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The Feather

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The Feather

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BREAKING: Feather named All-American publication

During the trip students will visit the campuses of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University of California, Irvine, Vanguard University and one other college yet to be determined.
[/media-credit] The Feather has earned an All-American distinction from the NSPA.

After weeks of judges visiting The Feather’s website, the National Scholastic Press Association awarded The Feather with their highest recognition with the ranking of an All-American newspaper, along with four marks of distinction, Nov. 19. The publications are judged in five categories: coverage and content, interactivity and community, breaking news, design and navigation and rich media.

According to the NSPA, the organization usually awards the All-American ranking to about 15 percent of all the newspapers they critique. This is the third year in a row The Feather has been awarded an All-American designation from the NSPA. Last year, The Feather was awarded five marks of distinction.

Out of a total of 4,300 points, The Feather received 3,720 points earning it four marks of distinction in all categories except design and navigation. Specifically, the staff received 900/1000 in coverage and content, 850/1000 for interactivity and community, 450/500 for breaking news, 740/1000 in design and navigation and 480/500 in rich media.

In the staff’s best category, the judge Aaron Coggins praises the students for their wide variety of media and the quality of the various media outlets.

“Great use of multi-media,” Coggins said. “The site uses a variety of media, including video, photos, text, graphics, blog and even comics. Nothing flashy . . . it’s all newsworthy and fits into the big picture visually. Photos are good quality. Video is good quality with a variety of shots and then individual/podcast type of video. Audio has good quality.”

Though the staff received high scores, Coggins offers suggestions to improve the site even more.

“The home page is somewhat cluttered,” Coggins said. “A lot of sites are now using a streamlined design. A bit counter intuitively, not highlighting as much on the home page actually make more of it easy to find. Consider making the sidebar horizontal and moving it down the page.”

Overall, Coggins gave the staff many kudos and applauded the solid, consistant work they produce on a daily basis.

“Feather.com is an excellent site,” Coggins said. “It has a plethora of information presented in a varied, multi-media format. The writing is journalistic. Visual elements accompany all articles. News is balanced. Coverage is varied and comprehensive. Video is relevent and of good quality. Solid Job!”

For adviser Greg Stobbe, the staff has impressed him by coming back from losing numerous staff members from graduation. He enjoys watching the students learn to report and succeed in everything they do.

“I am so excited for the staff this year,” Stobbe said. “After graduating 19 seniors and losing two others from the 2011-’12 staff, I was not expecting this group to advance and grow to cover and report their community news, features and opinions as well as they have. Kudos to the editors, especially Tynin Fries {Editor-in-Chief, ’14} and Maddie Yee {Senior Editor, ’13} for their leadership and building a belief factor in the rest of the staff. I love watching a group of students who refuse to believe they can’t. They just do and figure out the details as they go.”

For Yee, the satisfaction that comes with the recognition is the biggest reward for the hard work she and the staff has put into The Feather.

“It feels so satisfying to know that our hard work is paying off,” Yee said. “I am so thankful for Stobbe pushing us to give our best every day, and for the leadership role Tynin has stepped up to fill as Editor-in-Chief. It’s definitely rewarding to know that everything we do, from articles to blogs, to podcasts and even to fun and photos, do not go unnoticed. I am proud to be a part of this team and look forward to working even harder to finish out my senior year in journalism with a bang.”

For more news, read the Nov. 14 article, Company gathers for Operation Christmas Child.

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