Nine publications compete for top 3 distinction
The NSPA named The Feather Online as one of the top three high school newspapers in the United States regardless of size in April 2006. Currently the campus paper is a Pacemaker finalist along with eight others.
For the second year in a row, publication students have reached a milestone in online journalism. The Feather Online and editor-in-chief, Mary Kneefel, ?08, have been named National Scholastic Press Association Pacemaker Finalists on Feb. 20.
The entries were judged for their journalistic focus on content, variety of content, interactivity, navigation, fresh content, editorial vision and site clarity.
?The Pacemaker finalists have excelled in all areas,? NSPA Contest Coordinator Sarah Rice said. ?Our judges looks for a dedication to quality work in both the technical and journalistic sides of the online newspaper web site. The online staffs honored are examples of outstanding student journalism and successful adventure in new media.?
The 12-week competition began Jan. 17 and will conclude when the top three online newspapers in the United States are announced at the NSPA National Convention in Denver, CO, on April 14. For more information, go to the NSPA home page at the National Scholastic Press Association.
?I?m really proud that our paper is a Pacemaker nominee,? Kneefel said. ?We put a lot of work into the paper. I have journalism three times a day and senior editor Jennifer Sherfield has it twice. Occasionall we even stay in after school and during lunch.?
Only nine high school newspapers in the United States have been named finalists this year, up from seven in 2006. Of this year?s finalists, seven are from California and one each from Illinois and Maryland. All high school newspapers in the United States, regardless of school size, are eligible to compete for this award.
?Coming from a small school often limits expectations because of our size,? Kneefel said. ?It shows we can compete at a national level. We lost 14 members from last year's staff and were left with Webmaster Matt Shattuck, myself and three other returning staff members. It left us at a disadvantage because this year?s staff is young and doesn?t have a lot of journalism experience but has improved in a short amount of time.?
Kneefel and Shattuck will accompany adviser Greg Stobbe to Denver and attend the NSPA conference.
Those interested in viewing all nine 2007 Pacemaker finalists should go online to the NSPA website: NSPA Pacemaker Finalists.
?The students at Fresno Christian High School have put in the time and effort it takes to produce an excellent online publication that stacks up against other schools that have taken the time and effort needed to reach their peers through new technology,? Rice said. ?The community should applaud these students for their superior work.?
The staff will take the current print edition to Columbia University on March 14-16 on a biennial trip to the Big Apple to study under professional journalists at the CSPA annual journalism convention. Twenty members will make the trip this year.
In April 2006, The Feather Online and editor-in-chief, senior Brianna Stobbe, were given a NSPA Pacemaker along with this year?s finalists, The Paly Voice of Palo Alto, CA, and Silver Chips of Silver Spring, MD.
Three school newspapers in 2006 won the high school equivalent of a Pulitzer Prize and were honored as the best high school online newspapers in America. For a list last year's winners, go to 2006 NSPA Online Pacemakers.
For more information, contact adviser Greg Stobbe at 559-299-1695 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.