Congratulations TH!NKers! - for all the great articles, and especially of course to the winners. As always, the jury´s job was not easy. Each jury member put together their own list of winners, which was then merged with ratings done throughout the competition based on the criteria of: quality, impact, originality, use of multimedia, personal progression and platform engagement (An in depth description of these criteria can be found here). Each criterion was rated on a scale of 1-5 with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest. Once all six criteria were rated, the numbers were added up and the TH!NKer received a total score out of 30 points possible (5 points per criterion with 6 in total makes 30 points the highest score). We believe that the added mathematical element provided an as fair end result as possible.
As the judges went through and rated each participant, they were also asked to make comments in order to further explain their reasoning. Here are some of the comments that came up during the evaluation of the winners:
Andrea Arzaba from Mexico!
One of the most prolific writers. Great variety and originality in topics, high quality writing. One of the jury´s favourites was 'What If Water Could Speak!?' - also because of the discussion it created.
Anna Zemblicka from Latvia!
Nice clear writing style. Cites sources better than many. Originality in the choosing of the topics. Consistent quality.
Avgi Lilli from Cyprus/Bulgaria!
Well-researched posts! And well connected to other blog posts. She refers to Lluis, Gorky, Pabitra, Sarah, and Jan as seen here. She references Pabitra again here and explains that he inspired her to write this post. She keeps conversations going which is great and her writing style is clear, concise and to to the point. All the effort she put into her posts can be clearly seen. She also took the TH!NKspiration editorial posts seriously as she incorporated some of the topics suggested into her posts as seen here (water and fashion).
Diêgo Lôbo Goiabeira from Brazil!
Diego touches on very unique topics and keeps his audience engaged. He not only wrote good posts but also managed to start conversations among the other members. He actually got them to TH!NK and react! His post entitled “When Water Becomes a Bargain With Religion” is particularly interesting and thought provoking. In terms of overall engagement Diego cites several other member’s posts.
Elena Nikolovska from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia!
A series of "short stories", showing Elena´s interest in poetry. Simple, yet effective. To widen her horizons as a blogger, the jury would recommend that she explores also other forms of story-telling - interviews, photo blogs, journalistic texts.
Fotios Kafarakis from Greece!
Nice mixing of Greek mythology with journalistic facts and figures in 'HYDRO-DEATH'. Solid, clear writing and good use of photos. Also very effective story-telling, with a personal touch, in 'Lake No More'.
Iris Cecilia Gonzales from the Philippines!
Iris received a mass amount of comments and responded to most of them. She references K.N. Vajpai here, Maria here, and Larisa, Radka, and Pabitra here.The list goes on. She even received a comment from guest blogger Joseph B. Treaster (as seen in the previous link) congratulating her for her fantastic writing skills. Her research is done well. Sometimes she could, however, cite her photo sources better. For the most part her enthusiasm and quality of work shines through.
Iwona Frydryszak from Poland!
High-quality, interesting posts, with good use of graphs and photos. A nice example of Iwona´s work is 'Being a Tourist in Kenya' - with the amazing pictures.
Jan Stejskal from the Czech Republic!
Jan is a professional journalist and it shows in his blog posts. There is a personal touch there, but also well-researched objectivity. He makes several references to other bloggers as seen here (reference to Pabitra, Lluis, Lara, and Hassam). 'Do You Pee In The Shower?' is an example of a post with a nicely different topic, which was well written and provoked comments.
Jason Grant from the UK!
Very nice, compelling, high-quality writing. Interesting facts. Jury encourages Jason to experiment with the use of multimedia and links in his future blog posts.
Lara Smallman from the UK!
The quality of Lara´s posts is consistent. She goes out of her way to conduct research for her blog posts, adding a very specific journalistic quality to them, even though the style is personal and bloggy. Some of the best ones include original interview material. She often manages to provoke a discussion on the topic - as we saw already in January in "No" .
Larisa Rankovic from Serbia!
Larisa´s series on the Danube river has been impressive. Nice use of photos, extensive research, originality, and some surprise takes on the topic - such as 'Danube and its Music'.
Laszlo Keki from Hungary!
The 'Red Sludge - Death in the Water' post is a good example of Laszlo´s clear, journalistic style, and he - together with two other TH!NKers - provided a rather extensive coverage of the EU Environment Ministers' informal meeting in Hungary. Some nice cross-posting of photos to the previous TH!NK round on Climate Change.
Lluís Torrent from Spain!
Lluis got awarded for his just one article, which was commented by another TH!NK participant as being straight to the point, clear and extremely interesting!
Mamen Salas Burguete from Spain!
Mamen´s articles were short, clear and thought-provoking.
Mirza Softic from Bosnia!
Mirza´s approach in his blog posts is very original. The use of photos is especially effective and well thought-through, even though the sources/photographers should be credited more clearly. The jury was split about the use of music, however.. He also had a particularly high score in terms of overall impact, with references to competitors´ posts also.
Natasha Culzac from the UK!
Natasha´s post entitled 'Are YOU avoiding your water bill?' provoked an amazing discussion on whether access to water should be a human right. She writes well, and the jury hopes that she continues blogging.
Pabitra Mukhopadhyay from India!
Pabitra clearly knows his stuff! He has done an immense amount of research and has been by far the most active member on the TH!NK site. Multiple people have been inspired by his posts and have referenced him. He is always open to comments and loves to discuss issues. He asks concrete questions to stimulate other members and he encourages them to write about certain topics they may not have thought of. During the jury´s musings he was called the "model TH!NKer".
Peter Vadocz from Hungary!
Peter´s main tool for story-telling is film, which adds a nice dimension to the TH!NK platform. It is a bit surprising that his film posts did not entice more comments. Interesting, thought-provoking, original.
Radka Lankasova from the Czech Republic!
Nice, original topics and ways of treating them - for example in 'Tears'. The jury encourages Radka to experiment with longer forms of writing and using multimedia.
Ronny Patz from Germany!
Ronny has clearly done his research well, and he is well informed about the political aspects of the topic, especially in Europe. His style is that of an investigative journalist. He also refers to other TH!NKers in his posts.
Rose Kelleher from Ireland!
Original style and topics. Effective use of facts and links.
Sarah Fenwick from Cyprus/the UK!
Sarah writes beautifully. Her series on “Moments of Beauty” was impressive. The point was to illustrate all of the beautiful things we will lose if we do not take care of our water sources, and that came across powerfully. The way she chose to address the topic of water was quite unique.
Sylwia Presley from Poland!
Thought-provoking, original, good quality posts. Fascinating (and often scary) facts. Interesting visuals.
Once again, congratulations on a job well done! If you have any questions regarding the selection process or the upcoming reporting trip to Portugal please feel free to contact Hanna (the TH!NK Editor) at any time.
Anne Autio, Eric Karstens, & Tasha Eichenseher
*Teaser Image Copyright of vinsflickr.