Why do the small media houses stay away from the SNDS competition?
By Børge T. Skovsende
The Best of Scandinavian News Design Award 2011 award show in Stockholm was quite a show. For some, very much so – they went home with numerous Gold, Silver, and Bronze Awards.
And they really deserved their awards. They presented excellent work for both print and online. Helsingin Sanomat and Politiken were the big winners of the major awards. These media companies spend a lot of resources creating pages that the readers simply cannot resist diving into.
Other big media companies may also stand out if they would give the same amount of attention to the presentation of magnificent articles – and if only they would participate in the competition.
It’s a different matter for the smaller companies. They do not have the economics for many large projects, but they do want to show what they can achieve on a tight budget. And they do create fine design solutions.
However, apparantly they have lost interest in participating in the competition – probably because they win nothing or must settle with the less prestigious Award of Excellence.
How do we get them back? How do we make them want to enter in the competition again?
Should the competition be divided into two – one for the large media companies, one for the smaller ones? Actually, this may not be the best solution.
Currently, all entries are evaluated by category, and some entries from the smaller companies make it to the final judging round, where they are often discarded. Beaten by entries from the big players.
So, should we perhaps split the competition in two after all and spend extra time evaluating and awarding the small companies separately – and then let the small and big Gold Award winners compete for the Best of Show award? Would this make it more attractive to participate? Perhaps.
How the regulations for the competition should be, is not up to SNDS and the competition committee alone. The four Scandinavian publishing organizations – who help finance the competition – must also be taken into account.
It is really important to find a model for running the competition, so that large as well as small media houses want to participate.
It is probably about time to re-evaluate the model we created when we took over the competition in the mid-1990ies.
Børge T. Skovsende is former chairman of the competition committee (1995-2001).