A master's student from the University of Sheffield has won the Generation Video Challenge, which tasked entrants with creating video for a young, online audience.

The competition, run by Associated Press in partnership with Journalism.co.uk, was launched in October last year, inviting student journalists to enter video packages from two to three minutes long.

Three shortlisted entrants then visited the Associated Press offices in London, where they were given 24 hours to choose a piece of AP-filmed video and had to edit it into a piece of video news which would appeal to the target audience of 16 to 24 year olds.

The winning package was created by Adam Page, who is currently studying a broadcast journalism masters at the University of Sheffield. His piece looked at the use of social media by schools in the US.

The competition was launched by AP in response to Deloitte research, which found 16 to 24 year olds "are actually the heaviest users of online video news".

"We always assumed young people were becoming less engaged with the news, and in fact that doesn't seem to be the case", Sue Brooks, director of video transformation at AP, told Journalism.co.uk.

"So we thought, what would happen if we gave the 'train set' for 24 hours to the people who are consuming [online video]? Would they make different types of news? Would they come up with listicles as a way of telling news?"

She said some entries tended to employ more "traditional television techniques", but that Page's final video "stood out because he took the brief to its most extreme".

"I really liked the way he used graphics in his piece, really liked the fact that there was no formal voiceover or narration because again that's something that really works online," she added.

"Very often people are getting their daily news dose online in the office, so they don't have the sound on. So not needing a voiceover is very important, you can just see from the graphics, the geography of the story."

Page screenshot1
A screenshot from Page's final video, showing his use of text overlay

Page also explained his thinking behind the approach he took for the final piece.

"Because I was never going to be in the video I decided to just use text, instead of me speaking," he told Journalism.co.uk. "I just always think it is a bit weird to hear somebody speaking if you don't see them. I think that's just a rule of videos online."

He added that the use of text in online video can also be "slightly more engaging" and "less passive for the audience", which informed his decision to tell the story using the video, a music soundtrack and text overlays.

This "mix of interviews and text...keeps [the audience] on their toes a little bit", he said.

As winner of the competition Page was awarded a GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition camera, and he said winning the contest helped validate his future ambitions in video journalism.

[Video is] probably one of the most frustrating mediums to work in because you have to balance so many things," he said, "research, post-production".

"But when you finish it, it's the most satisfying."

Page's winning entry can been seen in full at the end of the video at the top of this article.

Disclaimer: I was one of the judges of the final three video entries in the Generation Video Challenge

Update: This article was updated to correct the spelling of Sue Brooks's surname

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