October 12, 2010
Pitch to Poynter Contest

These rules are for the “Pitch to Poynter” Contest (“the Contest”), with entry into the Contest beginning Friday, October 1, 2010 at 11:05 a.m. Eastern Time and ending Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time. Entry into the Contest constitutes the entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these rules, terms and conditions.


NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Purchase will not improve chances of winning. The Contest is open to legal residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry, except that employees of The Poynter Institute, Times Publishing Company, their affiliates and subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, contest prize suppliers, and participating advertisers and their immediate family members are not eligible to enter or win. “Immediate family members” means parents, siblings, spouses, children, grandparents and grandchildren, whether by current or past marriage, remarriage, adoption or cohabitation, and anyone living in the same household, whether related or not. The Poynter Institute’s determination as to eligibility is final and binding.


All entries must be received on or before 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, October 13. Only one entry per person is permitted. To enter the contest, upload a YouTube video tagged “poynterpitch” by 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, October 13 that describes the news product or service you’re building. Keep the video to under three minutes. Tell us the basics of your business idea: 1) The problem/opportunity you seek to address 2) Your solution, or your idea 3) Who else is doing this 4) Your planned revenue streams, and 5) The skills and credentials of you and your team. E-mail your video to pitch@poynter.org with a link to the video.

The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.

In order to be considered, entries must be received by the time and date stated above. The Poynter Institute (“Sponsor”) is not responsible for late, lost, incomplete, misdirected, damaged, garbled, jumbled, illegible or ineligible entries or for any computer, online, telephone, cable, network, electronic or Internet hardware or software malfunctions or failures, or any human or technical errors that may occur. Sponsor is not responsible for any other problems or errors in modes of transmission of entries. The use of any scheme, program or device to automate entry is prohibited. Any attempt by any entrant to tamper with or undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest will, in the Sponsor’s sole discretion, result in disqualification. All decisions of the Sponsor are final and binding.

All entries become the property of the Sponsor. Each Entrant acknowledges and agrees that the Sponsor may use information submitted to contact Entrant and/or to offer Sponsor’s products or services.


Two (2) Winners will be selected, whose ideas best advance the journalistic ideals of The Poynter Institute (“standing for journalism, serving democracy”). Each Winner will spend up to two (2) weeks during the Winter of 2011 at Poynter Institute located in St. Petersburg, Florida where they will receive guidance on their journalism and business idea. Each Winner will also receive up to $10,000 worth of services in such areas as contracted accounting, legal, research and / or promotional work, plus coaching and mentoring by Poynter faculty and Poynter’s Ford Fellows in Entrepreneurial Teaching. The total value of all Prizes to be awarded shall not exceed $20,000 ($10,000 per Winner) to be used for contracted accounting, legal, research and / or promotional services.

No alternative Prize, cash or other substitution is permitted except in the event of Prize unavailability. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a Prize or Prizes of equal or greater value. Prizes are not transferable or assignable by the Winner, and may not be redeemed for cash.

Any federal, state and local taxes, fees, and surcharges, and any necessary or appropriate insurance, are the sole responsibility of the Winner. The Winner agrees to pay all such taxes, fees, and surcharges.

The Sponsor will provide up to $1,500 per week per Winner for transportation and living expenses, based on actual costs. Winner agrees to hold the Sponsor and Sponsor’s subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors, employees and agents harmless from any and all liability for damages or losses of any nature incurred in connection with the Prize, including but not limited to transit to and from any destination in connection with the Prize.


The Poynter Institute will review all entries and identify Contest Finalists, who will receive a questionnaire via email or secure link on or before Friday, October 15, 2011. The total number of Contest Finalists will be based upon the caliber of the entries, to be determined at the sole discretion of the Sponsor. Finalists must submit their answers to the questionnaire via email or a secure link on or before 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, October 21, 2011. Winners will be notified by email or telephone on or before Wednesday, October 27, 2011.

If any Winner does not respond to the notification within twenty-four hours after notification by email or telephone, or any Winner does not meet all eligibility requirements including signing the Affidavit and Release referred to below, an alternate Winner will be selected from the Contest Finalists. Each Winner must produce adequate proof of identity, such as a driver license or photo I.D. card, in order to be awarded the Prize.


The Winners will be required to sign and return an Affidavit of Eligibility and General Release, which includes an affirmation of eligibility, a release and waiver of legal claims, and consent to publicity. Failure to complete and sign the Affidavit of Eligibility and General Release will result in forfeiture of the Prize and its award to another Finalist.


Judges for this Contest (and mentors for the Winners) are Bill Mitchell, leader of news transformation and entrepreneurship at Poynter, Wendy Wallace of Poynter’s entrepreneurship faculty and Poynter’s two Ford Fellows, Mark Briggs, co-founder of Serra Media and author of the books “Journalism 2.0” and “Journalism Next,” and Jeremy Caplan, visiting professor in entrepreneurial journalism at the Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York and former reporter for TIME and Newsweek.


For a list of Prize Winners, send a self-addressed stamped envelope before November 15, 2010 to: Wendy W. Wallace, Entrepreneurship Faculty, 801 Third Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701


All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply. Void where prohibited by law.

By entering the Contest, the entrant, for him/herself and for his/her heirs, executors, administrators, assigns and anyone else claiming by or through him/her, waives, covenants not to sue and fully releases and forever discharges any and all rights, claims or causes of action whatsoever that he/she may have against Sponsor arising directly or indirectly out of entrant’s participation in the Contest. For purposes of this waiver and release, “Sponsor” includes Poynter Institute and its subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors, employees and agents. This waiver and release covers, without limitation, any damage, liability, cost, attorneys’ fees and expenses whatsoever, whether known or unknown and whether foreseeable or not.

Sponsor reserves the right to make changes in the rules of the Contest, including the substitution of a Prize of equivalent value, which will become effective upon announcement.

Sponsor is not responsible for typographical or other errors in printing, the offering, or the administration of the Contest or in the announcement of the Prize.


The Sponsor of the Contest is the Poynter Institute, 801 Third Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

Copyright 2010 The Poynter Institute. All Rights Reserved.

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Bill Mitchell is CEO and publisher of the National Catholic Reporter. He was editor of Poynter Online from 1999 to 2009. Before joining Poynter, he…
Bill Mitchell

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