About: Student Video Contest


The NPPA Student Video Contest provides eligible students with an opportunity to compete against their peers and have their entries reviewed by working professionals. Student members may submit video clips for eligibility.  This competition was created as a stepping stone to our professional TV contest; student members will compete within similar categories and rules.

The contest is exclusively for undergraduate or graduate students in good standing. Students must be enrolled at least one semester in the entry year to be eligible. Thus, students who graduate mid-year are still eligible to submit throughout the entire calendar year.

The NPPA Student Video Contest is a vital function of NPPA and provides an important service to students. The contest recognizes outstanding work performed by students. These students serve to promote the highest levels of photojournalism and ethics.


Questions and comments can be submitted to the contest chairs at student.video@nppa.org. If you are a professional who is interested in serving as a judge for the contest, please reach out to the chairs.

Danielle Gatewood-Gill
Student Video Contest Chair

Adam Vance
Student Video Contest Associate Chair


The NPPA Student Video Contest is open to all eligible students.

To be eligible, you must have been enrolled as a student for at least one semester in the calendar year. You may enter work done during internships or freelancing. This competition was created as a stepping stone to our professional TV contest; student members will compete within similar categories and rule.

Yearly entry period and deadline

Entries would be allowed from April 15th of the previous year to the start of the current entry portal period.

Entry portal opens April 16th. Entries are due by May 31st.

Number of entries

Students may enter a total of one entry per category each entry period. If more are entered, all clips for that period will be disqualified.

Video formats

Preparing your video files:

  • Export your video using H.264. (.mov and .mp4 files are accepted)
  • File size limit is 100MB for each entry.
  • Make sure your audio channels are mixed.
  • File must be named “CATEGORY_NAME OF STORY”. Example: SPOT NEWS_HOUSE FIRE.mp4

All submissions are final. If time permits, contest chairs will attempt to assist with requests for changes to submissions before the contest closes each month, but this is not guaranteed.


SOCIAL MEDIA: (Maximum length: 2 minutes) A TikTok or IG Reel that focuses on a news event. The news event can be spot, general, feature, investigative, or sports.

SPOT NEWS: (Maximum length: 5 minutes) An unscheduled and unfolding news event for which there was no opportunity for planning. This category recognized the photographer’s ability to function in a stressful situation, keeping his or her photographic gear rolling to capture the overall scope of the scene, and zeroing in on individual reactions.

GENERAL NEWS: (Maximum length: 5 minutes) A timely news story, serious in nature (not soft or humorous) that covers a planned news event, an issue, or person or topic of general interest and importance. It can be a follow up or sidebar to spot news.

 NEWS FEATURE:  (Maximum length: 10 minutes) A planned story that appeals to the emotional side of the viewer and the photojournalist puts considerable time and effort into the production of the story. Features that score highly show imagination and creativity. There is no time limit on production.

 IN-DEPTH/INVESTIGATIVE: (maximum length: 15 minutes) A planned story where the photojournalist puts considerable time and effort into the story’s planning and production. These entries are to be Issue-based OR Investigative in nature. This category is meant to capture stories that go beyond the day turn and take a deeper dive into a storyline or topic. A series of stories may be submitted as one entry as long as the sum of the parts does not exceed 15 minutes. There is no time limit for story production. Entries may be split into parts if they cannot get below the 100mb threshold.

 SPORTS: (maximum length: 5 minutes)  A story from a sporting event that focus on the primary action/competition. Submissions can also include feature sports stories about subjects outside of action.

 PROGRAM (30 MIN MAX): For excellence in the creation of a formal, structured television presentation with dramatic impact of an event, condition or situation of current, cultural and/or historical significance. This can be in the form of a newscast, sports cast, specialty show, etc.

Student Video Journalist of the Year rules

Points are awarded in each category as follows:

1st place – 11 points

2nd place – 8 points

3rd place – 5 points

Honorable Mention – 2 points

Entry – 1 point per entrant per quarter, not 1 per entry

The title Student Video Journalist of the Year is awarded to the journalist who accumulates the most points during the calendar year.

If there is a tie for the Student Video Journalist of the Year title, the following list of tiebreaker criteria is used to break any deadlocks:

  1. most stories placed
  2. most first place winners
  3. most second place winners
  4. most third place winners
  5. most honorable mention winners
  6. most stories entered

If a tie still exists, Co-Student Video Journalists of the Year will be awarded.


Continuing education is essential to the NPPA and its members. The NPPA values the sharing of professional techniques and ideas. Judges will provide a thoughtful and constructive critique for the entries.

Judges must choose a first, second and third place in each category, and possibly an honorable mention (but not required). If there are fewer than four entries in a particular category, a first, second and/or third place may or may not be awarded. However, the average score of the person’s entry must be a 4 or less. If the average score is more than a 4, it must be given a placement. There can be no ties. Judges may at their sole discretion award an honorable mention in any category regardless of the number of entries.


Inquiries can be sent to contest chairs Danielle Gatewood-Gill and Adam Vance at student.video@nppa.org.