News Website Critique Information
MIPA will send your Spartan entry to an out-of-state judge who will evaluate it against the standards provided by the MIPA Spartan critique booklet. Participating media outlets receive a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Spartan Award — MIPA’s highest honor — based on how well they meet MIPA’s student media standards. Winners of the Spartan Award will be recognized at MIPA’s awards ceremony, typically held in April.
The judge’s critique will be emailed to you after the awards event. Contact the MIPA office if you have any questions. Please read the entry materials for other requirements.
- Deadline: Feb. 18 ,2022
- Late Deadline: March 18, 2022*
- *Add $40 late fee. If you are submitting under the late deadline, you may not receive results before MIPA’s awards announcement and we cannot guarantee you will receive a completed critique by the end of the school year. Entries postmarked after the late deadline are not eligible for award rankings.
- Preview the entry form – You must complete our online entry form using the button above, but here’s a Word copy of the questions we ask
- MIPA Seal of Distinction form – Learn more about the seal
MIPA News Website Standards
We recognize that in today’s multi-platform world, student media programs are constantly exploring new tools to do their work and that excellent programs may reflect a variety of approaches to producing news content that covers their school community.
We want to allow staffs as much latitude as possible in producing journalism in the best format for their school and community — whether that be in a more traditional format or one that reflects modern trends and approaches. All of this must, of course, be built around sound journalism practices.
- MIPA standards for news websites
- View the Spartan Website Critique Booklet (PDF)
- Complete the entry form
- Include an adviser’s statement memo to the judge detailing any special school situations, concerns or problems with the website or school media program. (This statement is written directly into the entry form.) For 2021-22: You will also be asked to describe how the pandemic has impacted your media program/website’s operations.
- Your website will be evaluated during a period that may stretch 4-6 weeks, starting at the contest deadline. The judge may look at your site at any point during this period.
- The entry fee is $40. Please make check payable to MIPA or pay via credit card. You will be prompted for payment when you submit the online entry form, or pay online later. You may combine this critique fee with other payments to MIPA, but please include an itemized list of those payments.
- You may turn in your entry up to one-month late (by the late deadline noted above) for an additional $40, but late entries will result in delays in getting your critique back from the judge. Entries received after the late deadline will receive a critique, but are not eligible for award rankings.
A note about contests
MIPA strongly encourages administrators, students and teachers to participate in a range of competitions to evaluate how well a student media outlet meets course objectives and professional standards. Judging in any single contest or rating service is a subjective process, and each has slightly different rules, deadlines and entry criteria. Each critique you receive can be an important educational tool for the classroom, but no single contest can provide a complete assessment of the quality of a program. That’s why MIPA strongly discourages the use of our contests and critiques, regardless of the outcome of that contest or critique, in teacher evaluations.