News Media Evaluation and Gallup Award
The News Media Evaluation provides media staffs a one-of-a-kind self-assessment, thorough analysis and rating of your publication(s), with constructive comments and suggestions for improvement from qualified evaluators. The evaluation exercise and feedback are instructive and developmental. The ratings are motivational. High schools and junior high schools may enter their multimedia news operations, newspapers, news magazines and/or online news sites until June 15, 2019. Entries and ratings are returned in September 2019. This service is open to non-member schools as well as member schools.
Please use the form “Registration Form and Questionnaire” to register your student publications for the 2018-2019 Quill and Scroll News Media Evaluation. You have four choices for submission:
- COMPREHENSIVE NEWS MULTIMEDIA. Do you have a news magazine, a website and social media associated with both? Submit multiple media — including three issues of a printed publication and URLs for digital and social media — for a full evaluation of your entire news and journalism programs. These critiques include extensive comments from your evaluator. (Fee is $150 for a comprehensive evaluation.)
- COMPREHENSIVE SINGLE NEWS MEDIUM. Submit three issues from 2018-2019 of a single medium (newspaper, news magazine or online news site) for a full evaluation. These critiques include extensive comments from your evaluator. (Fee is $80 per medium.)
- RATINGS ONLY MULTIMEDIA. Submit your multimedia news operation — including three issues of a printed publication and URLs for digital and social media — for a ratings-only evaluation ($80). These critiques include no comments from your evaluator. (Fee is $80.)
- RATINGS ONLY SINGLE NEWS MEDIUM. Submit three issues from 2018-2019 of a single medium (newspaper, news magazine or online news site) for a ratings-only evaluation. These critiques include no comments from your evaluator. (Fee is $55.)
All entries are eligible to be considered for the top rating, the Gallup Award.
To enter, please follow instructions carefully:
- Download NME Registration Form and Questionnaire you see on the right and type in your answers.
- Save the document both as a Word doc and as a PDF, and email both to [email protected].
- Pay by credit card online or by check payable to Quill and Scroll and mail to the address below.
- If you have print publications that need to evaluated, mail three separate issues by June 15, 2019 to:
News Media Evaluation
Quill and Scroll
University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Comm.
100 Adler Journalism Bldg., Room W111
Iowa City, IA 52242
About which three issues to choose
This depends on your goals for the evaluation, but they must be from the 2018-2019 academic year. If you hope to earn the best rating possible, you probably will choose what you think are the best three issues. However, some staffs will want to know how much they improved from the fall to the spring. We will ask our judges to measure improvement, certainly, but they also want to see consistency over time. If your publication was excellent for the final two issues but struggled to reach that level of excellence earlier in the year, the judge will be instructed to base the final rating on the final two issues. However, if two of the three sample publications don’t reach a top level — even if the final publication is excellent — the judge’s final rating will reflect that improvement but won’t give out our highest ranking, the Gallup Award.
The Quill and Scroll Board of Directors has revamped this critique form to meet those expectations. We now have five areas for evaluation. They are:
- General Practices
- Writing and Editing
- Digital — Social Media and Website (For Online Only and Multimedia Evaluations)
Judges will attach a ranking in each area. Those rankings are:
- Needs Improvement
Here are the list of awards, in order of prestige:
- George H. Gallup Award
- This means that a publication has received a “Superior” rating overall in each of the four or five areas for evaluation. (Four areas for newspapers and news magazines. Five areas for online media and for comprehensive evaluations.)
- International First Place Award
- This means that a publication has received at least one “Superior” and at least one “Excellent” rating in the four or five areas for evaluation, with the other areas rated “Good.”
- International Second Place Award
- This means that a publication has received “Good” or better in the four or five areas for evaluation, but does not qualify for the higher awards.
- International Honor Award
- This means the publication has received at least one “Needs Improvement” rating in the four or five areas for evaluation.
You will also notice on the right an Evaluation Form. This form is for you to use as a guide in preparing your Registration Form. The Evaluation Form is also your judge’s guide. Judges will use your Registration Form along with the Evaluation Form to provide you a comprehensive evaluation. Again, remember that if you order a Comprehensive evaluation, judges will provide you with extensive comments and suggestions for improvement on the Evaluation Form. If you order a Ratings-Only evaluation, there will be no comments or suggestions from the judge.
Quill and Scroll has been working with the Journalism Education Association to develop guidelines for media evaluation. Here are our standards for judges, advisers and student journalists.
GOOD CRITIQUES SHOULD
- Apply consistent and transparent expectations from judge to judge and entry to entry.
- Include concrete, specific and thorough feedback based on recognized best practices.
- Acknowledge and encourage the idea that the best student media programs are labs for experimentation. Students may be doing something that doesn’t adhere to the traditional expectations outlined in the evaluation tool. Judges should be flexible enough to allow for individual choices made by student media outlets in meeting the needs of their specific audience.
- Contain specific recommendations for improvement to student media outlets in ways that improve low-performing outlets but also challenge high-performing outlets by providing next steps for growth of the media outlet.
- Include both positive comments and constructive criticism.
- Recognize that the realities of a student classroom experience differ from that of the professional media in terms of time, budget and resources available.
- Address student freedom of expression and journalism law and ethics, including copyright, plagiarism and censorship issues that are apparent to the judge.
- Address the most basic storytelling skills (reporting and writing, photojournalism, presentation, etc.).
- Address industry-standard technical skills (software usage, media platforms, etc.).
- Address targeted areas identified by an adviser or student leaders in their introductory statement.
- Provide opportunities to demonstrate growth over time (year-to-year or within years).
- Have specific deadlines for submission and be returned in a timely manner to provide useful feedback.
- Be completed by a qualified judge.
ADVISERS SHOULD DO THE FOLLOWING WITH CRITIQUES
- BEFORE SUBMITTING WORK FOR CRITIQUE
- Adviser or student leaders should provide a statement summarizing targeted areas of growth, as well as specific questions about the current year’s work.
- Provide information about the school, student staff and media outlet, as requested by the sponsoring organization, to give judges insight into factors affecting content and coverage.
- Seek critiques from different organizations to form multiple perspectives.
- AFTER RECEIVING A CRITIQUE
- Review and understand the feedback before sharing it widely with students. Determine which areas of a critique should be emphasized.
- Celebrate success.
- See criticism as an opportunity for growth and future success.
- Synthesize feedback from a variety of critiques from multiple organizations to establish strategies for improvement and growth; apply lessons learned to a wide spectrum of future work.
- Use evaluations as teaching tools; encourage students to use evaluation instruments for peer editing.
- Understand that critiques are not designed to be a qualitative measure of teacher performance but may be conversation starters with school administrators.
- Share feedback about the evaluation results and processes with contest administrators, but understand that evaluators/judges are colleagues or professionals giving their time and expertise with the best of intentions.