Columbia Scholastic Press Association
Phone: (212) 854-9400
CSPA is affiliated with the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in the City of New York.
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Why is the newspaper & magazine deadline (June 17th) earlier than the yearbook and online deadline (October 15th)?
To permit timely returns of Medalist critiques, it is essential to have all print and hybrid newspapers and magazines submitted in June. We have more adviser‐judges available to complete an evaluation during summer. The sooner we receive your publication, the sooner we can get it to an adviser-judge.
Despite the October 15th deadline, we encourage yearbooks to submit their edition as soon as they are printed. Late summer and fall delivery yearbooks have until October 15th to send in their publications.
How do we get our publication evaluated by the CSPA?Only Regular Members receive a written evaluation (critique) of their publication. Newspapers, magazines, yearbooks and digital publications should complete the Membership Form and send it to us as soon as possible.
When does my CSPA membership expire?
All CSPA memberships run from July 1st of the current membership year until June 30th of the following year, regardless of what time of year you submitted your publication for membership.
If we don't want an evaluation/critique this year, can we still be CSPA members?
Associate and Basic Members are CSPA members, yet neither receive a written evaluation/critique of their publication and/or Web site.
Associate Members receive membership in CSPA, entry into the Crown Awards, 30 free Gold Circle entries and a copy of the Special Edition Crown Awards DVD.
Basic Members receive membership in CSPA, 30 free Gold Circle entries and a copy of the Special Edition Crown Awards DVD.
When are entries due for 2014 CSPA’s Crown Awards?CSPA dates its awards by the year in which they are given. If your newspaper, yearbook or magazine was published during the 2012-2013 school year, it should be entered during Spring/Fall 2013 for the Crown Awards that will be announced in March 2014. The Crown Awards final submission deadline is October 15, 2013.
What do we send for Crown Awards consideration?
Regular Members should send two sets of newspapers, two copies of their magazine or two copies of their 2013 yearbook. One set/copy will be sent to a critique judge; the second set/copy stays in our office from Crown judging in December 2013.
Associate Members will send one set/copy of their publication when sending us their initial materials.
Can we enter just the Crown Awards, without getting an evaluation, this year?Yes: Associate Members can enter the Crown Awards without receiving an evaluation.
How is the judging for Crowns different from the publication evaluation?
Crown Awards are judged at Columbia by panels of invited judges, working in groups to review all entries.
The Crown process is more of a "holistic" approach to judging the entire publication, as an informed reader would do. Publications are judged on design, photography, concept, coverage and writing. No written results are provided after the judging.
The Medalist Critique process is a detailed "dissection" of the publication, and the completed results are returned to the school with the judge's commentary written alongside the printed judging standards.
The standards used for both judging processes are the same, but they are applied differently from one process (Crown Awards) to another (Medalist critiques).
Is there any written feedback provided after the Crown judging?No written feedback is provided after the Crown judging has been completed.
Do the Crown judges compare the critique scores when they judge Crowns?The Crown judges do NOT have access to the Medalist ratings or point scores.
Are the Crowns judged at the same time as the critiques?No, the two judgings are completed on separate schedules and in separate locations. The Crowns are done at Columbia in a jury style of judging with books, papers or magazines laid out on tables for the judges to consider.
The Medalist critiques are done by a single judge, using standard Critique scorebooks and common instructions, but working independently at home. The critique gives a single adviser-judge an opportunity to measure one book against the standard criteria while praising specific strengths and noting specific weaknesses. The Crown judging lets a group of judges consider a whole publication and compare it against other publications of similar type.
Do the Crown judges separate colleges/universities, high schools and middle/junior high schools?Colleges/universities form a separate group as do middle/junior high schools and high schools; each are judged separately. All publications are compared against other publications from the same type of school or college.
Can I enter my newspaper and my online news site as a member (for awards consideration)?
News media can be critiqued as print only, digital only or as a hybrid (print/digital).
CSPA is an international student press association, founded in 1925, whose goal is to unite student journalists and faculty advisers at schools and colleges through educational conferences, idea exchanges, textbooks, critiques and award programs.