Everything you need to know about Student Media Olympics

Simone Myers, Education Programs Assistant

Make sure your journalism students receive the statewide recognition they deserve. It’s time to enter your staff’s best work of the year in the 2016 Student-Media-O-lympics. Review your newspapers, magazines, yearbooks, videos, podcasts, and websites for your best journalistic work this year and place your entries in Dropbox by April 11. Please read this top to bottom. We’ve made some updates from last year’s process. 

Click the link for a print out of this information: Student-Media-O-lympics

Student Media O-lympics is an opportunity for your students to have their work objectivity evaluated and rated by media professionals, receive statewide recognition for their work, and recognition for your school’s journalism media program. Work from March 1 of last year through the deadline, April 11 of this year, is eligible for consideration. Please follow the “How To Enter” instructions below.

The cost is $3 per entry and you must be a NWSP member to participate. No worries. It’s not too late to join and enter! First download and fill out the 2015 Membership Form; then download and fill out the and return them with your total payment. Due to popular demand, NWSP now accepts credit card payments, too. Then follow the instructions for submitting your entries by the deadline. Membership runs from October 1 through Aug. 31 of each school year. You may submit up to three entries per category per medium (V-Video broadcast, A-Audio broadcast, W-Website, N-Newspaper, M-Magazine, Y-Yearbook) based on your membership. Click on the link to download the Student Media O-lympics Entry Form Spreadsheet. Use a separate for each medium.

Documents will be viewed on a computer screen by our judges beginning this year. Most PDFs and pictures use a far higher resolution than will ever be useful for a computer screen. When you print to PDF, set the resolution for the viewing documents on the web setting, or 72 dpi, to reduce your file size. Always save your JPEG photos in RGB color mode. Color photos and pages for print require CMYK mode, but CMYK mode doesn’t work consistently on all browsers

Electronic submission means you will no longer have to fill out each entry form by hand for each item you submit to Student Media O-lympics. This year’s entries must be saved as a PDF, JPEG or URL, and each entry must be labeled with the school name, category, and entry number which matches the information on the official Student Media O-lympics Entry Form Spreadsheet.

For example, if you are from Marshfield High School Newspaper and are entering Category 1, Entry 1 (from the spreadsheet), you will name your scanned file “MARSHFIELDHSN1.1″ and your second entry in the same category as “MARSHFIELDHSN1.2″ and so on.

“This will greatly simplify the process of sorting, forwarding, and resorting contest categories to and from our professional judges,” said former NWSP Executive Director Karla Kennedy, “as well as give us accurate information for the award certificates.”

Questions:  For questions, either email Simone Myers ([email protected]) or contact her by phone at 503-412-3664 (office).

We recommend setting aside time each day over a week to allow students to reflect, debate and discuss and decide which pieces represent the staff’s best work of the year. Reflection is one of the most important growth activities for writers and creators of content. You may want each student to keep a string book of their work to review or submit for the Student Media O-lympics. Deciding the top three in each category — and the discussion that gets you there — is another valuable process that helps you and your students articulate what’s important and what is good and what is valued in the work your staff does.


What is this contest? Student Media O-lympics is an contest of student journalists’ work published since March 1 of last year. Entries in 33 categories include web-based journalism, video-based journalism, audio-based journalism, and print-based journalism, including news, feature, sports and ­opinion writing, photography, design, advertising, art, single issues, video and podcast.

How much does it cost? You must be a member to enter. The cost is $3 per entry with a maximum of three entries per category per medium.

How many entries may each school submit? Up to three entries in most categories. The single issue category (on-line and print) is limited to one entry per editorial staff, three maximum per school.

Who judges the contest? Journalism professionals, college-level advisers, and award-winning student media advisers who are retired or work in other states.

What feedback is provided? All entries receive critiques listing strengths and areas ­needing improvement. Award certificates for Superior, Excellent or Honorable Mention entries will be mailed to schools by mid-May. Certificate winners are announced in May on the NW Scholastic Press website and in our email newsletter. Principals of schools earning certificates receive a letter commending their journalism program. Press releases will be send to school boards and professional educator organizations.

Entries must be in Dropbox by April 11, 2015.

How to enter the 2016 Student Media O-lympics

Student Media: V-Video broadcast, A-Audio broadcast, W-Website, N-Newspaper, M-Magazine, Y-Yearbook

Numbers below are Contest Numbers. You will name each of your scanned files with your school name, the Contest number, and the matching Entry number from your Student Media Olympics Entry Form Spreadsheet. For example, if you are from Marshfield High School Newspaper and are entering Category 1, Entry 1, you will name your scanned file “MARSHFIELDHSN1.1″ and your second scanned entry in the same category will be named “MARSHFIELDHSN1.2″ and the third scanned entry in the same category will be named “MARSHFIELDHSN1.3″ and so on. (You can only submit three entries per category.)

Use these category numbers preceded by one of the following:
V-Video broadcast, A-Audio broadcast, W-Website,
N-Newspaper, M-Magazine, Y-Yearbook

1. Straight news
2. In-depth/analysis news: single story
3. In-depth news package: multiple stories, artwork, graphics, video, audio

4. Personality profile
5. Human interest
6. News feature

7. Sports news
8. Sports feature
9. Sports opinion

10. Editorial–Staff opinion
11A. Column: single story
11B. Column, same author: set of 3
12. Editorial cartoon
13. Review

14. News photo/Recorded Sound
15. Human Interest-Feature Photo/Recorded Sound
16. Sports photo/Recorded Sound
17. Photo Story/Recorded Sound

18. Front Page layout
19. Inside Page layout
20. Double Page/In-depth layout

(Professional logos okay; no agency slicks or prepared slicks)
21. Single ad, student-produced: single
22. Series ads, student-produced: set of 3

23. Illustration, with story
24. Infographic

(One issue per editorial staff; maximum 3 issues per school)
25. Single issue (print)
26. Single issue (web page)

(Submit web links on entry form for services such as youtube.com, vimeo.com, or other hosting service our judges can access with the link.)
27. TV/Video: News broadcast program (submit web link on entry form)
28. TV/ Video: Human Interest Package (submit web link on entry form)
29. TV/ Video: Sports Package (submit web link on entry form)
30. Radio/Podcast: News broadcast program (submit web link on entry form)
31. Radio/Podcast: Human Interest Package (submit web link on entry form)
32. Radio/Podcast: Sports Package (submit web link on entry form)

(Submit web link on entry form)
33. Web: Blog/Wordpress/Other CMS


➤ Select the best articles, photos, ads, cartoons, page layouts, illustrations and ­single issues from your school newspapers and magazines; best videos produced, shot, and edited; best radio podcasts; and best web site links that have been published since March 1 of last year.

➤ Submit no more than three entries per category. 


➤ Save each entry as a PDF, including headline from each story, and label it as specified above. You may also scan clips in PDF format if you prefer.

➤For layout categories (18, 19, 20) and single issues, save a PDF of the page(s) you want judged; entries for all other categories must also be printed in PDF format.

➤ Broadcast categories (27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32): All entries must be produced, shot/recorded and edited by ­students. Videos must be uploaded to an online site such as youtube.com or vimeo.com, and the links to each entry must be provided on the Student Media Olympics Entry Form listing student’s names and their role in the pro­duction of the video.

For Web categories (33): To enter, please save a PDF of your homepage and name it with the web address our judges should use. Also list the web address on the Entry Form. We will review the web sites multiple times over the course of three weeks following the April 11 deadline; therefore, be sure to keep it current.

➤ Name each of your scanned files with your school name, the contest number, and the matching entry number from your Student Media Olympics Entry Form Spreadsheet. For example, if you are from Marshfield High School and are entering Category 1 News: Straight News, Entry 1, you will name your scanned file “MARSHFIELDHSN1.1″ and your second scanned entry in the same category will be named “MARSHFIELDHSN1.2″ and the third scanned entry in the same category will be named “MARSHFIELDHSN1.3″ and so on.

➤ The name on the certificate will be taken from the spreadsheet entry form. Type perfectly, then have each of your student entrants check the spelling of their name on the spreadsheet prior to sending it to Northwest Scholastic Press. We print the certificates from the keystrokes entered on the spreadsheet.

➤ NEW THIS YEAR! Entries will be received through Dropbox

We are requesting that all entries be placed into folders on Dropbox.com. We have decided to use this method instead of emails because our inbox became full very quickly and with Dropbox every entry will be in a designated folder, making the entire process more organized.

Instructions on how to use Dropbox:

  1. Create a free Dropbox account that holds up to 2GB of space for your submissions *if you are able to download the desktop application when registering, please do so*
  2. Name your Dropbox account by school’s name
  3. Create a new folder by clicking the icon on the top right hand corner. It’s second from the left.
    1. Name the folder your school’s name
    2. Inside your school’s named folder, create folders for each category you plan to enter. Example: “1.Straight News” or “18.Front Page Layout”
  4. Once you’ve created a folder for each category your school is entering and placed all entries in the folders, you will now share your school’s folder with[email protected]
  5. Share your folder with us by clicking the “Sharing” link on the left hand side of the webpage. It has a rainbow next to the word “sharing.” Once you click that, click on the blue rectangle on the right hand side that says “New Shared Folder.” Clicking that should bring up a box with the option of creating a new folder to share, or sharing an existing folder. Choose to share an existing folder and click next. Select the folder you’d like to share, and click next again. Add [email protected] to the “invite members to this folder” line, then click
  6. You should receive an email once we’ve joined your folder. If you haven’t received an email telling you we joined, invite us again or send us an email.

Questions? Call 503-412-3664


➤ Judges will evaluate entries and award SuperiorExcellent, and Honorable Mention certificates. All entries will receive comments, highlighting strengths and noting suggestions for improvement.

➤ Judges will select the best entry from each category to award a Best of Category.

➤ All evaluations and certificates will be returned to your school in mid-May in time for presentation to students.

rev 2/2/2015