Two competitions for news design have just been completed. One competition in the US and one in Scandinavia. Scandinavian entries did great in the US. Congratulations. In the Scandinavian competition we had fewer entries in the print categories than we are used to. In the digital competition the number of entries was about the same as last year. But the quality was good in both print and digital.
So far so good. The Scandinavian winners – except for the honourable mentions – will be presented at the SNDS15 conference in October in Copenhagen. In addition to the celebration of the gold and silver award winners the program will be great – see the presentation of the first speaker announcements on pages 10–12 in this magazine or on the brand new conference website which you find at conference.snds.org. Hope to see you all in Copenhagen.
The SNDS competition and the SND competition are not the only ones to be held. There are many more if you look around the world and Europe. That is really good, but why should you prefer the “SNDS Best of Scandinavian News Design” instead of other competitions, I’m often asked? It is costly and compared to some European competitions in fact very costly. And the chances to get an award are small.
On top of this someone once told me, that it’s not a question of the quality of the competition and of the jury members that counts. It is the question of how many awards you can get that counts. So if you have a chance of winning many awards in one competition and not so many in another you might prefer the competition where you have the chance of most awards.
This is of course one way of looking at competitions. You are free to do so. I disagree. In my honest opinion there are differences in the quality of the competitions. Very big differences in fact. For my part I can only say that if it is the quality that counts – and not only the number of awards you get – you have to participate in competitions that have juries with skilled members who have the courage not just to hand over as many awards as possible, but to judge every entry by the book not considering if this media company or this country is getting an award or not.
That’s the way it works in the “SNDS Best of Scandinavian News Design” competition. And that’s the way it will be working in the future as well. In the long run an award given by the jury of “SNDS Best of Scandinavian News Design” in either print categories or digital categories will last longer and have more value than awards given in any competition, where the only purpose is to give away as many awards as possible.
So the next time you are considering whether or not to participate in “SNDS Best of Scandinavian News Design” you should ask yourself if you want to be in a competition that look at the design and details and only want to give an award if the work is perfect or almost perfect – or if you only go for a large number of awards. The risk of participating in the “SNDS Best of Scandinavian News Design” competition is that you do not get an award. But if you choose to participate, which I really hope you do, and if you win, the award will be the most valuable one.
As always – feel free to comment on this column. I hope you will.
In My Honest Opinion: Chairman’s Column from SNDS Magazine 1, 2015