The best day of the year is coming early! No, it’s not your birthday or Flag Day, we have no control over that. But we do get to decide when to open submissions for our Distinguished Sites recognition program, and we’re just too excited to wait until 2017. The Distinguished Sites program consists of six different badges that news staff can earn for demonstrating mastery over online news standards. A site that earns all six badges will be awarded the honor of being a SNO Distinguished Site for the calendar year. In addition, Distinguished Sites will receive a certificate, a press release, and a letter will be sent to the school’s principal or PR department.
Check out the badge descriptions below, and stay tuned for all the nitty gritty details: we’ll release them next week.
CONTINUOUS COVERAGE BADGE
To earn this badge, a news staff must update their site regularly and demonstrate a commitment to timely online journalism.
SITE EXCELLENCE BADGE
To earn this badge, a news staff must customize their homepage beyond the initial SNO design with a clear sense of purpose for every element on the homepage.
STORY PAGE EXCELLENCE BADGE
To earn this badge, a news staff must submit eight fully-developed stories from the current school year that go beyond the text to enhance the reader’s experience.
EXCELLENCE IN WRITING BADGE
This badge is automatically awarded to news staffs with at least three stories from this school year published on Best of SNO, a site dedicated to excellence in student journalism.
To earn this badge, a news staff must submit at least three videos and three slideshows published during the current school year that meet standards of excellence in multimedia production.
AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT BADGE
To earn this badge, a news staff must meet a minimum traffic threshold, use social media to engage their audience, and study analytics to measure their readership.
And for inspiration, check out these previous winners, they’re pretty great.