I sought some inspiration while applying for this award a few months ago but didn’t find much out there. Since I’m not eligible to apply again next year, I hope this helps someone out there in the future.
My project idea stemmed from a story I did for my broadcast journalism class, which was subsequently posted to Neon Tommy. I compared two schools — one in a rich area and one in a poor area. I wanted to do a follow-up about the school in the poor area to see how they were making use of dozens of federally funded netbooks. Seeing how tech-savvy these high schoolers in a low-income, minority-dominant area were, I wanted to figure out a way to get them to engage with the news through the technology they used. What followed was this proposal.
- I had gotten started on it sooner.
- Been able to do some market research…aka interview some of the kids about my idea. Include the thoughts of the teacher I am working with at the high school.
- Had some design outlines for what my product might look like.
As they say, preparation is the key in anything. The lightbulb went off late in the process, and my preparation was lacking.
But I really liked the distribution innovations I brought to the table, and the judges seemed too as well because I earned a phone interview in early March. After overcoming some technical glitches trying to connect to New York City from Auckland, I chatted via online phone with the Online News Association’s Irving Washington and the AP’s Shazna Nessa for about 30 minutes. Though generally pleased with the interview, I think I fumbled one question about my technical expertise in putting a mobile app together. There was silence on the other end of the line for a couple of moments. In hindsight, I would have liked to return to that question after the next one by saying something like, “I perceived my response to the previous question as being different from what you were expecting. Could you perhaps elaborate on what I may have failed to include my response?”
At the end of March, I received an email saying I wasn’t selected. This past week, the winners were officially revealed online.
I’m excited to see all the proposals come to life and learn from the final creations. It’s cool that the winners are very diverse range of personalities. I really like the idea about the Emmys. I thougt that was very out-of-the-box as opposed to the politically focused ideas. I wish the ONA posted the full entries online so we could all learn from them. Maybe some of the other finalists will blog about their experiences? Anyway, congrats to the big winners!