Never again?

Two months since we started The CCC Awards…

…and 238 student media outlets submitted 995 entries containing 1,574 pieces of content. So did interns at 20 pro outlets, ranging from The Washington Post to New York Times to USA Today.

Since I predicted 50 entries a week and instead we averaged 140, I’d say The CCC Awards were a success. But we never want to do it again. Or to be more specific, we hope there’s no reason to ever repeat it.

Overall, 20,681 unique visitors clicked through this website 47,936 times. SPJ has decided to maintain it, and we’re offering our database of entries (with contact info removed) to those conducting research, now or in the future.

I think it’s safe to say The CCC Awards database is the most comprehensive and representative accounting of how college media covered this awful pandemic. Because the contest was both free and weekly, you can chart the coverage by day, from the Ivy League to community colleges. Even more revealing, 87 percent of entries came with comments detailing the authors’ process and motivation.

If you or someone you know wants access, email me.

Finally, The CCC Awards were notable for two more things, one more important than the other. First, this was the first time five media organizations worked together – SPJ, ACP, CBI, SND, and FIRE. I hope it’s not the last.

Second, The CCC Awards were about content, not categories. Whether it was broadcast or podcast, social or digital, radio or words, the judges only considered if the work was good. I’ve heard some accurate criticism on this point, but I think it was worth trying. Our readers, listeners, and viewers don’t think  about good content in categories, so why should we?

Defending the First Amendment and promoting open government are more crucial now than ever. Join SPJ's fight for the public’s right to know — either as an SPJ Supporter or a professional, student or retired journalist.

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