Membership for 2016-2017 publications/media
Deadlines to submit
Spring publications/media: June 12, 2017
Get answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Why is the newspaper & magazine deadline (June 12th) earlier than the yearbook and online deadline (October 13th)?
To permit timely returns of Medalists critiques, it is essential to have all newspapers and magazines submitted in June. We have more adviser-judges available to complete an evaluation at this time. The sooner we receive your publication, the sooner we can get it to an adviser-judge.
Despite the October 13th deadline, we encourage yearbooks to submit their edition as soon as they are printed. Late summer and fall delivery yearbooks have until October 13th to send in their publications.
Only Regular Members receive a written evaluation (critique) of their publication. Newspapers, magazines, yearbooks and Web sites should complete the Membership Form and send it to us as soon as possible.
All CSPA memberships run from July 1st of the current membership year until June 30th of the following year, regardless of what time of year you submitted your publication for membership.
Associate and Basic Members are CSPA members, yet neither receive a written evaluation/critique of their publication and/or Web site.
Associate Members receive membership in CSPA, entry into the Crown Awards, 30 free Gold Circle entries and a copy of the Special Edition Crown Awards DVD.
Basic Members receive membership in CSPA, 30 free Gold Circle entries and a copy of the Special Edition Crown Awards DVD.
Hybrid members at either level receive 60 Gold Circle entries: 30 print and 30 digital.
CSPA dates its awards by the year in which they are given. If your newspaper, yearbook or magazine was published during the 2016-2017 school year, it should be entered during Spring/Fall 2017 for the Crown Awards that will be announced in March 2018. The Crown Awards final submission deadline is June 12, 2017 for print news, magazines, digital, hybrid, and Spring yearbooks. For Summer/Fall yearbooks the deadline is October 13, 2017.
Regular Members should send two sets of newspapers, two copies of their magazine or two copies of their 2017 yearbook. One set/copy will be sent to a critique judge; the second set/copy stays in our office from Crown judging in Fall 2017.
Associate Members will send one set/copy of their publication when sending us their initial materials.
Yes: Associate Members can enter the Crown Awards without receiving an 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).
No written feedback is provided after the Crown judging has been completed.
The Crown judges do NOT have access to the Medalist ratings or point scores.
No, the two judgings are 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.
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.
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 online sites: 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.