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Call for Hometown Media Awards Judges!

 2014 Hometown Media Awards

Judging Instructions and Responsibilities

Register to become a judge today!

Judges must register by April 30th and judging will begin on May 7th.


What makes Hometown different from other competitions is that we place great emphasis on the impact of programs on their communities.

It is VERY important that you understand what community access television is all about and the limits on resources and varied capabilities that access centers and independent producers may have. Judges should offer only constructive criticism. Comments are strongly encouraged as participants use feedback to improve their future work. Please note that if you have entered the Hometown Media Awards, you can still be a judge for categories that you are not competing in.

  • All recruited judges must create a unique username and password for themselves. To indicate that you are a judging site and grouped into the same judge entry group, please send an email to Michelle Herr at mherr@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.
  • Entries are only available to view online from the Hometown Judging website (https://www.omnicontests4.com/?comp_id=1308&s=J). For websites, you will actually log on to the website to review it. You will not be able to log in to the site to view entries until judging has official opened on May 7th.
  • Entries for standard categories are required to be limited to 8 minutes, if the submission exceeds this limit please view only 8 minutes of the submission and score accordingly. Please DO NOT disqualify an entry for exceeding the TRT limit.
  • Recruit or assign a responsible staff member, intern, or volunteer to serve as Judging Site Coordinator.
  • Before judging, please have the following forms:
    Categories List and Descriptions
    Judging Sheets (optional)


By April 30 Sign up as a judging site or individual judge
May 7- June 3 Conduct Round 1 of the judging
June 7 – June 20 *Conduct Round 2 of the judging (only if needed)
By June 20 Confirm that all assigned entries have been scored and submitted
June 21 Relax and bask in the gratitude of the entire access community

*If you are willing to participate in Round 2 of the judging process (may be needed for categories in which there were a large number of entries) please check the “yes” box when registering to become a judge or send Michelle an email at MHerr@allcommunitymedia.org. Register to become a judge or judging site.

Disqualification Guidelines

As per the Rules of the competition:

–          Programs under 30 minutes in length can only be up to 8 minutes and from no more than three episodes.

–          Programs over 30 minutes in length can only be up to 20 minutes and from no more than three episodes.

–          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.

–          The entry, or a portion thereof, was produced after December 31, 2013.

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.

If a judge/panel decides to disqualify an entry for one of the reasons listed above, please score the entry with a 1 across all questions.

Disqualification is the last resort. 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.

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.

Judging Overview

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

Producer Divisions

Each category has 3 producer divisions: student, independent producer, and access center professional. Divisions are typically judged separately, unless there are limited entries for the category across all divisions.

Judging Process

  1. View each entry and fill out the scorecard.
  2. Leave any comments (constructive criticism only). If you have no 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 ACM Headquarters and awards given based on the highest scoring entry in each category.

 Thank you for your generous support and time as a 2014 Hometown Media Awards Judge!