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Reflecting Reality: Jurying by the Youth Media Festival Committee

by Oliver Maharo

The process of jurying is a process in which a neutral third party examines what is presented and then makes a final judgment. Here at Wide Angle, we have the Youth Media Festival coordinator, Carey Chiaia, acting as the first party, the person submitting his or her work as the second party, and then finally us, the Youth Media Festival Committee, as the third party. Our job is to give the final judgment on whether a submission makes it into the festival or not.

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Here are my fellow YMF classmates. From left to right: Melissa, Tyson, Arriana, and LJ.

The jurying process is based on one vote per person and the final decision is based on the majority vote. For example, we’ve been doing a lot of jurying in class in preparation for the 8th annual Wide Angle Youth Media Festival. Work is presented to us and after careful consideration we each cast a vote on whether we think the work presented should make it or not. I am the type of person that usually struggles with saying no, especially when I know the amount of hard work that has gone into the work presented before me. It has been wonderful working with other people knowing that the final judgment did not rest solely on my shoulders since it was a majority vote. However, I did believe that each vote counted and so I felt involved in the decision. Also, there were times where I would like a submission but then someone else ended up not liking it or vice versa. This has helped me see things from different perspectives other than my own.

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In this picture, we are voting on a photo submission. Tyson raises his hand to comment on what he has just seen.

After careful analysis of the work presented, I must say, I was surprised at how talented and creative young people in Baltimore can be. I wasn’t expecting the high quality of work we received. It goes to show how much effort and hard work the students put in. The work they presented to us personally amazed me; the work they submitted testified to how creative they are.

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Here we are carefully analyzing a video submission based on the guidelines on our rubric.


The festival is fast approaching. I’m excited and looking forward to everything about it. This is my first year with Wide Angle and with the festival, but I’ve heard many things from my classmates. I heard that you get to interact with other people outside of Wide Angle who are doing similar programs, you get to meet the people that make things happen, and you also get to spend time looking at the different types of works that people present. I’m very excited about it!

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Here we are watching and evaluating a video submission on bullying.

Join us for the festival’s opening night on May 15, 2013 at the Creative Alliance from 5:00-8:00 PM. Wide Angle Youth Media will also be offering free art activities to groups and the public from 3-5 PM. Buy tickets


Oliver Blog WebOliver Mahoro currently lives in Baltimore City but is originally from Rwanda. Oliver is a junior at the Academy for College and Career Exploration. He likes to do a lot of things, but the things he enjoys the most are playing with his younger brother, playing guitar, and singing with his family. His interests are playing sports, reading books on healthy living, and also learning about animals. At Wide Angle Youth Media, he is a member of the Youth Media Festival Committee. Where he and his classmates plan for the annual festival. Apart from class, he is also an intern at Wide Angle Youth Media. He is a very active person, so he takes part in many extracurricular activities. He is a part of his school’s athletics team and plans on playing soccer once the season starts. When he is older, he would like to become an engineer – he loves math and science, but would like to become a part-time photographer too.

The Wide Angle Youth Media Festival gives voice to Baltimore City’s youth and provides a forum to showcase creativity and perspectives at a variety of venues throughout Baltimore City. Participants will have the opportunity to exhibit their work in a local gallery and participate in a traveling exhibition that will be on view throughout Baltimore City.