The Pearl Post staff received its first Online Pacemaker award on April 27 during the National High School Journalism Convention in Anaheim. The website also received Best of Show and six students received awards in the write-offs.
This biannual convention is sponsored by the Journalism Education Association (JEA) and the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA). An estimated 3,500 students and journalism teachers from 500 schools across the country attended the event, which took place at the Anaheim Hilton Hotel.
In January, The Pearl Post website was one of 48 publications named Online Pacemaker finalists. This weekend, the news site was one of 18 schools to receive this high honor in student journalism. The Pearl Post website previously was a finalist for this award in 2013 and 2016. At this convention, the website also placed first in Best of Show for schools with less than 1,500 students.
“We’ve been working very hard this whole year, and even the previous years, we’ve built up to this,” Online Editor-in-Chief Michael Chidbachian said. “It feels great to finally be recognized for having such a great staff and website.”
In addition to publication awards, individual students received awards for in various categories, including writing, broadcast and design. A total of 1,201 students competed in write-offs on April 26 and only 557 of them placed in Honorable Mention, Excellent or Superior.
Multiple staff members and editors won awards, including New Media Editor-in-Chief Steven Guzman who received an Honorable Mention for the video he produced about the Los Angeles Unified School District Teachers’ Strike in January; Sports Editor Alondra Nuno who received an Honorable Mention for Yearbook Copy/Captions: Sports; Print Editor-in-Chief Kirsten Cintigo who received an Excellent in Newspaper Editing/Headline Writing; Staff Member Casey Wanatick who received an Honorable Mention in Sports Writing; Staff Member Sam Torres who received an Honorable Mention in Editorial Writing and Staff Member Itzel Luna who received an Honorable Mention in News Writing.
“I was proud of myself for winning an honorable mention,” Nuno said. “Last time in Chicago, Ms. Chavira thought I should have won an award because I scored pretty high.”