Staff members reflect on significance of their achievement
In the fall semester of the 2015-’16 academic year, the Feather was honored with the title of Crown Finalist by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA). In mid-March, 16 Feather staff members flew to the east coast to attend the CSPA’s Spring Convention, where they would win their fourth consecutive Gold Crown award.
Throughout the week, the reporters attended a series of seminars based on their own journalistic interests. FC pupils studied alongside more than 2,700 students from over 360 schools. A handful of editors were invited to lead their own classes, as well.
Editors-in-Chief Chloe Mueller, Josh Carter and Rees Roggenstein taught two consecutive sessions. The first, “Online Workflow,” laid the grounds for developing and effectively running a web-based publication. The latter, “Thriving in Cyberspace,” dug deeper into the realm of digital media and how it can be implemented into nearly any news piece.
Publication adviser Kori Friesen and Photo Editor Kylie Bell also taught seminars, sharing the tips and tricks behind photojournalism. Friesen lead “Your Photo as a Hook,” which educated the class on the art of capturing and picking the perfect photo. Later, the duo shared “The Nuts and Bolts of Photojournalism,” detailing the process behind efficiently providing pictures to a paper that is constantly updating.
At the awards ceremony, hosted March 18, the Feather was awarded a Gold Crown in the digital news category. This is the sixth time that the publication has been given the Gold Crown. The Feather was one of six newspapers granted this honor. The Foothill Dragon Press and The Paly Voice were the fellow California-based sites presented with this title.
It was an awesome experience to see how many other publications there were hoping to achieve the Gold Crown award. It gave me a lot of respect for the journalism community and how we could come together. It sparked a new sense of eagerness in me to become better and set the bar higher for the future. — Jaden Ventura
Josh Carter felt a sense of elation after meriting the award, and looks forward to the competitions to come in the following months.
“When the Feather was called and labeled a Gold Crown award winner, I was super ecstatic,” Carter said. “After all of our hard work, we had finally pulled through. I look forward to the next several weeks as we work to finish the year, and have the chance to take home the Pacemaker award as well.”
Arts & Entertainment Editor, Justin Houts, was the leader of the Fresno team during the week that the staff was in New York. Houts was able to witness the impact that the award had on the campus back home.
“I was very excited when I heard that we had won the Gold Crown,” Houts said. “The is one of the two main awards we work for all year, so I was very happy our staff was able to bring home such a prestigious award. Around school people were congratulating us and were very happy for the team. I’m very proud that our gifted group of editors and writers who traveled to New York did such an awesome job representing not only our school but also the city of Fresno.”
Sophomore staffer Jaden Ventura journeyed to the Spring Convention for the first time this year, and reported that the experience shifted his perspective on the journalism community.
“It was an awesome experience to see how many other publications there were hoping to achieve the Gold Crown award,” Ventura said. “It gave me a lot of respect for the journalism community and how we could come together. It sparked a new sense of eagerness in me to become better and set the bar higher for the future.”
Mariana Fikse, ’18, was one of the writers that worked in the lab in Fresno during the week. Although she did not witness the ceremony in New York, the award had a large impact on her.
“Being a part of the Feather staff this year was a great experience.” Fikse said. “Even though I wasn’t in New York when we received the award, I was so excited when I heard that we won the Gold Crown. I now know that all the work that everyone put into the Feather this year is paying off. It also helps build my confidence and it feels good to know that our hard work is being recognized.”
For more about the New York trip and Spring Convention, read our Feather Takes NYC series.
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