New for 2014 and for the first time, advertising and public relations agencies may enter submissions into the Beacon Awards® as long as they have the approval of the client cable system or network.
This year, to ease the entry process, a one-page printable, entry form is posted on the ACC website in addition to the Call for Entry brochure on the website. To submit an entry, create a project summary of up to two pages, complete the entry form and include a form of payment. That’s all it takes. Both the printable entry form and Call for Entry Brochure may be found at https://www.cablecommunicators.org/awards_beacon.php.
All Beacon Award entries must represent work executed and results achieved between March 23, 2013, and March 21, 2014. In addition to electronic submissions, individuals may continue to submit their entries by mail or via a delivery service or send hard copies of supplemental supporting materials. March 21 is the deadline for accepting entries to compete in the 2014 Beacon Awards®.
The Beacon Awards Ceremony will be one of the highlights of ACC’s annual conference, FORUM 2014, June 3-5 in Atlanta at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center. The Beacon Awards® have been cable’s highest recognition of communications and public affairs excellence since 1989. For more information, go to https://www.cablecommunicators.org/awards_beacon.php.
Annually since 2006, C-SPAN has invited middle school students (grades 6-8) and high school students (grades 9-12) to produce short documentaries on an issue of national importance. This year, students used video cameras to answer the question, “What’s the most important issue the U.S. Congress should consider in 2014?”
In response, more than 4,800 students in 46 states and Washington, DC submitted a total of 2,355 entries, an increase of nearly 25 percent more than the number of entries received in 2013. Students worked in teams or as individuals to address a wide range of public policy issues, from immigration to gun legislation to the environment.
“StudentCam serves as a yearly reminder that young people are not only passionate about issues of national significance, but their ideas and opinions are also worthy of our consideration,” says Craig McAndrew, manager of education relations, C-SPAN. “The level of critical thought, effort, and initiative that students have demonstrated in creating their documentaries is inspiring, and we are thrilled to share this year’s winning videos with both Congress and the public.”
For 2014 C-SPAN doubled the number of student prizes and total prize money awarded. High school students competed on a regional level with the U.S. being divided into three regions, West, Central, and East. Middle school students were judged on a national basis. The Grand Prize winners were selected nationally among all regions and grade levels.
Emma Larson, Michaela Capps, and Sarah Highducheck, freshmen at Long Beach Polytechnic High School in Long Beach, Calif., will share $5,000 as Grand Prize winners for their video entitled, "Earth First, Fracking Second."
Shelly Ortiz, Nina Nandin and Hannah Hood, seniors at the Metropolitan Arts Institute in Phoenix, Ariz., will share $3,000 as First Prize winners in the West region for their documentary, “Diagnosing the Problem,” about the state of mental health in America.
Andrew Demeter, a sophomore at Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin in Chardon, Ohio, will received $3,000 as First Prize winner in the Central region for his documentary, “We The People, Genetically Modified,” about genetically modified organisms.
Donald De Alwis, Gabriel Cote and Ajay Kharkar, sophomores at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Md., will share $3,000 as First Prize winners in the East region for their documentary, “A Murky Future,” about water pollution and combine sewer overflows in U.S. waterways.
Peter Jasperse, Antonia Torfs-Leibman and Madeleine Hutchins, eighth graders at Eastern Middle School in Silver Spring, Md., were the National First Prize winners in the Middle School division and will share $3,000 for their documentary, “The NSA: The Lengths of America's Security,” about NSA surveillance.
In addition to the Grand Prize and four First Prize winners, C-SPAN is awarding 16 Second Prize winners, 32 Third Prize winners and 97 Honorable Mentions. These winning videos will receive cash prizes of $1,500, $750, and $250 respectively.
The annual competition is sponsored by the C-SPAN Education Foundation. Videos were evaluated by a panel of educators and C-SPAN representatives based on the thoughtful examination of the competition’s theme, quality of expression, inclusion of varying sides of the documentary’s topic, and effective incorporation of C-SPAN programming.
The grants are part of a multi-faceted, Gold Medal Recognition Program for communities that have done the most to help close the digital divide. Internet Essentials-eligible families in the Gold Medal-recognized communities who are not currently customers may receive six months of complimentary Internet service if they apply and are approved for the program by March 18, 2014.
“In just two and a half years, this groundbreaking initiative has connected more than 1.2 million low-income Americans, or 300,000 families, to broadband Internet at home,” said Cohen. “We are also proud to join President Obama’s call to action for helping to realize his ConnectED educational goals as we announce an extension and enhancement of our multi-year commitment to close the digital divide. Here at Comcast, addressing the digital divide head-on has long been a priority for our company. We believe the Internet has the power to transform lives, strengthen communities, and inspire a new generation of leaders.”
The grants made through the Gold Medal Recognition Program will be used to create Internet Essentials Learning Zones. These networks of non-profit partners will work together to enhance public Internet access and increase family-focused digital literacy training. They will be established in communities in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Fresno, Miami, and Seattle, among others.
In conjunction with the announcements above, Dr. John B. Horrigan, head of research for the Federal Communications Commission’s National Broadband Plan, released a new study of Internet Essentials customers that provides insights on policies that can inform the design of effective broadband adoption programs. The study reflects that Internet Essentials service is widely used by participants to do school work that home users report it helps “a lot,” and that in addition to schools, full-on participation by institutions such as libraries, banks, government agencies, and employers, plays an important role in increasing broadband adoption and utilization.
“The research shows that for broadband adoption initiatives to successfully reach low-income families, they need to embrace two key elements,” said Horrigan. “First, they must be woven into the fabric of the entire community with trusted institutions that can help nurture and sustain Internet usage. Second, programs need to provide robust digital literacy educational opportunities that address the knowledge gap head on.” The complete report may be accessed at http://corporate.comcast.com/images/Final_IE_Research_Full_Paper.pdf.
The 15 Gold Medal recognized communities that will create Internet Essentials Learning Zones include: Adams County, Colo.; Atlanta, Ga.; Aurora, Colo.; Chicago, Ill.; Cicero-Berwyn, Ill.; Collier, Fla.; Denver, Colo.; Elk Grove, Calif.; Fresno, Calif.; Miami, Fla.; Palm Beach, Fla.; Pasadena, Texas; Seattle, Wash.; St. Paul, Minn.; and Tacoma, Wash. Comcast is also recognizing five “most improved” communities that are eligible to participate in the two-week, complimentary service opportunity. These include: Baltimore, Md.; Lee, Fla.; Philadelphia, Pa.; San Francisco; and Stockton, Calif. For more information or to apply for the program, visit www.InternetEssentials.com or contact Charisse R. Lillie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-286-7370.
This one-night only event will treat those attending to a first-of-its-kind advanced screening and will include show costumes and props displays from the traveling exhibition, photo ops on the Iron Throne and other unique experiences. The centerpiece of the night will be the screening of the first episode of season four on a stadium-sized screen for 7,000 audience members. For additional information contact Suzanne Pinto at Suzanne.Pinto@hbo.com or 212-512-1904.
NCTA’s vision is that “platform” will provide informative, useful and (occasionally) entertaining content about tech and telecom policy issues, the cable television industry and NCTA itself. Platform will be updated two to three times a week and will have a subscription feature enabling individuals to receive posts sent directly to their email inboxes. For additional information on “platform,” contact Brian Dietz at email@example.com or 202-222-2358.
It’s very easy to enter the contest. Go to the Characters Unite nominations page, http://www.charactersunite.com/initiatives/characters-unite-awards/nomination-form and just fill in the requested information. Nomination possibilities include someone who is tackling teen bullying, promoting diversity, championing equal rights, or donating time or resources to give all people opportunities. The purpose is to recognize anyone who is making a difference to create a more united USA.
Entry requirements include a short essay of no more than 500 words that summarizes how the nominee meets the following three criteria items, along with a photo of the nominee. First, "Character:" an individual who has shown great dedication, passion, and determination, in the face of a challenge or adversity, in fighting social injustice. Second, "Impact:" a person who has made a significant and lasting difference in overcoming prejudice or ending discrimination (age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities) and in promoting respect and acceptance. And finally, "influence:" a person who has established his/her community (city, state, country, school, house of worship, workplace, organization, etc.) to increase awareness, create unity and expand the reach and legacy of his/her work.
USA Network will select the award winners based on the following three areas. Compelling nature of the project: 60%; clear presentation of ideas: 30%; and grammar and spelling: 10%.
In addition to the ten national winners, a separate contest will be conducted for each of the following cable operators: Cox Communications, Suddenlink Communications, Charter, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Mediacom. For additional information contact Loren Hynes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-664-4753.
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