A Judging Note

Entries will be judged on the following criteria:
— Readability
— Effectiveness of interpretation
— Accuracy and completeness
— Enterprise
— Clarity and Style
— Resourcefulness of the reporter in overcoming obstacles
— Interest
— Adherence to the SPJ Code of Ethics

Winning entries receive certificates for first, second, third or honorable mention in each of the individual categories. Ties are permitted.  Limit honorable mentions to just one per category.

Conversely, judges may decide to not award a category if they determine no entries deserved an award. If no award of merit is awarded, we ask the judge to leave comments as to why the category does not meet judging standards.

ACMA requests all entries of merit earn an award.

Independent observations from someone who has nothing to gain or lose from being blatantly honest helps Arkansas’ student media practitioners consider what they can do to improve their skills upon entering a shrinking job market. While ACMA does not request a thesis, a sentence or two means a lot to student journalists. If judges feel constrained by time, we request at least a two-sentence critique for each category’s winners.

Judges may use whatever criteria they determine necessary for the individual categories scored. They may use the sample forms below, modify them or use a different scoring rubric they consider fair. Some type of scoring rubric should be submitted with the General Excellence Awards so students will understand how they were judged.

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