Second ‘Disrupt The News’ Challenge Set

The now annual competition sponsored by TVNewsCheck and the BEA asks student journalists to reimagine news storytelling for linear TV, mobile and social with an eye toward attracting younger audiences.

For the second year, TVNewsCheck will partner with the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) in sponsoring a Disrupt the News challenge to uncover new ideas for reinventing television news to attract new viewers, particularly younger ones.

The high-visibility contest will feature student journalists or teams of them competing to produce the best alternative content that can be integrated with TV stations’ or networks’ usual linear mix of entertainment, advertising and promotion. Submitted work can be geared for mobile/social or live, linear broadcast, and awards will be given in each category for the first time this year.

The winners will be showcased at BEA’s 2020 annual convention in Las Vegas (April 18-21), which overlaps with the NAB Show (April 18-22).

The contest is designed to:

  • Develop new ideas for local news that TV stations can implement to attract new viewers and stem the slow erosion in broadcast news ratings.
  • Expose student journalists’ work to the TV industry via significant promotion on and at the BEA Conference and NAB Show. Once presented, the winning videos will play in full on or com.
  • Create a highly efficient way for technology providers to reach university technologists shopping for new hardware and software.
  • Showcase innovations in mobile and broadcast news storytelling reflective of local broadcasters’ need to reach viewers on all platforms.

Cash prizes will be given to first, second and third place winners and honorable mentions will go to another three, if deserving. The awards, which will be judged by members of RTDNA, will be presented at a ceremony in Las Vegas.  Winning student teams will be provided with a travel stipend for their trip to Las Vegas.

During the convention, a panel session with winning student team leaders moderated by TVNewsCheck’s editors will explore the reasoning behind their approaches to the news.


“In our second year of Disrupt the News, we want to see how innovative student journalists can be in reimaging the format and fabric of a local newscast,” said TVNewsCheck Co-Founder and Editor Harry A. Jessell. “We want to see the most imaginative new approaches possible to both the linear news broadcast on television and uniquely mobile or social-based newscasts that local newsrooms increasingly rely on to extend and engage their audiences.”

“I am thrilled we are able to offer this competition to BEA members again this year. Disrupt the News showcases their creative minds and ability to think outside the box. We’re looking forward to seeing what they produce and then connecting their non-traditional ideas with newsrooms,” said Heather Birks, BEA executive director.

More information on the Disrupt the News contest will be announced soon.

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