Saturday, April 09, 2005

Rock the house

Last night I judged a national high school journalism contest. The category was Reviewing, and the contest was rather clever: The organizers hired an up-and-coming indie rock band and had them perform for the 110 student journalists. The students had 70 minutes to write the reviews. Then the judges--an assortment of working journalists, high school teachers, and college journalism students--sat down and evaluated the pieces. I'd imagined we'd discover the next Cameron Crowe, but it didn't happen. Most of the pieces were well-written formal essays or nice feature articles, but only two qualified as actual "reviews" with a strong, critical voice and well-supported opinions. And, predictably, both of them were humorous and negative (that being the easiest type of review to write).

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