Hometown Media Awards- Judging

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Why Should You Become a Judge?
What makes Hometown different from other competitions is that we place great emphasis on the impact of programs on their communities. Be a vital part of this awards program and take pride knowing your support has greatly impacted the wonderful workers of this industry. No traveling is required to be a judge – your work is done on your own computer!

Who is Eligible to Judge?
It is extremely important a judge is familiar with the community media industry, and understands what community access television entails. This includes awareness that many access centers, independent producers and all involved in creating community media have various capabilities and limited resources on their projects.

Submitted a Program? You Can Judge, Too!
Even if you enter to compete in the Hometown Media Awards, you can judge for categories other than those you have entered.

How Do You Become a Judge?
All judges must register online to become a judge by creating a unique username and password. This allows you to view the entries of the category (or categories) you are chosen to evaluate.

Round 2 is Optional
When registering, there is an option for you to select “Participate in Round 2.” Round 2 of judging only happens if there is a large number of entries in a single category. You are not required to judge this round. If you are willing to judge fora second round, please check the “yes” box when registering to become a judge or let Katie know by sending an email to kbenson@allcommunitymedia.org.

Judging Groups
To indicate that you are a judging site and grouped into the same judge entry group, please send an email to Katie at kbenson@allcommunitymedia.org with the full names of all individuals in your judging site and location or enter this information on the bottom fields of the registration form. All of these judges will be placed in the same judging team once they have created an account and will all score the same entries or categories. Recruit or assign a responsible staff member, intern, or volunteer to serve as Judging Site Coordinator.

Where and When Do You Judge?
You will be able to view the entries by logging into the judges’ website with your personal account. Although you can log into your account, no entries will be visible until March 20thNo traveling is required for becoming a judge!

January 15 – March 15 | Sign up as a judging group or an individual judge
March 20 – April 10 | Conduct Judging Round 1
April 10 | Confirm that all assigned entries in Round 1 have been scored and submitted
April 16 – May 1 | Conduct Round 2 (if needed/applicable)
May 1 | Confirm that all assigned entries in Round 2 have been scored and submitted
May 2 | Pat yourself on the back! You have made a great impact on helping community media. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, expertise and time you’ve dedicated to this project.

We would love to see you at the Hometown Media Awards Celebration on July 12th, but it is not mandatory. The Hometown Media Awards Celebration is held during our Annual ACM Conference.

How Do You Judge/Evaluate the Entries?
There is a scorecard within your judge account you will use for each entry. The scorecard provides specific items you will be evaluating on a scale of 1-10. There is an optional judging sheet for you to reference.

Judges should offer only constructive criticism. Providing comments is strongly encouraged; participants do use feedback to improve their future work.

Familiarize yourself with our Categories & Descriptions and our Rules before and during your evaluation of the entries. Please also read our disqualification guidelines below.

Process of judging the entries on your account:

  1. View each entry and fill out a scorecard.
  2. Please leave comments (constructive criticism only). If you do not have any comments, please write “no comments.”
  3. If you come across an entry that is yours or where there is a strong conflict of interest, press the “Recuse” button and the entry will be removed from your judging queue.
  4. Final tallies of all scorecards will be tabulated at the F/ACM Headquarters and awards given based on the highest scoring entry in each category.

Disqualification Guidelines
Disqualification is the last resort.  If a judge/panel decides to disqualify an entry for a qualified reason, please score the entry with a score of 1 across all questions.

What Should Get Disqualified?
-The entry, or a portion thereof, which was produced after December 31, 2017.

-An Overall Excellence Award entry that does not include unedited excerpts from at least six programs or does not include the complete support information form.

What DOESN’T Get Disqualified?
-Entries for most standard categories are limited to eight minutes total run time (TRT). If the submission exceeds its limit of eight minutes, DO NOT disqualify the entry. DO only judge on eight minutes of the submission and score accordingly.

-If you judge an entry that does not seem to be appropriate for the category, score it low on questions that relate to content. If support materials are lacking and you cannot judge the producer’s intent, score the entry low of those questions.

If you are unable to view an entry due to issues with permissions, please notify Katie at  kbenson@allcommunitymedia.org she will contact the entrant to enable access.

More Tips & Information on Judging

Please keep in mind that the viewing quality of the video might not be the highest due to compression to fit the 300MB upload limit. This should, however, not affect your ability to judge the entry based on technical execution.

Each category will have a different number of entries so please be flexible on this.

Producer Divisions
Each category has three producer divisions: student, independent producer, and access center professional. Divisions are typically judged separately.

Overall Excellence Entries
The Overall Excellence award is the highest award presented by the Alliance to access organizations. It recognizes their overall operation and programming efforts. Overall Excellence entries should not be longer than 20 minutes. We ask judges to watch the entire entry and to carefully review the supplemental information.

Thank you for your generous support and time as a 2018 Hometown Media Awards Judge!