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Download the Entry Form here.

NEW: REALLY? Al Tompkins' REALLY? Lesson Plan

REALLY? - Watch Al Tompkins' webinar

HSBJ's News Literacy Project 'REALLY?' is funded by a generous grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.


REALLY? HSBJ's NEW Year-End PSA Contest. Deadline: Dec. 20

November 22, 2011

 REALLY? PSA Contest Rules & Instructions 

1. Watch the Al Tompkins' REALLY Webinar

2. Use the Lesson Plan in your class

3. Enter the REALLY? PSA Contest

Who: High School and Middle School students who have studied the REALLY? news literacy lessons and know the Five Basic Questions to ask when receiving or sending new information.

What: A contest designed to challenge student journalists to create original 30-second public service announcements demonstrating how to use the REALLY? approach to news literacy. 

When: Entry uploading will begin Nov. 22.  Contest Deadline is midnight, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011.

Where: Upload your entries into the REALLY? PSA Contest at: http://www.schooltube.com/contests/really-psa-contest/.

Why: In this era of texts, blogs, tweets, online news, rumors and gossip, young people are flooded with information – much of it false.  Technology lets teens go beyond being passive readers and watchers, and become active publishers and broadcasters of information – both true and false. REALLY? is a guide to making sure information teens receive and send is true. REALLY? is the first question to ask when new information comes – from The New York Times or from your best friend.  The five additional questions, set a framework for finding reliable sources and verification.


1. Teams
PSA production teams should be made up of no more then three students. Schools can send in as many PSAs as they like.

2. Prep
Check out the REALLY? lesson plan – including example videos from the REALLY? Webinar.  Consider real stories you have heard and use the REALLY? approach to see if they are true or false.  As you plan your PSA, consider information you have received in real-life or make up an example.

3. Length
REALLY? PSAs must be 30-seconds in length. THERE IS NO 15-second PSA category.  Stay within your time limit in your final edit. Time limit does not include the required information slate at the beginning of the PSA.

4. Slates
A 10-second, full screen slate (also known as a "title screen") should appear before your PSA with the following information:

  •     Student producers’ names (no more than three)
  •     School name
  •     School address
  •     Title of the entry
  •     Total running time


5. Music

Only use music in your PSA if you have permission from the copyright holder. No music is better then illegal music. We want to protect our constitutional rights, not break them.

  To Enter

1. Teachers must register on www.SchoolTube.com. Registering will give them the ability to upload videos and moderate their students’ submitted videos.

2. Teachers also must send a signed REALLY?  Teacher Form to carolk@rtdna.org. (Write REALLY? PSA Contest in the subject line) or fax your entry to Carol Knopes at 202-223-4007.

This form verifies that students did the work with no assistance from adults and that music is copyright free or used under license. 

3. Students must register on www.SchoolTube.com to upload their entries. Their submissions will have to be approved by their teachers before they are officially entered into the contest. Either students or teachers can upload a PSA entry to School Tube. If students submit a video, it will be moderated by their teacher before it is officially entered and posted. Teachers are notified via email of student submissions. If a teacher submits an entry, after successful upload the teacher will receive notification when the video goes live on School Tube.



High School

                        1st Place         $1,000 for student producers

                                                $1,000 for winners’ school or class


                        2nd Place       $500 for the student producers

                                                $500 for winners’ school or class                           



Middle School (6-9th Grades)

                        1st Place          $500 for student producers

                                                $500 for winners’ school or class


HSBJ staff and veteran broadcast and journalism  teachers will choose the winners. Winners will be announced by Dec. 30.

The REALLY? PSA Contest is supported by a generous grant
from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.