The program will take place over three rounds. The first round will be judged by the Pulitzer Center and will narrow the field down to the top ten reporters. The YouTube community will then vote to select the top five finalists and the ultimate winner. The winner will receive a $10,000 grant for travel abroad and the opportunity to work with the Pulitzer Center on a story of global importance. The finalists will also receive high-end video and editing equipment from Sony and be featured on the YouTube homepage. Additional prizes will be given to the top ten and top five participants as the contest progresses.
"Central to the Pulitzer Center’s mission is coverage of stories that are being under-reported in today’s media environment," said Jon Sawyer, executive director of the Pulitzer Center. "With YouTube’s global reach and popularity we have the unique opportunity to offer a program that encourages aspiring journalists to tell these stories in a fresh and compelling way."
"Project: Report was inspired by the thousands of individuals around the world who have used YouTube to change the way news is reported in today’s media landscape," said Steve Grove, head of news and politics for YouTube. "From videos of natural disasters to investigative reports on political candidates, YouTube has become a go-to site for rare and dynamic news stories from around the world. Project: Report will support and cultivate this type of content, encouraging aspiring journalists to continue informing the world through YouTube."
Starting now and continuing through October 5, contestants will create and submit a profile of three minutes or less of an individual of significance in their community. An expert panel led by the Pulitzer Center will choose the top 10 entrants. Each of the 10 semi-finalists will receive technology from Sony. They will also participate in a journalism conference hosted by the Pulitzer Center.
The second round of the program will call on the 10 semi-finalists to create a video of four minutes or less to tell a local story that has global impact. The top five videos will be chosen by the YouTube community and the reporters who produced them will receive additional video equipment from Sony, as well as one-on-one mentorship with a journalist as they head into round three of the program.
In the third and final round, the five finalists will tell the story of an under-represented community — with a further reporting technique required. Each of the finalists will be provided with two additional Sony video cameras to give to members of the group they are reporting on, so that they can participate in the telling of their own stories. The reporter will then use this footage and integrate it into the telling of the story of five minutes or less.
Each of the three rounds will feature model videos from work sponsored by the Pulitzer Center as well as videos on reporting techniques from the journalists involved. The contest channel page will also feature videos with tips on technique from Sony and Intel. [September 9, 2008]
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