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2018 contest opens for entries in January

The 2018 Arkansas College Media Contest website will open for submissions in January 2018. Please note that a radio division was added last year. Winners will be announced at the 2018 Arkansas College Media Convention to be held April 6 at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia. All entries will be submitted through the BetterBNC Media Awards Platform. Below are directions for preparing and submitting entries. If you have questions, please contact the contest coordinator, Mike Taylor, by email at taylorm@hsu.edu or by phone at (870) 230-5182.

IMPORTANT: BetterBNC is optimized for the Google Chrome browser (preferred) or Firefox for PC or Apple. Please have a recent version downloaded and installed for the best contest experience.

The deadline for all digital entries is Feb. 19, 2018. All material submitted must have been published or broadcast in the calendar year 2017.

To create an account (note–this feature will not work until January):

1. Login: Go to www.betterbnc.com.
2. Click “Open Call Login” at the top of the page. (If your browser does not show this choice, click “Contestant Login,” then look for words “open call.”)
3. Click “Create your Open Call account” (you only need to complete this step for your first entry; if you entered last year, you can still log in using the account from last year’s contest).
4. Fill out the form.
5. Click “Submit” at the bottom of the page.

Once you fill out the form to create your Open Call Contestant account, the system will send you a validation email with a link that must be clicked before you can log into your account. After you click this, you may begin submitting entries. These entries will not be “official,” however, until the contest manager has verified that you are actual Arkansas student media. You will receive an email when verification is complete; the contest manager will attempt to validate contestants several times per day during the submission period. In any event, the approval process should not slow your ability to submit entries.

To submit entries:

1. Hover over the red “Open Call Contestant” text in the blue bar at the
top of the page.
2. Select “My Contests” in the menu that appears.
3. In the “Available Contests” section, check the box next to Arkansas College Media Contest
4. Hover over the red “Open Call Contestant” text again
5. Select “Manage Entries” and click “Submit Entry” from the Manage Entries page
6. Select a Division (group of Categories)
7. Select a Category
8. Select “enter manually” from the Publication drop-down menu
9. Enter the name of your media organization in the box below the drop-down menu
10 Enter the entry headline or title
11 Add entry content (may vary by category).

To upload digital file attachments (other than audio/video): click “Browse”, navigate to the desired file, and then click “Open”. Allowed file types are PDF, DOC/DOCX, TXT, JPG, GIF, and PNG. To upload additional attachments to a single entry, click the “Browse and Attach More Files” button. BetterBNC will allow up to about a 20MB file; however, we suggest keeping your files around 5MB in case the judges have a slow connection. For files larger than 20MB, you can click the “RealView” icon on the Submit Entry page to create a free account, upload your files, and then copy and paste the URL into the URL field on the Submit Entry page. You may also use a similar 3rd-party website that provides hosting services (scribd.com, issuu.com, etc.) If your entry (such as an article or  printed page fascimile) is located on your media’s website, you may also paste the content URL into the provided Website URL field instead of uploading attachments.

To add web/audio/video content: copy and paste the content’s URL address into the provided Website URL field. To host your content online, either upload it to a free streaming content website (e.g.YouTube) or talk to your IT person about adding it to your stations/publications website. Make sure the content will be accessible online throughout the duration of the contest and awards process. Here are some examples of free streaming content websites where you can upload audio and video content:
a. Audio: www.kiwi6.com, www.tindeck.com
b. Video: www.youtube.com, www.vimeo.com

Use of copyrighted content: Submissions in all categories must conform to U.S. copyright law, meaning that the use of any copyrighted video, music, photography, artwork or writing within a submission must be either with the explicit permission of the copyright owner and appropriate credit given, or must conform to “Fair Use” standards.  Examples of use with permission might include an AP sports photo with correct photo credit, used by a news organization with an AP subscription within a sports layout entry; an original piece of graphic art based on a photo credited to Creative Commons, used in accordance with the Creative Commons license category as the background for a magazine spread; or a video of a movie trailer taken from the film press website and credited properly, as used in a television review of the film. While “Fair Use” is a complex term requiring detailed advice from the media organization’s adviser, commonly accepted examples might include a photo of a book cover published with a book review and credited to the book’s publisher, an Usher song played during a radio commentary on the singer’s new concert tour, or Harry Potter characters that appear in a comic strip satirizing the book series. Entry examples that would not constitute “Fair Use” and would be disqualified might include a photo of a supermodel used in a fashion spread with the photo credit “Courtesy of Google Images”; an Usher song played during a video profile of a determined local athlete; or a comic strip based on Harry Potter characters acting out scenes from the books and movies. The decision of whether a specific entry should be disqualified for possible copyright violation is left solely to the category judge, so it may be best to err on the side of caution.

IMPORTANT: Please be sure that items linked to your URL are not behind a password-protected area. If they are, you must provide username/password info in the Comments section of your entry. Judges may disqualify your entry if work samples are inaccessible.

After uploading files or pasting URLs, add Comments (if needed), enter Credits, and then click “Submit Entry.” Repeat the above submission steps for each category you choose to enter. One you have created your login, you can return and make new entries as often as you like until the contest deadline.

Special instructions for YEARBOOK GENERAL EXCELLENCE category: You will still create an online entry for your 2016 book using the above process, but instead of uploading a digital file, print the entry label which automatically appears after your entry is submitted. Follow the shipping instructions on the site to send a physical copy of your book to Ann Gardner, who is coordinating judging for this category. These entries must be received no later than Friday, Feb. 19, 2018.

To Pay for Entries: When all entries are submitted, log into your account, navigate to the “Manage Entries” page, click “Calculate Entry Fees” and follow the onscreen instructions to pay for your entries at the same time as you register for the 2017 conference at NWACC on April 7. Membership in Arkansas College Media Association ($20) is required.

Reminders: Arkansas College Media staff members are encouraged to enter any or all of the catego­ries of individual competition or general excellence as appropriate. Entries must have been published or broadcast during 2016. Specific instructions for General Excellence and individual categories are given at the BetterBNC website; these can be viewed once you create your login. Please ensure that the dateline appears on all newspaper entries. Photographs must include the cutline or caption if one appeared in print or online. Entries must include a byline or photo credit, or the author or authors must otherwise be clearly and indisputably identified.

Awards: There may be first, second, third and an honorable mention in each of the individual categories, depending on the judge’s review. Conversely, there may be no award in a category if the judge feels that none were deserved. We are requesting that all entries of merit earn an award.

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