Mail Code 5711
New York, NY 10027-6902
Phone: (212) 854-9400
Fax: (212) 854-9401
CSPA is affiliated with the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in the City of New York.
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Contests and Critiques
Gold Circle Awards
To participate in any of these contests, you must be a member of CSPA.
Here are the three memberships and the contest/award programs that are
included in each:
Basic Membership: Includes entry into the Gold Circles ONLY.
Associate Membership: Includes entry to the Crown Awards and entry into the Gold Circles. [Does NOT include Medalist Critique.]
Regular membership: Includes a Medalist Critique, entry to the Crown Awards and entry into the Gold Circles.
"To make good writing the basis of successful student publications" was one of the earliest goals for the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. From its beginnings in 1925, the CSPA sponsored annual contests to seek out and publicize the best practices in student writing, editing and publishing. Student newspapers and magazines were the earliest formats chosen for these competitions. Student yearbooks were added in 1935. Today, online student media have been added as the technology of communications expands from print into cyberspace.
The CSPA offers several contests and a critique service for student media. The contests, including the annual Crown Awards and the Gold Circle Awards, select the best from among many entries. The Crown Awards signify overall excellence among student print and online media. The Gold Circle Awards honor the best work completed by student reporters, editors, designers, photographers, artists, poets, fiction writers, and other staff members of all types. An annual Medalist Critique is not a contest although it does provide one of several ratings to student media. The critique is a teaching tool to provide detailed guidance on how well a student print or online media is currently progressing, and how it could improve during the following year.
As with any contest, those conducted by the CSPA have a competitive element as various levels of achievement are selected by judges for awards. But educational competitions cannot be only about winning or losing. For example, the current American debate over the impact of widespread standardized testing in schools shows how testing can be used not only to recognize existing excellence, but also to compel changes in performance. Standardized tests effectively pick out winners and losers among schools, and the No Child Left Behind law compels prompt changes, even threatening outright closure of schools judged as repeatedly failing to meet the standards. That is one approach to using published standards to compel change.
The CSPA's contests are not about compelling involuntary changes by student editors and faculty advisers of student print and online media. The Association makes no attempt to dictate to staffs or advisers what their publications should be. It watches keenly what these media do, as evidenced by their publishing activity in print or online. The Association then adjusts it sights, its critique scorebooks and its judging to their progress. As the performance by student media improves, the best among them are singled out for their achievement, accounting for a natural rise in the judging standards for the following year.
CSPA is located in New York, headquartered at Columbia University since 1925.
Photo : Joe Pineiro
Click on the PDF icon to download the fillable PDF 2013-2014 Membership Form
Click on the PDF icon to download the 2013-2014 Membersip FAQ
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