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Recess isn’t just for kids: Enter our video journalism contest!

Summer is here, and the kids aren’t the only ones coming back home to see you.

If you’re familiar with “August Recess”, you know that it is a time when your federal representatives unplug from Washington, return to the real world, and traditionally hold events, meetings, and town halls around the state to reconnect with the taxpayers that put them in office.

Although it doesn’t receive as much press, your local and state reps also spend their “Summer Recess” off from their governmental duties, and hold public events around their state, city, or town throughout the season as well (parades, festivals, grand openings, charity events, etc.).

Do you feel your elected officials are losing touch? Let’s show THEM by showing UP.

Watchdog Wire is holding a summer-long video journalism contest for the best original video coverage– local, state or federal– of this Summer Recess. Video submissions will be featured on Watchdog Wire and voted on by the public throughout the summer on a rolling basis. Prizes that compliment participants’ filming and technology flair will be awarded to the videos with the most votes. The winner of the first round caught Hillary Clinton being ambushed on her book tour by protesters in her own hometown.  Our August round has begun and we’re giving out a Kindle Fire HD (or an Amazon gift card equal in value) to the video with the most votes!

Grand Prize:

WIN-DCThere will also be a grand prize for the best video coverage for the entire summer, which will be determined by a panel of celebrity judgesThe grand prize winner will receive a trip to Washington, D.C. filled with tours, briefings, and more! All videos submitted throughout the summer will be automatically opted in for grand prize consideration.

If you aren’t comfortable or familiar with filming video, don’t sweat it! Watchdog Wire broadcast a webinar on how to shoot video at local events just for you! We also have a video tip sheet for citizen journalists on how you can use video to tell your story.

Video subject matter is open-ended:

 Here are some ideas and angles to consider:

  • Interview attendees on video. Are there any interesting people or groups attending the event?
  • Prepare tough questions ahead of time for your representatives and ask them on video.
  • Is there anything interesting happening outside of the event? Are there protesters or controversial signs?
  • Is there a Q and A session or a time for audience interaction? If so, film the questions and how the representatives respond.

Contest Rules for Engagement:

  • Participants will NOT be judged on their video editing skills or filming expertise. Videos will be judged based on originality and substance.
  • Participants are responsible for finding out where and when their representatives are holding events. Do an online search or call up your official’s office. The Watchdog Wire team will offer assistance as needed.
  • Participants can submit more than one video throughout the contest.
  • The suggested time limit for video submissions is 2-3 minutes. Editing assistance for time length is available as needed.
  • The contest will end September 8, 2014.

Click here to submit your video for the Summer Recess Video Contest!

Need inspiration? Check out these videos captured by citizens. 

Email info@watchdogwire.com or call 571-384-2090 for assistance. 

Categories: Uncategorized


  1. Protected: Select the grand prize winner of Watchdog Wire’s summer video contest
  2. Meet Our Celebrity Judges for the Summer Video Contest
  3. Watchdog Wire Weekly Wrap
  4. The power of what citizens can capture with video
  5. Recess isn’t just for kids: Enter our video journalism contest!


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