By: Nu Yang
What if you could cover 100 percent of something? Every homicide in a city. Every artist at a music festival. The latest polling in every campaign race. If you have an innovative idea, but need an army of freelancers to get it off the ground, submit it to the 100% Journalism Challenge, where a prize value of $35,000 will be awarded to three winners. The challenge is presented by Ebyline, an online platform where publishers and editors connect with freelance journalists. (E&P is a contest partner.)
Based in Sherman Oaks, Calif., Ebyline was founded in 2009 by Bill Momary, former Ventura County (Calif.) Star vice president of advertising and Allen Narcisse, former director of operations at Hoy, the Los Angeles Times’ Spanish-language newspaper.
“Our goal is to help companies expand coverage and discover new talent in a virtual newsroom,” Momary said.
Momary said Ebyline launched the contest because of the power of freelance journalism he sees every day. “There’s been a huge shift in the last 10 to 15 years with the reduction of quality news found in the newsroom to the increase of quality from freelance journalists.” Momary said the contest’s goal is to “sustain quality journalism and show that freelancers are part of that equation.”
The challenge is about spurring invention and innovation inside the journalism world by pairing great ideas with Ebyline’s online platform and database of 2,000 talented freelance journalists. The prize is not paid out in cash, but rather in the value of work provided by Ebyline freelancers. Winners will receive editorial support and publicity to launch their project and have one year to spend the value.
Contest judges include Leo Wolinsky, former managing editor of the L.A. Times; Bob Wallace, former executive editor of Rolling Stone magazine; and Melanie Sill, executive editor of Southern California Public Radio.
“Judges will be looking for creativity and how the idea can make an impact overall,” Momary said. The judges will also decide how to allocate the prize value.
The contest is free to enter and open to anyone, as long as they are registered with Ebyline. All entries can be submitted online until Oct. 12 at ebylinecontest.com. Finalists will be notified by Nov. 12, and winners will be selected by Dec. 12.