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FAQs About the CSPA Crown Awards

What do we send for Crown Awards consideration?
A set of publications is any 10 for college print newspapers or any 6 for middle/high school print newspapers; one copy of their magazine; or one copy of their 2015 yearbook. Digital members must submit a working URL address. Hybrids must submit both print papers and a working URL address.

Regular Members send two sets of their publications. One set for critique and one set for Crown consideration.
Associate Members send one set of their publication for Crown consideration.

Can we enter just the Crown Awards, without getting an evaluation, this year?
Yes. Associate Members can enter the Crown Awards without receiving an evaluation.

How is the judging for Crowns different from the publication evaluation?
Crown Awards are judged at Columbia by panels of invited judges, working in groups to review all entries.

The Crown process is more of a “holistic” approach to judging the entire publication, as an informed reader would do. Publications are judged on design, photography, concept, coverage and writing. No written results are provided after the judging.

The Medalist Critique process is a detailed “dissection” of the publication, and the completed results are returned to the school with the judge's commentary written alongside the printed judging standards.

The standards used for both judging processes are the same, but they are applied differently from one process (Crown Awards) to another (Medalist critiques).

Is there any written feedback provided after the Crown judging?
No written feedback is provided after the Crown judging has been completed.

Do the Crown judges compare the critique scores when they judge Crowns?
The Crown judges do NOT have access to the Medalist ratings or point scores.

Are the Crowns judged at the same time as the critiques?
No, the judging for each is completed on separate schedules and in separate locations. The Crowns are done at Columbia in a jury style of judging with books, papers or magazines laid out on tables for the judges to consider.

The Medalist critiques are done by a single judge, using standard Critique scorebooks and common instructions, but working independently at home. The critique gives a single adviser-judge an opportunity to measure one book against the standard criteria while praising specific strengths and noting specific weaknesses. The Crown judging lets a group of judges consider a whole publication and compare it against other publications of similar type.

Do the Crown judges separate colleges/universities, high schools and middle/junior high schools?Colleges/universities form a separate group as do middle/junior high schools and high schools; each are judged separately. All publications are compared against other publications from the same type of school or college.

Can I enter my newspaper and my online news site as a member (for awards consideration)?
News media can be critiqued as print only, digital only or as a hybrid (print/digital).

HYBRID—print publication that provides live coverage via website between print editions. Can include expanded content for stories already covered in print. Could also include updates or completely new coverage via website.

DIGITAL—Online news reporting only; no print component. If a print edition co-exists with the digital news site, then it’s a hybrid publication.

PRINT—News reporting in print only; no digital (online) component. If a digital edition co-exists with the print component, then it’s a hybrid publication.

A note about websites: To be critiqued/evaluated as an online publication and/or site, your website must include material adding web features. Sites offering only PDFs of the existing print publications do not qualify for online news site critique consideration.