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President of the Jury: Why the amount of Malofiej gold medals was halved this year

You would probably think it’s only natural that the amount of medals in each years edition of Malofiej will fluctuate quite a bit. The amount of entries, the general level of the work submitted, the different judging teams would all have an impact.

And it’s true – if you look at the gold medals. But the silvers are pretty close, and look at the bronzes – 96 medals each year for three consecutive years? What is going on?

Malofiej2007: 10 gold medals, 50 silver medals and 96 bronze medals
Malofiej2009: 18 gold medals, 55 silver medals and 96 bronze medals
Malofiej2010: 9 gold medals, 51 silver medals and 96 bronze medals

I asked Svetlana Maximchenko if she had an idea, why they cut the amount of golds so heavily this year? Some rumors on-site speculated, that it might be because of the financial crisis – (everything in the media industry seems to get explained with that damned crisis) – and that the level of work this year was simply not as good as last year.

Svetlana Maximchenko were the President of the Jury and as such she handled the voting procedure – overseeing that every entry got treated fairly.

Judges sought for the perfect graphics

In the videoshot she explains the fewer gold medals with the judges’ decision to seek the perfect graphics and not to argue so much with each other about the medals. If three judges (out of nine in print) didn’t vote it to get an gold, it didn’t get one. Noone tried to push hard for individual entries. It takes eight votes to get a gold.

I can see this approach having a direct effect on the amount of golds – as I remember my own judging experience to be quite the opposite – we argued all the time and tried to push each other, and only used the voting for the official counts. Getting Nigel Holmes to support and vote gold for 3D-work in Brazilian Magazines was no small feat, mind you. ;-)

If the amount of medals has an impact on amount of entries, workshoppers or summit-participants remains to be explored (an infographic anyone?). Human psychology will probably mean that more people are inclined to send in entries if the chance of winning a gold medal seems within reach. On the other hand it’s important that the medals aren’t viewed as too easy to get, as that would diminish the value of the award considerably.