April 19, 2012
The American Pundit judging for the first half of April is complete, with two more writers earning $250 bonuses and eligibility for the $5,000 grand prize, to be awarded after the November elections.
The Writing Assignment for the first half of April paid homage to the spirit of April Fools’ Day and asked for political satire entries in the contest. We received several very funny and clever entries, but Allvoices stringer MikeofVirginia, who (ironically?) resides in Conway, Ark., takes the prize. He joined Allvoices on April 2 and published his winning article, Romney to name Ron Paul VP, according to documents in cheesehead, the next day. Along with his bonus money, he earns a promotion to Anchor. We hope to hear more from this promising writer throughout the campaign and beyond.
Although the April Fool’s contest belongs to the ages, Allvoices writers are still welcome to submit political satire so long as it is clearly labeled as such to avoid any confusion with what passes for consensual reality.
Our general subject winner is Allvoices’ Anchor Veronica Roberts of New York City. Roberts has been writing for Allvoices since May 24, 2010, and has nearly 2 million page views to her credit. She has taken an especially strong interest in the aftermath of George Zimmerman’s shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin roughly two months ago in Sanford, Fla. Roberts offers readers some serious food for thought in ‘The NRA angle: Should we all ‘Stand Our Ground’ and strap on our guns?
Roberts’ winning article is an excellent example of taking material reported by other sources, in this instance Mother Jones and the L.A. Times, and giving readers her unique and original interpretation of the facts contained in the original source. Roberts links back to the articles she quotes in her report, a must in today’s online journalism world. With so much of what we see in citizen journalism sites being based on reports in the so-called “mainstream media,” it is important for independent journalists to give credit where credit is due while simultaneously maintaining their own unique voices.
With April Fools Behind us, the Writing Assignment topic for the second half of April takes a more serious turn. With a deadline of 11:59 p.m. on April 30, Allvoices writers are invited to weigh in on the following question: Is American politics broken? If so, how do we fix it? If not, explain where it works. If a little of both, how do we keep the good and get rid of the bad?
To read more about this assignment and get possible topic ideas, see this Allvoices article by Punditty.
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