Friday, April 03, 2009

BPN 1325 2009 WSA Grand Jury - Day 2

Today we start the 2009 WSA Grand Jury process, a six day exercise, in earnest. But first the eminent jury members will have to get to know each other. Of course, they have seen each other yesterday, but in every edition new jurors are invited. It is not easy to put together a jury as a jury should be balanced according to countries and continents, gender and age as well as to technology and social involvement. This time new jurors have come from Cuba, Canada, Iran, Kazakhstan, China, Indonesia, Nigeria and Bahrain. With the jurors of earlier editions it looks like a good bunch of people. They introduce themselves and later the ‘older’ jurors follow.

After the introduction of the jurors and staff, the jury process is introduced. Many jurors like the ones from the Webbys and the EPPY electronic newspaper awards never see each other. They are sitting at home or in their office and push the yes and no keys and that was the jury. The WSA jurors are brought together for a week and spend time discussing the entries. And they have a hefty task ahead, given the number of submissions: 545 entries from 150 countries.

In the first round they go through the submissions of their assigned categories and score the submissions. Main assignment in the first round is to establish what submissions they do not want to consider any longer. This comes down to turning down some 60 submissions per category and establishing a shortlist of some 18 to 20 entries for further consideration. After the second round only 8 entries are left to be fought over. From these 8 entries 5 winners will have to be chosen. Contrary to other contest the WSA has five winners without any runners up; no ranking. These 5 entries should represent the breath and richness of the category.

So in the afternoon the jury work starts in earnest. Some are sweating away over some 80 entries, others have only 53 entries. The work is only stopped for dinner, which is held in the garden. The food is a mix of Indian and western recipes. The lunch and dinner stops are of course the right occasion to get more in touch with each. But during these periods also meetings are held about the forthcoming gala in Mexico and the plans for a WSA content institute and the WSA archive.

Blog POsting Num,ber: 1325

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