Rules & Eligibility

THE DEADLINE TO SUBMIT ENTRIES HAS PASSED. COMPETITION NOW CLOSED TO NEW ENTRIES.

WINNERS HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED. VIEW THE WINNERS HERE.

 

A series of tragic and senseless acts of violence have sparked a nationwide debate about how to keep our schools and communities safe. What’s missing from these conversations are student voices like yours. In light of this, participants now have the option to produce a journalistic video entry about issues relating to school and community safety. Your entry should inspire critical thinking, reflection—and action . Add the voice of your peers, loved ones, and community members.  Submit your video under the topic “Education Reform” by January 19, 2013 by midnight. Entries will be judged, and the best socially relevant videos will be acknowledged through our student competition. Entry must meet the guidelines listed below.
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The Engage 2012 Student Journalism Challenge open-entry period begins Friday, September 7, 2012. To accommodate educators and make room for more entries, the deadline to submit entries has been extended to Saturday, January 19, 2013. Students may submit their entries and signed paperwork online anytime before midnight on January 19. Please see below to learn how certain dates have changed.

The competition at a glance:
Open-Entry Period Begins: Friday, September 7, 2012
Online Submission Deadline: 11:59 pm Saturday, January 19, 2013 COMPETITION CLOSED TO NEW ENTRIES
Announcement of Regional Finalists: Friday, February 8, 2013
Announcement of Semi-Finalists: Friday, February 22, 2013
Announcement of Winners: Friday, March 1, 2013

Guidelines

To participate in the challenge, create a journalistic video story no longer than 2 minutes concerning your community that relates to one of these six issues pertinent to the 2012 Presidential Election:

  1. Voter Turnout
  2. Jobs & the Economy
  3. Education Reform
  4. Health Care
  5. Energy & Environment
  6. Immigration

You can submit up to three entries either as an individual or as part of a group. If you submit multiple entries, they do not need to be about the same topic. However, they must relate to one of the six topics listed above.

You must obtain a signed release form from all subjects who appear prominently on camera and from all those from whom you borrowed materials. Materials can include music, photos, audio (sound clips), or video clips, as well as anything else you use for your entries. For example, if you use a photo of a neighbor in your video, you’ll need to get their signed consent (if the person is under the age of 18, you’ll need to get both their consent and their parent’s consent).

When in doubt, obtain a signed release form. Release forms can be found on our Forms page.

You must obtain the legal rights to any music, photos, sound clips, or video clips used in entries unless the media or materials are of your own creation. You can find links to free music and audio clips for your videos on our Helpful Resources page. You won’t need to obtain a signed consent form to use the music and audio clips from those websites, although you should always credit from who and where you found your materials.

In addition to obtaining signed release forms, you’ll need to download and print out a parental release and consent form if you are under the age of 18. Ask a parental or legal guardian to read over the form and sign it. This gives you permission to participate in the challenge. Parental consent forms can be found on our Forms page.

We are looking for entries that are accurate, fair, interesting, and informative. To give you an idea of what kinds of videos other students your age are making, watch this mash-up of political and journalistic videos made by students just like you!

You can also explore our Helpful Resources page for useful information about nonfiction storytelling, tips on creating compelling video narratives, and links to camera and software tutorials.

Eligibility

1. To participate, you must be a K-12th grade student living in the United States or one of its territories. If your parents or legal guardians actively serve in the military overseas and you go to school overseas, that also qualifies you for the competition. Public, private, and parochial school students and home-schooled and distance-learning students living within the United States or its territories are eligible to participate.
2. Entries must be about one of these six topics listed below:

1. Voter Turnout
2. Jobs & the Economy
3. Education Reform
4. Health Care
5. Energy & Environment
6. Immigration

If you submit multiple entries, they do not need to be about the same topic. However, they must relate to one of the six topics listed above.
3. Each individual student may submit up to 3 entries.
4. No more than 3 students may submit a single entry as a  group. Groups may submit up to 3 entries.
5. In no instance can a single individual be named on more than 3 entry forms. This means that you can submit up to three entries either as an individual or as part of a group.
6. Although you may ask an adult for guidance, the entries must be the your own work.
7. Each individual entry can be no longer than 2 minutes in length.
8. No students from conflicting grade categories may submit an entry as a group.  For example, a student who falls under the K-5th grade category may not work on an entry from a student who falls under the 9th-12-th grade category.
9. Entries may not contain any of the following:

a. Pornography or sexually explicit content
b. Animal abuse
c. Drug abuse
d. Under-age drinking and smoking
e. Bomb-making
f. Illegal activity of any kind
g. Graphic or gratuitous violence
h. Any copyrighted material entrants do not have written permission to use
i. Hate speech, which for the purposes of this legal document is defined as speech which attacks or demeans a group based on race or ethnic origin, nationality, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity
j. Predatory behavior, including stalking, threats, harassment, intimidation, invading privacy, revealing other people’s personal information, and inciting others to commit violent acts or to violate the Terms and Conditions of the Challenge, Google’s Privacy Policy, YouTube’s Terms of Service, or YouTube’s Community Guidelines
k. Misleading descriptions, tags, titles, or thumbnail images

10. Your entries must be uploaded to YouTube before they can be submitted to the challenge.
11. You entries must be submitted on or after September 7, 2012, and no later than November 5, 2012 at 11:59 pm.
12. Every participant under the age of 18 must submit a signed parental agreement form that contains a signature from a parent or legal guardian.
13. Along with the parental agreement form, participants must a signed release form for all subjects who appear prominently on camera and from all those from whom you borrowed materials.
14. Entries can not be created with illegally pirated software.

Submitting Entries

Scan your signed release form and your signed parental consent form to a computer and turn them into separate PDFs. Ask an adult to help you if you need it.

Note: For group entries, every group member under the 18 years of age must obtain a signed parental agreement form from a parent or legal guardian. This signature also verifies that any music, photos, audio, video, and software you used in your entries were legally obtained, and that the entries are your own work and not the work of an adult who is no longer a K-12 student.

Make a YouTube account if you don’t already have one. Then upload your video to YouTube. Your entry must contain a Creative Commons license for CC BY. This license allows others to distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. You can easily add this free license to your video entry when you upload it through YouTube.  Simply click on the button under “Broadcasting and Sharing Options” that says, “Creative Common Attribution license – reuse allowed.” YouTube has provided directions for how to do this here.

Fill out this online submission form here. You will be asked to upload your parental agreement form and your release forms. You will also be asked to provide the URL of your YouTube video.

Entries will be divided into regions and grade categories depending on your state of residence and grade level. When filling out the submission form, participants will need to indicate their grade levels and which of the five regions of the United States they fall under.

The five regions, and their corresponding states or territories, are listed below:

Northeast: Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Delaware
Southeast: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Louisiana, Arkansas, U.S. virgin Islands, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico
Southwest: Arizona, Colorado, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, Texas
Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin
Northwest: Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Guam

No students from conflicting regions may submit an entry as a group.

Your grade category will be based on the grade level you are entering upon fall of 2012. The categories include:

K – 5th grade
6th – 8th grade
9th – 12th grade

No students from conflicting grade categories may submit an entry as a group.  For example, a student who falls under the K-5th grade category may not work on an entry with a student who falls under the 9th-12th grade category.

Judging

The Engage 2012 Student Journalism Challenge is focused on access and inclusiveness. Stories will be judged on the quality of the content and storytelling rather than production value. We are looking for stories that are accurate, fair, interesting and informative.

Regional Finals
Judging will take place online. After the open entry period ends midnight January 19, 2013. The top 75 videos, represented by five K – 5th-grade entries, five 6th – 8th-grade entries, and five 9th – 12th-grade entries from each region, will go on to compete in the semi-finals.

Regional finalists will be announced online at the Engage 2012 website on Friday, February 8, 2013.

Semifinals
Fifteen semifinalists will be determined by a panel of professors and college newspaper journalists from journalism schools representing each of the five designated regions. The schools will choose three  semifinalists from each region, represented by one K-5th-grade entry, one 6th-8th-grade entry, and one 9th -12th-grade entry, who will go on to the national competition.

Semifinalists will be announced online at the Engage 2012 website on Friday, February 22, 2013.

Nationals
The judging panel for the national competition will include five journalism professionals leading in the field. From the semi-finalist entries, the panel will select three winners, represented by one K-5th-grade entry, one 6th-8th-grade entry, and one 9th-12th-grade entry.

Winners  will be announced online on Friday,March 1, 2013.

Awards

Students in the K-5 and 6-8 grade categories who submit winning entries will each receive a copy of Adobe Premiere Elements and Adobe Photoshop Elements. Each winner will receive a certificate recognizing the student as a winner of the Engage in Democracy 2012 Student Journalism Challenge.

Adobe Prize - Elementary and Middle SchoolStudents in the 9 – 12 grade category who submit winning entries will each receive a copy of Adobe Production Premium. Each winner will receive a certificate recognizing the student as a winner of the Engage in Democracy 2012 Student Journalism Challenge.

Student Ambassadors who recruit the most participants from their school or community will receive a copy of Adobe Premiere Elements.