classes and enter in May, incoming contest coordinator Patrick Schmiedt and I wanted to let you know that the annual 2021 JACC regional publication contests for NorCal and SoCal are now live and the Better BNC contest site is accepting entries at https://betternewspapercontest.com/login. The contest entry deadline is about six weeks away — June 30, 9 p.m. Pacific time.
Some important things to pay attention to:
PASSWORD ISSUES If you encounter issues remembering your login and password, here's a tip — the login to the BetterBNC site is by specific contest so some folks have two different logins and passwords, one for the state contest and one for regionals. If you try the login/PW combination you used for regionals last year and it does not work, try the one you used for state 2021. If that fails, shoot me an email and I will look it up for you. If you cannot reach me, contact the BetterBNC support number (360) 427-6300 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Pacific Time.
DOUBLE-CHECK: Don’t forget to double-check before you are finished entering that all your entries are attached. You can see whether files were successfully uploaded or linked by checking your Manage Entries page. Missing entries has been a continuing problem in state and regional contests for some colleges. If we have the time, we try to notify each of the impacted colleges but since the regional deadline is during summer and people may be in and out of town, you should plan enough time in your entry process to double-check your own entries to make sure everything is there. Read that — don’t wind up hugging deadline so closely that there is no time to check your manage entries page before judging starts. You may be on vacation when the judges notice something is amiss 😉 In addition, if you have plans to update your website over the summer, it may be better to submit your contest entries as PDFs rather than links. While links are faster to upload since they take no special preparation, judges wind up with numerous broken links from changes to publication sites. If they can't access the entry, they can’t judge it.
ENTRY PARTICULARS: The eligibility period for this contest is July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, the academic year. Please remember that the contest entry site accepts writing entries as clips (cropped PDFs of the stories as they appeared in the print edition), or links to the stories in the online edition. Don’t submit Word or other similar document formats, or PDFs of Word documents. Photo entries are JPEGs with embedded captions and entrants are asked to reproduce the caption in the caption field in the online entry form. Pages are submitted as PDFs, and issues are submitted as links to the complete edition/s on Issuu or another similar platform, or to their online edition as appropriate. Isolated page entries may entered this way as well. If you find you have entered something in the wrong format, simply delete and re-upload the entry. Please note:: Schools with sites that use a subscription or registration model must provide judges easy access to their sites by providing a password entered into the comments section of the BetterBNC entry. Also note we have had a problem with colleges providing a generic Issuu link rather than links to the specific issues being entered. If judges cannot access entries, or know which issues are being entered, they can’t evaluate them. So check the links from the Manage Entries page after submitting the entry to make sure they go to the right place. And note in the heading or comments section which issue dates you are submitting.
PANDEMIC AND NEWSPAPER GE: Because of the ongoing pandemic, we extended our temporary change to the rule for the Newspaper General Excellence contest. The usual rule requires a minimum of eight (8) print issues during the eligibility period to enter this category. That has been temporarily reduced to from 8 to 3 issues printed and/or posted on Issuu, or a similar platform, as print-designed newspapers, the number of issues required for entry. Note that the print-designed issues do not have to have been distributed in print this year to enter the contest, they may have been distributed electronically. But they must have been designed as broadsheet or tabloid print products as distinguished from an online news site. And please remember, or remind your students, to provide links to three issues for the print GE entry. Some colleges provided just one or two links last time. This contest requires a set of three complete issues.
CONTEST ENTRY FEE: The contest entry fee for both the state and regional publication contests is $100 each and the Wild Apricot event site is live for member colleges to generate contest fee invoices http://jaocc.wildapricot.org/. The contest entry fee deadline is also June 30, 2021. This deadline may be satisfied by creating a contest fee invoice in Wild Apricot even if it takes your Business Office longer to process payment. If you are one of the JACC member colleges that opted to pre-pay contest entry fees last spring as part of a 2020-21 membership bundle ($500 membership fee plus $200 for the 2021 state and regional contests), you do not need to generate an entry fee invoice. If you don’t know whether you opted for the bundle or paid standard membership, you can check your account in Wild Apricot, or contact Joe Wirt at CNPA, which manages our organization ([email protected]).
JUDGES: One of the responsibilities of entering JACC contests is helping to provide judges to evaluate entries. Thanks to all of you we have created a list of judges that have been suggested over the past several years that we have been working from, but we would like to add to that list because not everyone can continue to judge our contests twice a year, and some of the contact information is no longer current. So if you have any suggestions of new judges we would really appreciate it. We will be assigning judges in the following broad categories: Design, General Excellence, Magazine, Multimedia, Photo and Writing. Most categories require only a couple hours of evaluation time. But General Excellence categories require a bit more as we ask GE judges to complete evaluation forms to score publications based on specific criteria, so if you know anyone who would be willing to judge GE that would be awesome. Please send along the name and contact information of someone you have confirmed would like to help out with judging, and the broad category/ies they would like to judge to Patrick Schmiedt ([email protected]) as soon as possible. We prefer working journalism professionals, and those who have recently retired may have time to spare. Ask those you know or have networked with. Former JACC alums now working in the field always do a wonderful job, too, as do retired journalism professors no longer connected with a JACC journalism program.
Please let Patrick or me know if you have questions or encounter any contest entry problems. We are working together through the end of June as he transitions into his role as JACC secretary-treasurer.
Take care and have a wonderful summer break.
Outgoing Contest Coordinator
Incoming Contest Coordinator