In the first month of school, the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) critiques high school papers in five categories. The organization awarded The Feather Online the rating of All-American, which is the highest recognition, with Five Marks of Distinction.
In the critique NSPA judge Michelle Fahring, awarded The Feather 3,750 points out of 4,300. The criteria for All-American status is 3,400 points or more and either four or five Marks of Distinction.
This is the second year in a row The Feather earned an All-American designation.
"(I) appreciate your attention to detail, daily updates to the site content, and use of Facebook, Twitter, RSS, etc," Fahring said. "As a matter of fact, it is obvious that your staff is continually making an effort to dialogue with your readers."
In particular, The Feather received a score of 900/1,000 in coverage and content, 900/1,000 in interactivity and community, 350/500 in breaking news, 900/1,000 in design and navigation, 400/500 in rich media and 200/200 in minor categories.
"The Feather includes web exclusive content including blogs, interactive elements, video, etc," Fahring said. "Coverage appears to be comprehensive, focusing on many aspects of the high school community including news, sports, features, entertainment, opinions, blogs, etc. Choosing the right medium is an important factor in the success of an online publication."
As technology progresses, The Feather continues to develop by including more media, but there are always areas of improvements.
"I encourage you to continue blending Web-based newspaper technology with TV broadcasting/video to round out your coverage," Fahring said. "Continue consistent use of audio, video, slideshows, audio slideshows, text and graphics-each media element should tell a story."
Adviser Greg Stobbe was appreciative of Fahring's remarks and added the critique gave the staff ways to build on past success while focusing on newer innovations.
"The editors know the importance of being forward thinkers," Stobbe said. "The honor of All-American is important that it shows them they are using the journalistic tools correctly. It is up to the staff whether they will continue to converge all the medias into a dynamic and relatable online newspaper. I am looking forward to watching them develop their paper this school year."