SINGAPORE - Singapore's top citizen journalists will be honoured in the inaugural STOMP Citizen Journalism Awards.
Starting on Monday, the leading citizen-journalism website will pay tribute to the most impactful, engaging and much-talked-about stories contributed by the man in the street.
And the winners will be decided by none other than STOMPers themselves.
Every month, beginning with this month, the top 10 stories of the past month will be shortlisted for voting.
The shortlisting will be done by STOMP editors based on these criteria:
- The number of views and comments a story has attracted;
- The originality of the story and being first with the breaking news;
- The impact of the story;
- The story's "talkability" factor;
- The contribution of photos and videos;
- The social value of the story;
- How the story engaged people.
The STOMPer whose contribution earns the most number of votes and meets the judges' criteria will win the Citizen Journalist of the Month award and a special prize. The winner stands to take home a bottle of wine made from a recipe concocted by world-renowned winemaker Denis Dubordieu.
In the coming months, there will be other attractive prizes.
The winner of the monthly award will be in the running for the Citizen Journalist of the Year award.
To vote, all readers need to do is to "like" STOMP's Facebook page, which will allow them to get access to the Citizen Journalism Awards section. There, they will be able to see the 10 stories, with links to them as they appear on the STOMP website.
Do note that each Facebook account is entitled to only one vote.
What voters can expect to see in the contest will be stories which are provocative and connect deeply with readers.
The numbers of views and comments are not the only crucial factors that will help secure a story's place in the monthly top 10, as there are other qualities that STOMP editors look out for.
One of them is a story's ability to stir the emotions of readers and become a hot talking point - like a STOMPer's report about a woman who ridiculed her son in public.
The STOMPer saw the mother scolding the boy for his "lousy work" in front of diners at a fast-food restaurant, and the STOMPer was concerned about how her actions might affect the child's mental well-being.
Over the span of two days, the story attracted over 40 comments as STOMPers debated on whether the mother was right in doing what she did.
Aside from engaging readers, reports with impactful photographs or videos stand a good chance of being shortlisted in the contest.
One example is STOMPer Kelvin's report on a hit-and-run case on the East Coast Parkway, which featured a compelling video of the incident.
The STOMPer sent in the video taken with his dashboard camera, which showed the driver of a Hyundai fleeing the scene after hitting another vehicle from the back, sending it into a spin before it crashed into a barrier on the side of the expressway.
The STOMPer was appalled to see the Hyundai driver speed off without bothering to stop and help the woman motorist in the other car.
Another shortlist-worthy report came from STOMPer Gary, who submitted a video of two Honda drivers weaving in and out of lanes in the streets of Sengkang, as they engaged in a dangerous street race.
If a story highlights a current nagging issue faced by society, it might also earn itself a spot in the top 10 shortlist.
One such story is STOMPer WSK's report on new tactics employed by loan sharks chasing a bad debt.
The STOMPer received "hell notes" and letters addressed to the previous resident of his unit, in which the loan sharks threatened to burn the unit down and harm its occupants.
A story also has a good chance of winning votes if it embraces the essence of citizen journalism - by capturing breaking news as it unfolds.
STOMPer Meiru sent in a report and photos of a worker who fell from a height at a construction site in Sims Drive. The worker was later pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
With a bit of time left before next month comes around, it is not too late to get nominated. If you have a story that fits the bill, send it to email@example.com.
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