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The Feather wins fifth Gold Crown in a row

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

Senior Editor Nick Leblanc speaks during the session ‘Elements of an award-winning newspaper,’ March 17.

Although awards for the CSPA Crown Winners were scheduled to be given on Friday, March 17, there was still much to do before that point at the 93rd annual Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s journalism convention. 

Beginning on an early metro ride to Columbia University, Editor-in-Chiefs Phillip Christopher and Jennifer King along with Senior Editor Nick Leblanc and adviser Greg Stobbe departed from the hotel to prepare for their first session to begin at 8:45 a.m.

The night before, the editors gathered together to perfect the last touches to their presentation slides. Once they arrived with time to set up, early attendees took their seats. The editors greeted and welcomed them before launching into their presentation. With an introduction from Stobbe, the editors took the stage and began their first session ‘Elements of an award-winning newspaper’.

Main points discussed were the levels of organization, leadership and teamwork that The Feather focuses on a daily basis. At the end of the session, the editors commenced in a question time where many attendees eagerly rose hands. Immediately after their first session, the editors would soon begin their second session right after, ‘Social Media: incorporate these powerful tools. Together both sessions each averaged about 50 attendees.

After the editors had finished both sessions, there was still two more sessions to attend before a lunch break. When lunch time approached, students wandered around looking for a yummy location. After grabbing a bite to eat, The Feather staff met in a lounge on level 2. From this moment on, staffers anxiously waited before the awards ceremony started.

The Roone Allege Auditorium doors were opened at 2:30 p.m. in Lerner Hall and hundreds of students from nearly 300 high school media teams scrambled inside to snatch enough seats. During the awards all the Crown winners from Digital, Print, Hybrid newspapers along with magazines were announced as Silver or Gold Crowns alphabetically. With biting nails and sweaty hands, staffers awaited the announcement they have been waiting for all year.

“The Feather Online…Gold Crown,” are the words that immediately sent the staff into immediate hugs and happy tears. The editors traveled down the middle aisle to be handed their Gold Crown. With the award in hand, they made their way over to the photo wall where they had their photo taken with Director of CSPA Edmund Sullivan. Staffers made their way outside to pose with their new award in front of the Low Memorial library.

Winning the Gold Crown was a huge accomplishment. It felt like all the hard work payed off. It’s cool to be a part of the winning legacy at The Feather with this being our fifth year in a row. I’m disappointed we won’t be competing for the NSPA Pacemaker, but I’m committed to helping train and recruit so next year’s staff can do the same thing. — Phillip Christopher, Editor-in-Chief

The Feather was one of six schools, regardless of size, state or division, to be honored with a CSPA High School Gold Digital News Crown. Winning the Gold Crown for a second year, Phillip Christopher is thankful to have won one while he was Editor-in-Chief.

“Winning the Gold Crown was a huge accomplishment,” Christopher said. “It felt like all the hard work payed off. It’s cool to be a part of the winning legacy at The Feather with this being our fifth year in a row. I’m disappointed we won’t be competing for the NSPA Pacemaker, but I’m committed to helping train and recruit so next year’s staff can do the same thing.”

Once many photos were taken, The Feather group headed back to the hotel to prepare before their celebration dinner at Jack’s Wife Freda: An American-Mediterranean bistro in West Village. Having never been to this restaurant, writer Marianna Fikse was excited about what would be served.

“I thought dinner tonight was interesting because it was a lot of food that I had never had before,” Fikse said. “I liked how they served smaller appetizers at first so we all had a chance to try different foods and desserts. I also enjoyed hanging out with The Feather staff and talking about our trip throughout the dinner.”

For a first time in New York, Alexander Rurik reflects on the week and his experiences as a whole.

Cayla Rivas | The Feather Online

As The Feather was announced as Gold Crown winners, the staff leaped for joy.

“The last day was amazing and kind of bittersweet,” Rurik said. “I don’t want to leave this amazing experience but I am ready to go home. The Gold Crown The Feather won today was super special. To be here and really feel like you’re a part of the team that worked hard all year and won a Gold Crown, is a feeling like no other. Plus, the food we had tonight was awesome. I had no idea that restaurant was such a famous place.”

The 2017 Gold Crown is the seventh Gold Crown and fifth in a row earned since 2010. The Feather has also won two Silver Crowns (2009 and 2012). For more information on Feather awards over the years, click on the Achievement section in the footer of the front page.

Tomorrow The Feather will be departing from New York to head back to Fresno. The Feather is proud of the hard work and success that has contributed from a week in the Big Apple.

For more information on the 2016 Feather Gold Crown award, read WRAP UP: Feather earns CSPA Gold Crown

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This author can be reached via twitter @jennypenny8835.

For yesterday’s recap read, Feather takes NYC 2017: Day 5.

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