Northwest Scholastic Press

Student Media Olympics


Make sure your journalism and media students receive the statewide recognition they deserve. It’s time to enter your staff’s best work of the year in 2019. Review your newspapers, magazines, yearbooks, videos, podcasts, and websites for your best journalistic work this year and submit your entries using the BetterBNC platform by May 3rd. See instructions for submitting through BetterBNC below.

What is this contest? Student Media Olympics is a contest of student journalists’ work published since August 1, 2018. Entries in 40 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.

Download the Student Media Olympics Invoice here

How much does it cost? NWSP members receive 10 SMO entries with membership, every entry after that is $3 each. Non-members pay $5 per entry.

How many entries may each school submit? Up to three entries per categories. 

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 Best of Category, Superior, Excellent or Honorable Mention entries will be mailed to schools by late May. 

Where can I find the results?: Results will be available to you through BetterBNC and our website. If you have issues accessing your results, please contact Simone at [email protected]


N1. Strictly news
N2. In-depth/analysis news: single story
N3. In-depth news package: multiple stories, artwork, graphics, video, audio
N4. Human interest
N5. News feature
N6. Sports news
N7. Sports feature
N8. Sports opinion
N9. Editorial–Staff opinion
N10. Column: single story
N11. Editorial cartoon
N12. Review
N13. Single issue, print
N14. Front page layout
N15. Inside page layout
N16. Double page/in-depth layout

Y1. Theme package (cover, end sheet, title page, opening, dividers, closing, parting page): From the front cover to the back cover, your book should have a unified theme. This category evaluates that continuity. The parting page is the last page of your book.
Y2. Academic spread: Coverage is centered around the courses you take in school. 
Y3. Sports spread: Submit coverage of boys’ or girls’ JV, varsity, and freshman athletic teams. This can also include cheerleaders and the dance team.
Y4. Organization page/spread: Coverage of school clubs or official/unofficial groups.
Y5. People section page/spread: Coverage on senior, junior, sophomore, freshman or faculty pages.
Y6. Student life spread: Coverage of students at your school.
Y7. Non-traditional coverage spread: For schools who do umbrella, chronological, or a blended coverage.
Y8. Personality profile: Pages or spreads on individual students.
Y9. All coverage device: A bar or mod that is theme related and goes through the entire book. We want to see at least five uses of it.
Y10. Cover Design: Single cover or the front page of your yearbook.

P1. News photo
P2. Human interest/feature photo
P3. Sports photo
P4. Photo story

A1. Illustration with story
A2. Infographic
A3. Comic Strip

(Professional logos okay; no agency slicks or prepared slicks)
AD1. Single ad, student-produced

(Submit web links on the entry form for services such as,, or other hosting services our judges can access with the link.)
B1. News broadcast (submit web link on entry form)
B2. Human interest package (submit web link on entry form)
B3. Sports package (submit web link on entry form)

PC1. News radio/podcast (submit web link on entry form)
PC2. Human interest radio/podcast (submit web link on entry form)
PC3. Sports radio/podcast (submit web link on entry form)

(Submit web link on entry form)
W1. Website

How to enter the Student Media Olympics

This year, entries to Student Media Olympics will be submitted using the BetterBNC Media Awards Platform. *BetterBNC is optimized for Google Chrome and Firefox. Please use either browser for the best contest experience. 

The deadline for entries is May 3, 2019.

1) JOIN NWSP: Sign up for an NWSP membership, if you’re not a member already.

2) COMPLETE STUDENT MEDIA OLYMPICS INVOICE: Download the SMO invoice and email it to [email protected] BEFORE submitting entries to the contest. 

3) LOGIN USING CONTESTANT MANAGER: Visit the BetterBNC website and choose “Contestant Login” in the top menu. The “Contestant Manager” tab will be automatically be selected. From the list of contests, choose “Student Media Olympics” (it’s the last contest on the list). Use the ‘Select Media Organization” drop-down menu and select your school.

  • If yours isn’t on the list, email [email protected] and we’ll add you. Some schools are also split by publication – we do this for schools who have different advisers. 
  • The temporary password for your account was sent to your email: subject line, “Now Accepting Entries to Student Media Olympics!”
  • Update your password and enter your contact information — we recommend advisers create the account and then give students access by making them an Authorized Entrant. 

You’ll be able to use this account and password forever – No need to create a new account when submitting in 2020, 2021, etc. 
Once you create an account, you’re ready to start submitting!

4) SUBMIT ENTRIES: Save all entries as a PDF, JPG, or PNG. Remember, you can submit up to three entries per category.

IMPORTANT: For categories where you need to submit a two-page spread, it’s imperative that you save that file as a spread BEFORE submitting it. We are unable to edit your PDFs through the platform. 

  1. Click “Submit Entry” from the Manage Entries page
  2. Select a Division (group of categories: Advertising, Art, Broadcast, Newspaper/Magazine, Photography, Podcast, Website, and Yearbook)
  3. Select a category within that division
  4. Select the Media Organization where the entry was published or performed
  5. Enter the entry headline or title
  6. To upload digital file attachments (other than audio/video), click “Browse”, navigate to the desired file, and then click “Open”. For newspaper entries, please submit the story as it appears in your paper – if there are articles around it, either place a BOX around the article intended for judging or CROP it. This can be done using Adobe Acrobat. To upload additional attachments to a single entry, click the “Browse and Attach More Files” button. 
  7. Uploading web/audio/video content is similar to step 6, but BetterBNC will allow files up to 20MB and suggest you keep them around 5MB. If your file is too large, copy and paste the content’s URL address into the provided website field. To host your content online, either upload it to a free streaming content site (YouTube or Vimeo) or add it to your publication’s site. Make sure the content will be accessible online through the duration of the contest and award process
  8. Add comments and enter credits in the designated boxes
  9. Click “Submit Entry” and repeat steps for each division you plan on entering. 

NOTE: We no longer accept video streams for broadcast entries. Judges find them hard to effectively critique, as they don’t fit the criteria outlined in our rubrics. 

Questions? Call 503-412-3664

Awards to be made

The name on the certificate will be taken from the names you included on your entry form (on BetterBNC).

  • 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 once judging is complete.

rev 3/25/2019

Student Media Olympics