Online newspaper earns top recognition in NSPA critique
From left to right, webmaster David Casuga, '12, adviser Greg Stobbe and editor-in-chief Austin Ward, '11, pose for a photo in the computer lab after receiving the NSPA All-American plaque in the mail.
After The Feather was entered into the National Scholastic Press Association's Web Site Critique in October, the organization awarded the publication the rating of All-American, its highest level of recognition, with Four Marks of Distinction.
In the critique, judged by Vincent F. Filak, author of Convergent Journalism (2005), The Feather scored 3,998 points out of 4,300. The criteria for All-American are 3,400 points or more and four or five Marks of Distinction.
"This site is truly incredible," Filak wrote in his critique. "The writing is good, the reporting is good, the visuals are good, the video is good, the approach is good and the audience-centricity is good. I hope to see it again next year."
In particular, The Feather received a score of 1,000/1,000 in coverage and content, 900/1,000 in interactivity and community, 400/500 in breaking news, 950/1,000 in design and navigation, 450/500 in rich media and 298/300 total in minor categories.
The newspaper earned a Mark of Distinction for every possible category except breaking news.
Once adviser Greg Stobbe learned of the result on Nov. 22, he commended his students for earning the top level of recognition in this online newspaper critique.
"I am so proud of the current staff's amazing commitment to excellence as well as the efforts of their predecessors," Stobbe said. "The NSPA commendation validates the all-out effort to communicate that FC students have a stake in both city and state as well as their own community."
Principal Todd Bennett congratulated the staff after the award had been announced to the faculty.
"Congratulations to the staff; it's a great honor," Bennett said. "This is probably the most prestigious national award that they have received. It's pretty outstanding."
Since the beginning of September, the staff has been working to expand its multimedia coverage. This effort has culminated in a new videos section, which houses movies created by both the Video Productions class and The Feather, and a podcasts page, where current podcasts and archived series can be played.
These multimedia additions, as well as blogs and photos, were praised in Filak's critique.
"You use a variety of media to help tell important stories," Filak wrote. "If someone says they don't get a full experience from this site, I'd have to say they are lying."
For more information on journalism awards, read the April 29 article, The Feather wins 3rd Online Pacemaker.