Independent editor produces newspaper, garners accolades
While the online efforts of The Feather are often more widely recognized, the print version has been recognized with a gold medal from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) for last year's product.
The gold is the third for the staff, and the first for hard copy editor Elizabeth Grossman, '10. Past editors Gary Darakjian, '06, and Ryan Martens, '08, have also garnered the award.
The CSPA, which is based at Columbia University in New York City, evaluated all the papers produced during the 2008-09 school year, grading them based on coverage, writing and editing, graphic presentation and business operations. The judges gave The Feather a score of 935 out of 1000 points.
"I was thrilled when I heard we won a gold medal," Grossman said. "Because the online version of the paper is so much more visible to both the student body and the outside community, it's an honor to be recognized for the work I do on the other aspect of The Feather."
Although focusing on the online portion, the efforts of last year's editor-in-chief, Chelsea Joy, were also rewarded with Grossman's.
"It's probably one of the most exciting things I've heard in a long time, and it's nice to know that hard work is rewarded," Joy said. "I'm happy for everybody that got the news. Elizabeth, that girl is really deserving of this award; it was probably most of her doing that we won, because of the amazing layout she designed."
"Because the online version of the paper is so much more visible to both the student body and the outside community, it's an honor to be recognized for the work I do on the other aspect of The Feather." --Elizabeth Grossman, '10
The print paper, under the control of Grossman, was also recognized by the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA). The organization gave the publication a first class award with two marks of distinction.
The NSPA also conducts a Web journalism competition each spring for its Online Pacemaker award. The Feather has been a finalist for this distinction four years in a row and won twice (2006, 2008).
Adviser Greg Stobbe, who began the online chapter of The Feather, has continued to advocate the print version, and initially recruited Grossman to head up the project.
"I'm impressed with The Feather staff's attitude of excellence," Stobbe said. "Elizabeth follows two other layout and design editors who have taken responsibility for learning their craft to create a publication that compliments the online edition. Elizabeth's meticulous attention to detail was rewarded and I am proud to be her adviser."
Although Grossman has ultimate authority over the print paper, the independence also presents her with challenges.
"When I began working on The Feather, I sat alone in the midst of the elementary typing classes and learned the basics of InDesign," Grossman said. "Now, only two years later, I am able to help The Feather compete on the national stage. I think that speaks very loudly for the campus journalism program and the other staff members' dedication, as well."
For the 2009-10 staff, the responsibility falls on new staff members and editors to continue the legacy of both online and print honors.
"It is amazing that The Feather has this long-standing legacy of excellence, and now it is our job to perpetuate it," current editor-in-chief Suzanna Quiring, '10, said. "It's really rewarding to know that even after last year ended, and we were awarded for our online paper, our oft-overlooked print paper has been acknowledged.
"I'm especially happy for Elizabeth because she has spent so many years in the journalism lab by herself, working on the print paper, which not that many people read. It's so great that all her work and stress has paid off."
For more information, e-mail Stobbe.