NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 12/18/12 -- Allvoices, one of the world's largest social news sites, announced today that it has chosen winners for the American Pundit Contest, with Maryann Tobin of Tampa taking the $5,000 grand prize. The contest, which ran from January 3 to November 15, leveraged patented algorithms and input from a celebrity panel of judges to award over $25,000 in prizes and payments to those deemed the top citizen "voices" of the 2012 US presidential election. The thousands of submissions and page views that the contest generated reveal that global audiences value the opinions of citizen journalists.
Overall, more than 11,000 stories about the election were submitted by writers who participated in the contest, which included many of Allvoices' global base of over 500,000 writers and content creators. Using Allvoices' next-generation publishing platform, seven of the top contributors received roughly five million page views over the course of the election year and were featured in top political outlets, including The Drudge Report and Google News. Altogether, the entries garnered 9.5 million page views, were shared hundreds of thousands of times in social media and earned writers thousands of dollars through the site's incentive program, which pays writers based on the advertising dollars they generate.
The most popular submissions were then shared with a panel of celebrity judges that included Stanford University graduate journalism program lecturer, R.B. Brenner; Center for Investigative Reporting managing editor, Bob Salladay; writer, director and Nobelity Project Founder, Turk Pipkin; author of "Thank You for Arguing," Jay Heinrichs; and American Pundit editor and former San Francisco Chronicle copy editor, Darren Richardson. The judges were charged with providing the qualitative feedback needed to determine who should take home the big prize. Ultimately, the judges named Tobin the grand prize winner.
These "thinkers and storytellers have gathered an audience not through titles or promotion," Heinrichs noted, "but through their own good writing, analysis, and wit, powered by Allvoices."
"The contest was a refreshing and encouraging reminder that hundreds of bright, ambitious people are engaged in the political process," Salladay commented. "The insular world of political commentary could use some new voices, and let's hope a few of them emerge from this experiment."
"Over the course of the year, the American Pundit competition grew into a recognized, respected alternative to mainstream media as a source for breaking news and thoughtful, unique opinions surrounding political events due to the passion and professionalism our contributors brought to the site," said Dean Schaffer, community manager and editor-in-chief for Allvoices. "It reinforced what we already knew -- Allvoices is a great place for passionate writers with a story to tell who want to get discovered."
Some note-worthy writers in the American Pundit Contest include:
•Maryann Tobin of Tampa, Florida (grand prize) •Herbert Dyer, Jr. of Chicago, Illinois (runner up) •Rob Lafferty of Eugene, Oregon (honorable mention) •TJ Larson of Colorado Springs, Colorado •Carolyn McGraw of Valley Center, California •Tom Cleveland of Gainesville, Georgia •James Stotter of Columbus, Ohio •Victoria Lee of Denver, Colorado •Paul Jesep of Schenectady, New York •Suzanne Surbeck of New York City, New York •Harold Michael Harvey of Atlanta, Georgia
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