Digital judges general comments

Teaming up with computer science students:

Larry: I think it would be great to see websites more considered and developed and for student newsrooms to reach out to students in computer science programs/telecommunication programs who can code and push what can be done on the web and not necessarily what can be done in an iPad.

iPad magazines:

Larry: A lot of interactive magazine were beautiful but I struggled to see who downloads them. Some took a long time to load. It’s a great exercise for students to do but i don’t know if it’s practical in the real world.

Videos:

Julie: I would ask students to take a hard look at what their doing and ask themselves if they would want to watch that. There were editing issues — some were really long. Others needed to take a step back and stop being too literal. Editing would strengthen all of these videos. Just because someone says something doesn’t mean it’s important.

Performance:

Luke: More consideration needs to be given to performance. If readers are having trouble downloading or it won’t work on all browsers, it kind of defeats the purpose. There’s too much reliance on templates — in this case, Wordpress templates. Maybe with more help from computer science students they could customize it more to meet their needs and desires.

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Redesign of a news website

1st place: dailyorange.com, Chris Voll, Syracuse University, The Daily Orange

A fantastic website. The typography is tight, grid is elegant and flexible. The site embraces white space which helped elevate it. Made it feel more accessible and readable at a glance. Wasn’t overwhelming. Very professional looking.

HM: Montana Journalism Review, Sage Knox and Allison Bye, University of Montana

A great improvement over the old site. It’s clean and simple. Just needs refinement — slideshows need better integration and column widths are too wide. Need to work to make it feel more like it’s not a template. Featured stories need to feel more like featured stories.

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News products appearing on other digital platforms, including iPad, Android and iPhone applications

1st place: The Vertical Floor staff, Syracuse University, The Vertical Floor.

Download their free iPad app at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/vertical-floor/id684962753?mt=8.

Dynamic, vibrant, strong typography. They achieved something that feels like a magazine and uniform all the way through. It was the most professional looking of the bunch. It’s very long – but in a good way. The 3D shoe thing was great.

2nd place: True North Magazine; Ainslie Perlmutt, Ariana Rodriguez-Gitler, Mindy Johnson, Alexis Balinski, Jessica Karsner, Kerry Johnson, Chantrel Reynolds; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Download their free iPad app at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/true-north-magazine/id779698961?mt=8.

It was quite delightful to look through. Embraced the horizontal format of the platform. Some of the pages look quite polished.

3rd place: Flourish Magazine; Bailey Seitter, Melissa Flandreau, Kimberly Thomas, Cheyenne Hooks, Chelsea Woerner, Destiny Thompson, Courtney Lindstrand, Brianna Rolfe Cunningham, Jordan Moses, Sojung Hong; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Download their free iPad app at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/flourish-magazine/id639738112?mt=8.

Every page was a slightly new experience that I had to figure out. It was surprising and memorable.

HM: Ball State Weekly staff, Ball State University

Download their free iPad app at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ball-state-weekly/id719584459?mt=8.

It’s admirable that they produce this publication every week.

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Video or multimedia project

1st place: “Over Water Under Fire,” Hannah Weinberger, Emma Galli, Katy Denning, Sara Peach, Ashlyn Still, G. Ligaiya Romero, Brittain McNeel, Spencer Bakalar, Erin Hull, Natalie Taylor, Eric Pait, John Remensperger, Daren Brabham, Matt Brozowski, Jody Sugrue; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The video quality is absolutely unmatched. So professional looking. It’s just so good. Engaging…the way it was shot, edited, the pacing. It expressed a feeling in a non-literal way, which is hard to do. Really powerful storytelling.

2nd place: “On the Brink,” Denny Hu, Courtney Tye, Emma Galli, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Pacing really helps quite a lot. Short quick shots are beautiful — I love the choppy nature of them. The animations only add to the video quality. The illustrative elements with the documentary images were affective. It felt different without being distracting.

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Interactive or animated infographic

HM: Stephanie Redding, Ball State University, Ball State Weekly. “How a tornado forms” 
To view the graphic, download Ball State Weekly’s iPad app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ball-state-weekly/id719584459?mt=8 (November 22, 2013 issue)

The illustration was good. It really brought what happened closer to home for viewers. It didn’t feel like something they got from other sources without making any sort of attempt to connect it to people in their lives.

HM: Brittain McNeel, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “Population Boom.”
Really simple chart and the accommodation of the information and animation was powerful. The integration of animation into their video was quite tasteful and restrained. It can get tacky very quickly but they did a good job.

 

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Mini-site/special section of a news website

1st place: www.dailyorange.com/tags/2-3-zone-series, Chris Voll, Syracuse University, The Daily Orange

You get a sense that these are special stories. The focus is on the stories without any distractions. Good use of typography and white space. The graphics and videos were integrated really well — especially the timeline. The animated gifs were a great idea. The hand drawn style really worked.

2nd place: http://www.livinggalapagos.org, Alexis Balinski, Isabella Bartolucci, Maria van Alast, Natalie Taylor, G. Ligaya Romero, Hannah Peterson, Caroline Pate, Caitlin Owens, Katie Myer, Casey Miller, Josie Hollingsworth, Katherine Fitzgerald, Simone Duval, Ryan Comfort, Viviana Bonilla; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Unique typography really fit the content. The video and initial image is nice; it’s inviting. I like seeing ‘why it matters’ up high. The narrative underneath it gives you a sense of why you should care. One of the stronger type and color treatments which help with the organization.

3rd place: www.poweringanation.org, Hannah Weinberger, Emma Galli, Katy Denning, Sarah Peach, Ashlyn Still, G. Ligaiya Romero, Brittain McNeel, Spencer Bakalar, Erin Hull, Natalie Taylor, Eric Pait, John Remensperger, Daren Brabham, Matt Brozowski, Jody Sugrue; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Photos and videos are absolutely gorgeous. The annotation on top of the videos were quite nice. That style can get ugly very quickly but they did it in a refined way that really helped the contest. The text templates needed some help. The site felt very comprehensive. If I wanted to know more about this topic, I would feel very satisfied. I could see someone spending an hour or longer with the site.

HM: http://fallworkshop.syr.edu/, Kelly Stevens, Syracuse University, The Fall Workshop

The one case I didn’t mind a sideways scroll — it worked here. The subtle rollover was nice but the piece overall lacked hierarchy. The strength of the individual photos were great and made me want to click on them. What is the fall workshop? I had to do a lot of clicking to figure out where I was and why I was there.

 

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Overall news website

1st place:dailyorange.com, Chris Voll. The Daily Orange, Syracuse University.

A fantastic website. The typography is tight, grid is elegant and flexible. The site embraces white space which helped elevate it and make it feel more accessible and readable at a glance. Wasn’t overwhelming. Very professional looking.

HM: thelewisflyer.com, TheLewisFlyer.com staff, Lewis University.

Typography and hierarchy are well considered. There are parts where the WordPress theme holds them back like stories without photos.

 

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