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Submission Rules & Acceptance Criteria

Rules For Submission

If you are considering taking part in our very exciting competition, please read the following information which provides you with everything you need to know about what’s expected from your entry.

Acceptance Criteria

Not meeting the competitions acceptance criteria means that the entry cannot be accepted as a valid entry and cannot be shortlisted for submission to the international Young Reporters for the Environment competition.


Submissions must include:

  1. The name of the author(s)
  2. Their age on the day of submission and Date of Birth. 
  3. The name of their registered school or group
  4. If you are submitting a group entry, the age and Date of Birth of the oldest group member on the day of submission must be supplied.

They must also:

  • be the correct length, size and format, etc; specific guidelines for written Articles, Photographs and Video as detailed here and on our website
  • be submitted in written or spoken English, or have English subtitles in the case of a video
  • be focused on the competition themes and think about how this affects the local and wider community
  • concentrate on possible solutions or present existing possible solutions through an expert or different local stakeholders
  • have been disseminated to a local audience through more than three different media outlets:

        This can be through a School Assembly presentation; promotion through social media; websites; local newspapers; eco-event at school

  • have accreditation and have permission for usage of the pictures and music which are not original and used in the Article and the Video
  • Information about chosen Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) / Global Goal

Written Entries - Rules

  • Written submissions must not exceed 1,000 words in length and may include illustrations and photographs. The source of all non-original illustrations and photographs must be given
  • An article must be accompanied by a title of not more than 140 characters
  • Articles must be sent digitally in Microsoft Word or .pdf format with accompanying pictures following the photographic guidelines below
  • Original photographs should also be sent separately (see in what format under photographs below)
  • three pictures including infographics are allowed with captions of max. 20 words for each.

Photograph - Rules
Two subcategories: Reportage or Campaign

  • A single photograph must be submitted
  • A photograph must be accompanied by a title of not more than 140 characters
  • It is mandatory for Reportage photography to attach a short description of no more than 150 words to explain the link with environmental sustainability and/or a solution to the problem and/or issue. The text attached must make sense of what the story is in relation to the photo
  • It is NOT mandatory for Campaign photography to attach a short description, but it should tell a story by itself. If an entry includes a short description, it has to follow the same condition as the Reportage photography mentioned above
  • Photographs must be submitted digitally as .jpg or .png format with a preferable resolution of not less than 150-300 dpi.

Reportage photography, or what’s also known as documentary photography, is a photographic style that captures a moment or event in a narrative fashion, i.e., images that tell a story.

Campaign photography, or experimental photography described as using alternative techniques. A photographer who does experimental photography uses techniques that are not common with usual photography or digital photography. It is a type of staged photo. The image aims to associate the advertised product and/or firm with certain lifestyles or values.  

Video - Rules
Two subcategories: Reportage or Campaign

  • Videos must be no more than 3 minutes long including credits roll* and in documentary, reporter/interview style (recommended) or public service announcement (PSA) is allowed
  • A video must be accompanied by a title (not more than 140 characters)
  • The format must be compatible with supportedYouTube file formats
  • Background music is only recommended for campaign type of video

Reportage video based on news, event, history, etc., based on direct observation thorough research and documentation.

Campaign video aims at the advertised product, and/or firm with certain lifestyle or values

*It is not mandatory to include credits roll.

Copyright Information

Legal matter is very important and means a lot in the society of today, especially in the field of media. It is your responsibility to be aware of the rules and regulations related to media creation when you work on your piece. Any submissions that we find legal doubt about will be ineligible to win the competition.

Use of music for video entries

It is illegal to copy or otherwise infringe upon the rights of copyright-protected music, without the express written permission of the copyright/rights holder. Obtaining music licences to permit the use of copyright-protected material, even for a not-for-profit video, can be problematic. As such, it is strongly recommended that you do not use copyright-protected music in your video.

As an alternative, you can resort to the YouTube Audio Library, which offers royalty-free tracks made available for any not-for-profit creative purpose, and do not require written permission from the copyrights holder.

You may be aware that many platforms currently scan uploaded videos for coincidences with copyright-protected work. Work found to be using copyright-protected material is usually detected by copyright bots, and suspended from the platform.

Music may also be published under an open content licensing scheme, such as the Creative Commons licence. There are still terms, conditions and restrictions applicable for music taken from the above sources, so please ensure these are fully observed and there is no copyright infringement in your video entry.

Film & Photo Permissions

When creating media (photographs, filming or audio recording) it is important to ensure you gain permission (consent) from any people (subjects) who feature within the media.  This ensures that both the people in the mesia and the person producing the media are clear about what it will be used for, how long it will be kept for and how they are protected by data protection law.  This is best practice as you develop your media skills and for your work with Young Reporters Scotland you need to ask people who feature within your media to complete this form and submit it to Keep Scotland Beautiful with your media.

Download the Young Reporters Scotland media Consent Form

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