The ever-evolving world of technology allows everyday people to be the first to get the news out, and the new Citizen Journalism Contest allowed students with majors other than mass communications to share their stories too.
Rocky Mountain PBS, a sister station to KTSC in Pueblo on Colorado State University-Pueblo’s campus, provided workshops and created a contest, called “Raise Your Voice,” which wrapped up its first workshops and awards presentation on Thursday evening at the Tim Gill Center in Colorado Springs.
“The goal is to encourage citizen and student journalists to share stories that could otherwise go untold,” said Amanda Mountain, Southern Colorado and Western Slope Regional Director and Station Manager of Rocky Mountain PBS.
RMPBS and the Colorado Springs Library District hosted workshops for high school and university students and citizen journalists prior to the entrance period, which closed in December.
Instructors in the workshop series presented on audio visual techniques, storytelling, ethics and audience. These were free to the public and located in venues around Colorado Springs.
“One of our goals is to connect people with experts and resources,” Mountain said.
There are several local resources available to people, Mountain said, one being the new technology library opening at Chapel Hills and Jamboree, which devotes 40,000 square feet exclusively to creation of content.
The site houses an audio/visual center, editing center and entrepreneurial center. The library will open on June 1.
The Tim Gill Center is another resource people can use. It houses eight bays for media production and wants to add mobile production kits for people to check out.
Pueblo’s public library is working on it too.
“We plan to open a ‘maker space’ on the second floor once renovations are complete in the upcoming months,” said Kaycie Barnett, circulation manager.
Three categories for the contest included middle and high school, college and community. The areas to enter consisted of audio/visual, written stories, and photojournalism. Contestants also competed for a prize for entering multimedia works in a separate category.
The judges looked for quality, fairness, relevance to the community and accuracy of content.
The contest awarded monetary prizes in the amounts of: $500 for first, $350 for second and $150 for third. The hostess handed out two additional $250 special awards.
All CSU-Pueblo students are welcome to participate in the event next year. Additional information can be found through the mass communications department at CSU-Pueblo or at rmpbs.org/timgillcenter. Winners and their works are also posted on the site.