Reporters Without Borders

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Guidelines

Eligible contestants may submit a video Public Service Announcement (PSA) answering the question “Why should we care about press freedom?”

Entries ought to be made in the spirit of past Reporters Without Borders campaigns.

All entries must contain the following, required elements:

  1. the Reporters Without Borders URL (www.rsf.org/us),
  2. logos for Reporters Without Borders, CNN, and your University
  3. the line: “Join us in the fight for freedom of information.”, and
  4. the text: “This message is brought to you by Reporters Without Borders with the help of the Ford Foundation and CNN.”

With written permission (provided along with your entry) of an authorized representative of your University, you may also include your University’s name or logo.


Video entries will enjoy the strongest consideration and the best scores when they excel in terms of:

  • Quality: Entries that would best represent the sponsors on national television. We recommend using digital video.
  • Message: Entries that best address the question “Why should we care about press freedom?”
  • Creativity: Use your imagination! We will accept videos that use drawings, sketching, digital picture boards, and other techniques.
  • Impact: Our style is visually arresting – we want to impact the viewer and make them remember. Give us something powerful.

Videos should be of high-quality and submitted as .MOV, .MPEG-4, .AVI, or QuickTime formats. They should be visually arresting and demonstrate creativity. Video entries that enjoy the strongest consideration and best scores will adhere to and excel in a set of content standards:

  • Broad focus on press freedom. Entries must answer the question “Why should we care about press freedom?” Contestants should interpret this question broadly, and not focus on any specific country, particular individual or head of state, or too narrow an issue, or political alignment.
  • Consider the wide, diverse audience. Videos must be able to communicate to the broad and diverse American audience; entries that demonstrate an ear for the global audience will be preferred. All entries must demonstrate taste, decency and acceptability.
  • Entries must be accountable. Document any facts, figures, or statements that go into producing the video to back up any claims that are made, putting a citation within the video if necessary. You may be asked by the international jury to substantiate any disputed claims.
  • Any calls to action should direct the viewer either to join Reporters Without Borders, educate themselves about press freedom, or share the video with others, etc. Videos that urge viewers to protest or otherwise demonstrate publicly in any form will not be accepted.
  • The decision of the judges is final. Entries that are incomprehensible, inflammatory, discriminatory or demonstrate potential for harm will not be chosen. Determinations are made in the sole judgment of Reporters Without Borders and CNN.

Download the rules here for more information.


Tips for success

  • Familiarize yourself with RSF and press freedom. You don’t have to be a wonk when it comes to either, but we’d like what you create to reflect our organization’s personality and approach to creating awareness about press freedom. The more closely the video reflects RSF, the better chance it has to win.
  • Send us your PSA concept narrative beforehand. We’re open to giving people feedback if they request it. The best way to do that is to complete your entry form well before the deadline of March 19, 2012 at 11:59 PM ET. You can also email us at contest@rsf.org.
  • Be smart, be factual. We’re edgy, yeah, but let’s also be smart and factual about it. You don’t need APA-style footnotes, but you do need to stick to the facts and not promote an agenda.
  • Adhere to the content standards. Remember that you’ll represent not only yourself, but your school, RSF, CNN and the Ford Foundation on national television - it’s a big deal. Your video has to have national and international appeal, so we have developed a set of content standards to help you. See the guidelines for details. Contact us if you have any questions.
  • Collaborate across programs. Journalists don’t have an exclusive corner on understanding press freedom. We encourage you to work with students from other programs.
  • Work well. Get done early. We know you’re college students, so doing things at the last minute comes naturally, but we encourage you to resist the urge.

    Get updates from Facebook, Twitter and use the hashtag #RSFcontest.

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