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 Alaina Kotchey, Adina Munin and Lauren Copeland, students at Fox Chapel Area High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, have won an honorable mention prize in C-SPAN’s national 2019 StudentCam competition. They will receive $250 for the documentary, “The Freedom and Choice to Use Your Voice.”
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 Pittsburgh, C-SPAN is available locally through Comcast.
“Comcast is proud to partner with C-SPAN on its annual documentary competition, StudentCam,” said Christine Whitaker, Regional Senior Vice President for Comcast’s Keystone Region. “These Allegheny County students were challenged to think about our democracy and to creatively portray different views on what it means to be American. We are delighted to see young leaders from Fox Chapel Area High School define the American experience through their short video, and we congratulate them on their winning entry.”
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/2VZuIL6 and may be used in a broadcast with attribution to C-SPAN.
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.