Home team wins!

Tbilisi has at least five schools with journalism programs, and all were invited to send a team of five students to the 2-day competition at the beginning of October. The goal was to produce a multimedia story. Unfortunately, one school couldn’t field a team, and another school’s team withdrew from the competition, so three teams presented their multimedia stories to a jury. And CSJMM’s team won! The jury used four criteria to evaluate the stories: creativity, innovative approach, content and technical performance.

“Our” team wanted to know if a young woman could accomplish the impossible—buy an outfit of clothes for 50 lari ($30). Each team member chipped in 10 lari, and they asked a friend to be the story’s shopper. Then they headed for used-clothing stores and markets. The good news is that our shopper could afford a dress, shoes, and scarf. The bad news is that the shoes hurt her feet, and she didn’t have enough money for a handbag.

CSJMM might have won the contest for several reasons: a) it was the only team to meet the deadline; b) it was the only team to use mobile phones; c) its video had better sound quality and was edited better; and d) its idea better fit the judges’ definition of a story.

One of the team members, however, admitted that none of the teams’ stories was excellent. The judges agreed.

The problem however, was not necessarily due to the students’ lack of training. This was the contest’s first year, and, as one might expect, some problems arose with the administration of the contest. For example, there was a discrepancy between the organizers’ instructions and the jury’s criteria for evaluating the final product.

I’m sure the contest will improve next year, but, meanwhile, CSJMM’s team took home the top prizes: a laptop computer, video camera, and modem. They happily donated these multimedia tools to the school, where they can use them at any time.

The members of CSJMM’s winning team are: (from the left): Mariam Jachvadze, Tamara Mshvenieradze, Sopo Mgaloblishvili, Lika Moshiashvili, and Nino Gelashvili.

Copyright Keith Kenney, 2011

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About keithrkenney
Keith Kenney is a professor of visual communication at the University of South Carolina. He is living in Tbilisi, Georgia, for a year. This blog is about several topics. "CSJMM-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management in Tbilisi, Georgia. "USC-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. CSJMM and SJMC are recipients of a "Journalism School Partnership" program grant from the US Department of State. The purpose of this $750,000 grant is to improve CSJMM and ensure its sustainability. "Tbilisi, Georgia" is about Susanna Melo and my experiences in Tbilisi. "Columbia, SC" will be about our experiences in our home town--Columbia--when we return home. "Georgia" is about Susanna and my experiences when we travel in Georgia outside of Tbilisi. "United States" is about our experiences traveling in the US. "Films and Photography" is about two documentary films I'm working on in Georgia. One story follows how Adishi handles the rapid tourism that is being developed in Svaneti. The other story follows Tamaz Jalagania, who is a craftsman of swords and guns, an opera singer, and an extraordinary storyteller. "Scholarship" is about my current books, articles, reviews, and grants.

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