C-SPAN sees 10 percent increase in student participation, with First Amendment rights as the most popular topic
WASHINGTON (March 13, 2019) C-SPAN announced today that students at Madison Central High School, in Madison, Mississippi are winners in C-SPAN’s national 2019 StudentCam competition.
Annie Thomas and Olivia Essary will receive $750 as third prize winners for their documentary, “America: We Know How TWO Party,” about America’s two-party system.
Jillian Russell and Luke North will receive $250 as honorable mention winners for their documentary, “America Through the Lens of Civil Rights.”
Elizabeth Barton, Vedanth Buddala and Tanbir Banipal will receive $250 as honorable mention winners for their documentary, “Freedom of Speech: The Voice of the American Experience.”
Each year since 2006, C-SPAN partners with its local cable television providers in communities nationwide to invite middle and high school students to produce short documentaries about a subject of national importance. This year students addressed the theme, “What does it mean to be American? Choose a constitutional right, national characteristic, or historic event and explain how it defines the American experience.”
In response, a record 6,318 students (a 10 percent increase over 2018) from 48 states and Washington, D.C., participated. The most popular topics among the 2,923 submissions included First Amendment rights (17 percent), equality/discrimination (13 percent) and immigration (9 percent).
“Over the last 15 years, we’ve had the privilege of hearing viewpoints on a wide variety of issues directly from young filmmakers across the country,” said C-SPAN’s Manager of Education Relations Craig McAndrew. “This year, students clearly stepped up their approach to deliver thoughtful and diverse responses to our competition theme, which reflect enormous time and effort put into the research and construction of their documentaries.”
C-SPAN is funded by America’s cable television companies, whom also support StudentCam. In Madison, C-SPAN is available locally through Comcast.
“Comcast is proud to partner with C-SPAN on its annual documentary competition,” said Doug Guthrie, Regional SVP at Comcast. “These students were challenged to reflect on our democracy, and to creatively portray different views on what it means to be an American. We are delighted to see young leaders from Madison Central High School define the American experience through their short videos, and we congratulate them on their winning entries.”
These winners are among the 340 students across the country winning a total of $100,000, including one grand prize winner, four first prize winners, 16 second prize winners, 32 third prize winners and 97 honorable mentions. This year C-SPAN marks its 15th year of the competition and awards its 1 millionth dollar in StudentCam prize money.
The 150 winning videos can be viewed at https://comca.st/2WalzQ6 and may be used in a broadcast with attribution to C-SPAN. To schedule an interview with one or more of the winning students, please contact Pam McGorry at email@example.com.
The annual competition is sponsored by the C-SPAN Education Foundation. Videos were evaluated by a panel of educators and C-SPAN representatives based on the thoughtful examination of the competition’s theme, quality of expression, inclusion of varying sides of the documentary’s topic, and effective incorporation of C-SPAN programming.