Journalism honor commends sustained excellence
With online student publications and media becoming increasingly popular, 70 newspapers from across the country were considered for the recognition, regardless of school size or division. Last year The Feather staff met in Anaheim and won a Pacemaker, an equivalent of a Pulitzer Prize for high school journalism.
For the fourth year in a row, the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) recognized The Feather Online as a finalist for the organization's Online Pacemaker award. Each year the NSPA offers its highest honor to online publications and found The Feather Online as one of its 15 finalists, including seven schools from California, March 4.
With online student publications and media becoming increasingly popular, 70 newspapers from across the country were considered for the recognition, regardless of school size or division. Entries were judged by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Last year there were 50 entries and 35 in 2007.
According to the NSPA Web site, Online Pacemaker finalists are judged on the following criteria: "excellence in content, site design, ease of navigation, writing/editing and multimedia content." The NSPA has been judging student publications since 1921. A Pacemaker is often referred to as the Pulitzer Prize of high school journalism.
The NSPA will award Online Pacemakers during its spring convention with the Journalism Education Association in Phoenix, AZ, April 18.
"Seeing our Web site on the list of finalists is one of the most exciting things that can happen to the editors," senior Chelsea Joy, editor-in-chief, said. "It is such an accomplishment for all involved. Seeing the finalized list of candidates is a dream come true."
Principal Jon Endicott appreciates not only The Feather's honors, but its relevancy to the student body.
For the fourth year in a row, The Feather Online has been nominated for a Pacemaker by the National Scholastic Press Association. A group of editors will travel to Phoenix, AZ, and join nearly 5,000 high school journalists in the NSPA convention and competition, April 16-18.
"More importantly than awards, we are proud of how vital The Feather is to our school," Endicott said. "It serves as an essential communication hub on campus. If students, parents and teachers aren't going online to The Feather on a daily basis, they are missing what the students are talking about in the hallways and what is important to our school."
High school online newspapers from across the United States are judged every day during February and March for the right to be a finalist. The Feather editors are Joy, Suzanna Quiring, Austin Ward, Spencer Lee, Brittany Stobbe, Andrew Rurik and Elizabeth Grossman.
The award comes on the heels of another national honor. The Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) in New York City awarded The Feather Online its Crown award, Feb. 26. The CSPA, sponsored by Columbia University, will bestow a Gold or Silver Crown on The Feather Online during it spring convention, March 20.
"Seeing our Web site on the list of finalists is one of the most exciting things that can happen to the editors. It is such an accomplishment for all involved." ?Chelsea Joy, editor-in-chief
Adviser Greg Stobbe is scheduled to be one of the speakers at the event. Palo Alto High School in Palo Alto, CA, is the only other high school to be honored with an Online Pacemaker and Crown designation in 2009 for its online newspaper, The Paly Voice.
New content from The Feather is available through Macintosh widgets, Twitter and Digg. An iPhone application is expected by the end of the school year.