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
More Praise for the American Pundit Contributors and Winners from the Contest Judges:
"A great writer can lift all boats, and the American Pundit competition shines a light on journalists who can steer you through the rising swamp of political opinion and misinformation."
Turk Pipkin, Writer, Director, Founder of the Nobelity Project
"While enjoying these amateur pundits' work, I found myself wanting to thank them for their service. After all, our democracy depends on thought creators as well as job creators, and cause fighters as well as war fighters."
Jay Heinrichs, Author of "Thank You for Arguing"
"In newsrooms, there's a phrase we use when a reporter quotes the same circle of sources over and over again: the usual suspects. Sadly, the same can be said about bylines that populate print and online Op-Ed pages. There's a real need for fresh opinion-writing voices, and that's why I was excited to help judge the Allvoices pundit contest."
R.B. Brenner, Lecturer in the graduate journalism program at Stanford University
"The American Pundit contest showed that many bright, focused and committed people have engaged like never before in the public debate... The winners and honorable mentions in this contest did a solid job of making their cases in a clear, thoughtful manner."
Bob Salladay, Managing Editor at the Center for Investigative Reporting
About Allvoices, Inc.
Allvoices is a PulsePoint, Inc. company. As the world's premier social content platform for citizen journalism, Allvoices is committed to delivering a community-driven exchange of news and ideas. Allvoices empowers its worldwide contributors to share relevant and timely content through text, videos, and images. The company's global contributors serve as news reporters, opinion leaders and publishers, sharing on-the-ground realities in real-time. Allvoices' unparalleled publishing platform turns writers' articles into rich multimedia storytelling experiences. With more than 500,000 content contributors, Allvoices is one of the largest global sources of unedited and relevant citizen news. Allvoices fosters credibility, maintains openness with each contribution to the site and determines relevancy through a combination of proprietary algorithms and professional news editing, blog, image and video verification tools.
PulsePoint is a global digital technology company committed to helping marketers and publishers gain greater audience transparency and deeper engagement across digital channels at unprecedented scale. PulsePoint's holistic platform integrates analytic and ad-serving solutions that power predictable audience engagement across display, social, mobile, video and email. PulsePoint delivers a spectrum of services, including data management, content distribution, contextual ad exchange capabilities, RTB and social publishing. The company's real-time, patented technology powers the digital marketing success for each of the agency holding companies and thousands of leading brands and publishers. Investors in the company include Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), DFJ Gotham Ventures, DFJ New England, Investor Growth Capital, Updata Partners and VantagePoint Capital Partners. PulsePoint is headquartered in New York, with offices across the US and the UK. For more information, please visit www.pulsepoint.com.
Copyright 2012 PulsePoint, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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