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Sevier's Sequoyah Scribe among 67 honored as 2018 newspaper Pacemaker finalists

Staff reports • Sep 17, 2018 at 10:30 PM

MINNEAPOLIS — Sevier Middle School’s student newspaper, The Sequoyah Scribe, has won a finalist slot in the national Pacemaker awards for the third year in a row. 

Honoring the nation’s best in student journalism, the National Scholastic Press Association named the Scribe among 67 scholastic student newspapers and newsmagazines as finalists in its Pacemaker competition.

Pacemaker finalists will be recognized and the Pacemaker winners will be announced at the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention, to be held Nov. 1-4 in Chicago. The paper and its students also have won other accolades over recent years and earlier this year. It won a Pacemaker in 2014 and was a finalist in 2017.

Social studies teacher David Flanary is adviser for the paper. The editors for the 2017-18 school year, upon which the 2018 awards are based, were: Editor in Chief Brianna Galloway, Student Life Editor Balu Pushkas, Opinion Editor Ella Miller, Arts Editor LeBette Long, Sports Editor Laura Murphy, Web Editor Conner Hall, Social Media Coordinator Abigail Fanning and Assistant Editor Meredith Mooney.

“The Pacemaker is the association’s pre-eminent award,” Laura Widmer, executive director of NSPA, said in a news release. “NSPA is honored to recognize the best of the best.”

The NSPA Pacemaker award has a rich tradition, and the association started presenting the award to high school newspapers a few years after the organization was founded in 1921. Throughout the years, yearbooks, magazines, online sites and broadcast programs were added to the competition. The 67 Pacemaker finalists represent 24 states and England. California and Texas both set the pace with 14 finalists each.

In all, 260 student news publications from 38 states entered the Pacemaker competition. Two teams of three judges devoted two days to the judging and studied every entry discussing its strengths and weaknesses. In the first round of the competition, the news publications competed against those of similar types — tabloid newspaper, broadsheet newspaper, newsmagazine and junior high/middle school.

When the process was finished, the 67 Pacemaker finalists were named. From that group, 28 will earn the Pacemaker award placing those publications in the top 10 percent. 

“The best newspapers and newsmagazines delivered relevant coverage that resonated with student readers and the school community with appropriate sourcing, abundant student quotes and consistent journalistic style,” Gary Lundgren, associate director and coordinator of the competition, said in the release. “The Pacemakers represent the best in verbal and visual storytelling.”

Even in a digital age, print publications are thriving in high schools across the country, Lundgren said. Most print news publications have shifted to more in-depth coverage and now report breaking news on companion websites. In this competition, only the print news product was judged. A separate NSPA 2018 Online Pacemaker competition recognized 42 online news sites in April. Several schools earned Pacemaker honors for both their print and online products.

 

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