This page details a charter for best practices with regards to any community organisers wishing to host a national competition, awards or jury process for the annual Wiki Loves Africa photographic competition. These are a set of guidelines for community organisers to follow.
Please note: Each year the International Organising team hosts a meeting about juries and prizes for local organisers, watch the Organisers Meeting page for details.
Wiki Loves Africa runs in, and accepts entries from, EVERY African country (and beyond !).
In some countries, there are Wikipedian teams that are eager and willing to host events and activities around the annual photographic contest. Some of those teams have decided to host local competitions so there are national winners. Note that organizing a selection of national winning images is NOT A REQUIREMENT of being a community that participates in Wiki Loves Africa. It is, however, a good activity for the local team if they feel confident enough as a team to do so.
Hosting a local awards process has many benefits, these range from:
- providing a high-profile element that encourages the team to collaborate (and have fun!),
- working with professional photographers on the jury that helps to validate the contest at a local level among the photographic community,
- creating visibility and excitement about a local prize with local journalists and on social media.
First, before you set up the Jury process
Decide on, and make it clear in your communications, what prizes are being offered, in what category, and what winners can expect to win. Make sure the following elements are clear to everyone interested in the competition:
- What prize categories are being offered - this can be general quality images that reflect the theme or more specific images that reflect an aspect of the theme or add to a specific subject or format. For example, you could have a category that reflects Women specifically related to the theme, or a traditional or cultural representation of the theme. Or you could decide to celebrate a format, i.e. quality videos or audio. Be clear what the categories are.
- What is the prize value of each category? As a team decides what the winner of each category will receive when they win it. Again, be clear in. your communications around the prizes.
- What are the criteria for judging each category. It might seem obvious, but it is best to be clear.
Suggested guidelines for the Jury process
In 2020, a meeting was held with WLA organisers to discuss options and ideas around local competitions. There is an audio file of the meeting and covers a lot of what is discussed in the guidelines below.
Choosing the jury
The jury should be made up of a mix of photographers with either professional or Wikimedia Commons experience. Please consider skill set, experience and diversity when gathering your Jury. Approach media and photographic groups, photographic or media schools, and photographic associations for nominations. Please make an effort to find and include representatives from different genders and minority groups.
The size of the team ... depends on the number of photographs that have been submitted. It really is up to you, but it should be at least 3 people and more. A good general guideline would be 3-5 members for under 750 images. 5-8 members for 2500 images and below. An odd number of jurors often works better than an even number.
There are also practical considerations:
- Jury members must be able to write and read in the same language - you will be discussing images online, it is best to be able to understand one another!
- They must be able to commit the time to judge up to 200-500 photos in three rounds over a period of 3-6 weeks (be clear about your timeframes)
- It would be helpful if the juror would be willing to share their real name for documentation (if a Wikimedian).
- Jury work is a voluntary effort, there is no financial compensation or reward.
- If a non-Wikimedian is a member of a jury, and you are using a Wikimedia jury tool, they will have to create a Wikimedia account to do the judging.
- Important: you will need the Wikimedia usernames of each of the jury members when you set up your jury tool. It is best to gather this information early.
- List your jury members and a short profile on their work so competitors are reassured that someone with knowledge will be choosing the winners. Put this information on your Community contest page. You can get ideas from the local teams.
Finding jury members beyond your team
If you are looking for jury members, consider asking help from former members of national or international juries of other photo contests such as Wiki Loves Africa, Wiki Loves Earth, Wiki Loves Monuments etc. Some names below (they may or may not agree to help, just contact them and ask. 😉
- Benoît Prieur (fr, en)
- Michael Maggs (en)
- Sebastiaan Ter-Burg (en)
- Wilfredo Rodríguez (en, fr, pt)
- Habib M’HENNI (ar, fr)
- Nadine Le Lirzin (fr)
- Jacques KOUAO (fr)
- PierreSelim (fr, en)
- Pyb (fr, en)
- Ash Crow (fr)
- Justice Okai-Allotey (en)
- Mermoze (fr, en)
- Mike Peel (en)
- Add your name here if you volunteer to help on a local jury of WLA
If you are listed above and you prefer not to... simply remove your name. Thanks 🙂
You may also dig on jury page for more options.
Conflicts of interest and ethics
It is best practice to ensure that the jury members are independent of the competition. This means that they have not submitted photographs for the competition and they are not part of the main organising team. The jury members can be drawn from the local professional community (photographic associations, photography teachers, or photojournalists). Jurors can also be drawn from the local (and international) Wikimedia Commons community. This allows a healthy mix of people who know about Wikimedia world, and those who are professionals.
Choose and set up a jury platform for judging
There are a few tools that have been created to assist in the jury selection process. While each community contest is free to choose their jury tool of choice, the international team develops, maintains, and supports Montage if you decide to choose this jury tool.
Using the Montage Tool
- Request access for your country jury – Only request campaigns after your competition has ended! In your request, include the following information:
- the Commons category that was used for the contest, for example: Category:Images from Wiki Loves Africa 2021 in Benin
- the start and end dates of the competition/uploaded images (in UTC) (if there were some late entries and you were allowing this, then allow a few days after the competition stopped)
- the Wikimedia username for the jury coordinator
- Once you have signed up your community contest to the Montage tool
Other useful tools to consider
The international team currently uses the Montage Jury tool, but there are other tools and processes available should the local teams not wish to use it.
- List of tools that could be useful to you
- Commons' Jury tools are a list of tools used in Jury selection processes
- “Selecting winners of a large photo contest” learning pattern
- Most uploads tool, with the example of WLA 2020 in Rwanda
Jury guidelines on criteria for selection
Here are a few things for the jury to consider when selecting photographs to go through the process.
- Encyclopedic value - does the photo present the subject with clarity?
- Subject Matter – is the subject appropriate to the theme? (In this case, Transport / On the Move?
- Storytelling – how well does the photo evoke the viewer’s imagination?
- Impact – what you feel when you first view the photo. Does it evoke an emotion?
- Creativity – has the photo captured the photographer's idea, message or thought in an original and imaginative way?
They should also consider technique, composition, presentation, colour balance, lighting and focal point/s. And, of course, the photo, or an aspect of the photo, should be in focus (unless intended not to be). All photos should be more than 3 mb in size.
Jury selection process
Depending on the size of the 'pool' of entries, you should plan on the following process (if your pool is smaller (350 or less), you could probably reduce rounds 2 and 3 to the final round:
- 1st round - yes/no cleaning round. This round is where the quality contenders are separated from the mediocre or poor quality entries. Criteria is a quality assessment, and check for and Copyvios, watermarks, etc.
- 2nd Round - a rating round. This round has the jurors rating the images by between 1-5 stars.
- Final or 3rd round. The jurors rank their top 30 selection. in order of ranking.
You have your top 10 winning images, now what ?
- IMPORTANT: Check that the images are not copyright violations. You can use this tool Tineye to see if these images have been used anywhere else and by whom. Please contact the photographer if there are any doubts. We CANNOT have winners that are copyright violations. It is against the licencing laws we abide by.
- Do not have the two images in the top 3 from the same photographer. If necessary, place the 3rd image 4th and then the 4th image 3rd so other photographers have a chance at the limelight.
- Contact your winners. Let them know. Give them time to get back to you. Do not defer the winning pot to the next ranked winner. Their image has won. It is theirs.
- Ask your winners why they chose to shoot that image. Ask them what winning means to them. Document those quotes. These quotes will provide more interest to your press release, country page or grant request report.
- Once you have contacted the winners, let the press and community know. Make some noise about it!
- Write up the winners on your Commons page.
- Share the link with the international organising team and on the Telegram channel!
- Share your link and the photographs on Social Media - link the photographers and @WikiLovesAfrica in your posts
- Write and send out a press release. Make sure you include information about who made up the Jury. You can use this international press release from the 2019 winners as a guideline.
- More elements
- Jurors names
- Jury process
- Prizes delivered, winners and winning images
- Share the winners with us!!
- Ask the winner's questions - such as "why did you choose to take that picture?" or "How was the experience of entering Wiki Loves Africa?"
Be inspired by the International jury process or the country winners documentation for the 2021 contest.
Frequently asked questions from the Community
Cannot find the answer to your question below? Add your question on the talk page of this article!
- Can we do the photo selection and hold everything until the COVID-19 situation ends and we host our ceremony as planned?
- We may never know when the COVID crisis ends. Please proceed through the jury process (doing everything online and remotely). If your country's health guidelines allow for it, you can plan an awards ceremony. One suggestion is to send the prizes to the winners (if it is financial) as soon as you announce the winners. Then have something physical (a certificate and or framed copy of their image or t-shirt) to give them at the ceremony. How you choose to do that is up to you and your team.
- If the award ceremony is delayed, is it okay to make the report after that time. For example, if we host the awarding ceremony in June and we make the report in July?
- That is between you and the WMF rapid grant team. As it is not something you can control, they should give you an extension.