World’s Best-Designed™ Newspaper: The judges have decided

12:30 p.m. Mon. update: The judges have made their final decisions at The World’s Best-Designed Competition on the Syracuse University campus in preparation of releasing the results later today.

At this point, the judges are writing the individual winners’ statements. Then they will follow with their overall statement based on the 239 entries they have thoroughly reviewed.

“While this judging group finished a little earlier than many, they did an excellent job getting inside newspapers to decide if each publication was worthy of the World’s Best title,” said Marshall Matlock, the print competition director. “It was a tough call as they got down to the last entries.”

8 a.m. Mon. update: It’s Valentine’s Day. And love is in the air. We all have our little crushes on some of the newspapers we’ve been studying since Saturday morning. But only the newspapers that have captured the hearts of all the judges will make it. Winners are chosen by unanimous vote.

4:30 p.m. Sun. update: At this point, it looks like we’ll have a decision sometime Monday afternoon, maybe early evening. Like I’ve said before, stay tuned.

12:05 p.m. Sun. update: Now we’re getting down to the nitty gritty. Each of the final six is being discussed individually. All the papers are great, but do they maintain their quality through every page? Was the skybox integrated well? Are the pages engaging? Where’s the element of surprise? It’s great being in the room to see my own personal roundtable debate.

3:3- p.m. Sun. update: Some debates are getting painful. The judges clearly feel the love for all the finalists, but now they’re taking great care to make the best possible choices.

10 a.m. Sun. update: It’s Day 3 and everyone returned to the judges’ chamber an hour ago. We all went quickly to work. The six finalists are being studied page by page by our five stoic judges. The room is hushed, with only the sound of newsprint crinkling.

9 a.m. Sun. update: I’m not shooting any new stills of the action today — I don’t want to give away too much information. If you want a tiny peek at the judges’ table, though, here’s the live stream. Watch later today for Kuan’s video on the judging process. I’ll also be recording the judges’ overall reaction to this year’s entries.

4:30 p.m. Sat. update: Judges have been very decisive. Only six left. We’re headed to the final round, which will involve debate and discussion.

3:50 p.m. Sat. update: Two papers from the smallest-circ category are still in contention. Wow. Judges are now looking at the dailies for a second time.

3:40 p.m. Sat. update: We’re back from lunch — which we almost missed because we got so absorbed in our work. Then a lake-effect storm blew through, and we couldn’t leave the hotel. Anyway… The second round of eliminations has begun.  I can’t mention titles or even countries, but it’s now down to a show-of-hands style vote of what stays and goes.

1:30 p.m Sat. update: All the entries are “off the floor,” which means the first round is over.

Twenty-three newspapers out of 239 entries have made the first cut. A breakdown:

  • Eight in the largest circulation category, 175,000 and over
  • Six with a circulation of 75,000-174,999
  • Five with a circulation of 25,000-74,999
  • Four with a circulation of 24,000 and under

9:19 a.m. Sat. update: Smaller non-dailies are being well represented in the first round of judging.

As of 10 a.m Saturday, judges have evaluated all the non-daily entries. After first-round eliminations, there are 12 newspapers still in contention:

  • Four have a circulation of 175,000 and over
  • Three have a circulation between 75,000 and 174,999
  • One is between 25,000 and 74,999
  • Four have a circulation of 24,999 and under

Each entry contains five complete issues published in 2010. There must be: two complete daily (Mon.-Sat.) papers published at any time of the year; one complete paper from any day of the week, including Sunday; one complete Sunday paper from Jan. 17, July 18 or Nov. 7 (or from the day before if you don’t publish Sundays); and one complete paper from Jan. 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22, or July 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23, or Nov. 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. There is no fee to enter this competition.

About Lee Steele

is design editor of the Hearst Connecticut Newspapers and 2015 president of the Society for News Design.

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