Fade out

Our photo category was over in a flash.

On Monday,  The CCC Awards will announce our first – and only – photography winners. Then we’re closing the category. You can still enter photos under General Content.

So what happened? Three things…

  1. Entry entropy. We got a mere 21 entries for the category’s debut, which included everything since this crisis began. If we continued, next week would only cover Saturday through Friday – which would mean even fewer entries.
  2. Subject similarity. Shooting safely means lots of long lenses poking out of rolled-down car windows and pointed at empty parking lots, lines at drive-up testing centers, and inspirational/funny/sad outdoor signs. As one photographer (who objected to this category in the first place) told me last night, “That gets boring really fast.”
  3. NPPA unease. The National Press Photographers Association withdrew from The CCC Awards after its leaders worried their participation “could endanger the health of our members and the public.” This is their area of expertise, and journalists respect experts.

You’ll notice “Twitter outrage” wasn’t one of our reasons. As I wrote a couple days ago, Twitter isn’t where you go for calm, reasoned debate. It’s where you get accused of “putting lives in danger.” Still, through Twitter, we met some smart people who made the compelling arguments above. For that, we’re grateful.

Stay safe or stay away

The photo atop this post is from the front page of the last print issue of the Flyer News at the University of Dayton. It features the campus chapel – “the undisputed symbol of my university,” the EIC wrote us. This photo entry and the 20 others were impressive and even a little touching.

But we don’t want our entrants touching anything else, so we’ve added this to every category: If any entry even looks unsafe, our judges will disqualify it. If we didn’t listen to our critics, we never would’ve made that important change. So thanks to them.

Judge us like we judge others

It anyone else has ideas for further improving The CCC Awards, we’re all ears. Contact us. (While prepping nearly 250 entries for our judges after midnight, I was on the phone with a photographer who gave us some great ideas.)

Finally, to the tweeters who wondered, “Why do you even need to do this contest at all,” listen to Tara Lonsdorf, EIC at Rowan University in New Jersey. She entered one of her reporters, who won an honorable mention last week…

I want to acknowledge how much this means to The Whit, an underfunded publication at a D3 regional public university that most people have never even heard of. It is incredibly meaningful that ACP and SPJ have chosen to honor a struggling campus news outlet, and I hope you will continue to elevate the work of other outlets without significant institutional support.

That’s why.


 


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