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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

Letter to the Editor
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Journalists compete, test skills

Twenty-two bleary-eyed journalism student zombies slowly spilled onto the Fresno State campus mentally preparing for a day of seminars and competitions on March 6. Although these reporters were perhaps tired and irritable, they came to learn.

The annual Muckraker Journalism Conference offers seminars to high school journalism students from over 100 schools in Central California. Classes offer new insights into various categories of writing. On-the-spot competitions are held to test students’ skill and grace under pressure.

For journalism adviser Greg Stobbe, the event held both success and defeat.

“I was disappointed that the newspaper didn’t win All-Valley,” Stobbe said. “But I was extremely pleased that six of our students won individual awards at the competition.”

The campus yearbook, The Shield, won first place, and yearbook student Kristin Dunne, ’04, received an honorable mention. The campus journalism team placed second to Selma High School; The Feather received 92 out of 100 points with Selma winning with 93 points.

Campus students placed in the news, features, opinions, yearbook and photography categories.

“I’m surprised that I won anything since I rarely write news stories,” Melinda Davis, ’05, said. “Getting a chance to test my skills under pressure helped me see what I was capable of doing.”

Several first year journalism students competed at the conference. First time photography competitor, Brianna Stobbe, ’06, won three awards.

“During the awards ceremony I was surprised to hear my name called to come up and receive an award,” Stobbe said. “I was most honored to receive fourth place in photography. This being my first year in journalism, I didn’t think I was going to win anything.”

Some journalists felt inadequate to write on-the-spot and did not want to compete.

“At first when Stobbe told me that he wanted me to do it [compete], I didn’t want to,” Angela Kutnerian, ’06, said. “I didn’t think I could do it. But I tried my best, and I ended up winning third place in feature writing.”

Copy editor Anne Hierholzer, ’05, took home second place for the on-the-spot feature category, placing the highest of all campus competitors.

“I was really glad to get second place,” Hierholzer said. “I didn’t win anything last year, so I really wanted to do well. When I came out of the competition I felt like I did really badly, so winning was a big surprise.”

On-the-spot writing competitors may have had little or no experience with what they wrote about.

“Because I had never done an opinion article in my life, I was really hesitant [to compete],” Taylor Warner, ’05, said. “But I was really excited when I received an honorable mention.”

For more information on the San Joaquin Valley Scholastic Press Association, visit A complete listing of Feather writers who won awards are located in The Feather’s online “”Additional briefs”” section of the announcements.

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