Students & publications win multiple awards at national journalism convention


Bryce Grant

Students and publications in Manual’s Journalism and Communication magnet earned numerous awards at a national high school journalism convention in Indianapolis, including the school’s first ever Pacemaker award and Multimedia Feature Story of the Year.

The convention, organized by the National Scholastic Press Association and the Journalism Education Association, drew over 3800 students from around the country to Indianapolis for four days of workshops, speeches, contests, and opportunities to meet college recruiters.

On the Record was the first Manual publication to earn a Pacemaker, which is the highest award given to student publications by the NSPA. Other Manual publications have been nominated for Pacemakers, but never won.

RedEye’s staff won the Multimedia Feature Story of the Year award for a multimedia recap of 2015’s Red/White Week events.

Harper Carlton (12, J&C), On the Record‘s co-editor-in-chief, said the conference helped her develop the video skills she would need to prepare for film school and produce documentaries.

“I think this convention went well and the sessions were very well taught,” said Carlton, who also earned a top award for her writing on press law & ethics. “When they announced that we won the Pacemaker award it was really exciting because everybody put in so much work. I’ve been staying after late on the weekends and it’s great to see that our hard work is paying off.”

Thomas Simmons (10, J&C) is a staffer on Manual AM.

“We weren’t nominated or given any awards but when I went there I learned about how we could get nominated,” Simmons said. “I think the conference went great because I got to learn about interview techniques and how to lead a publication.”

Simmons also learned a lot from checking out other schools’ publications.

“When we go to these conventions we get to see what other schools are doing and seeing their ideas in action,” Simmons said.

“Even if you’re not on the winning publication, you have that sense of pride going along with your magnet.” Lauren Erdbuerger (10, J&C) said. “It was really nice to know that we accomplished so much.”

Several other Manual students won individual awards as well, including Evelyn Walford (9, J&C), who earned the highest possible ranking (Superior) in the literary magazine photography contest, and Kat Minor (11, J&C), who earned the same ranking in the logo design contest.

Students from high schools all around the country and the world attended the convention. Some students came from as far away as California.

Alicia Vargelis, a senior at Redwood High School in San Francisco, Calif. and the opinion editor of the Redwood Bark, said she came to the convention to learn skills and bond with her newspaper group.

As a San Franciscan, she said she was not used to being in such a small city, but it was very interesting to be exposed to a different environment.

“I think it helped being able to look at other people’s newspapers so we could incorporate different designs and we have a fresh eye to look and take what we have to improve and work better together,” Rogells said.

Simon Ballencourt is a staffer on the Crusader, the newspaper at Bonita Vista High School in Chula Vista, Calif.

“I came to the conference to learn as much about newspaper as possible so we could bring the skills we learned here back to California and use them for our own paper,” Ballencourt said. “Just being here in Indianapolis I’ve been opened up to a whole new world of culture and getting to meet people from all around the country who all share similar interests has been super fun. The program is fantastic, I hope I can come back next year.”

Andrew Friel, the editor-in-chief of Ghostwriter, an online news publication at Westford Academy in Westford, Mass., attended the conference to learn about incorporating social media into news coverage.

“It’s good to see what everyone is doing to try and get some new ideas,” Friel said.