Dos Pueblos High School student journalists earned a slew of awards at the 2012 National High School Journalism Convention last weekend in San Antonio. Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen was honored for his company’s support of local student journalism.
More than 4,500 students from around the country converged on the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in downtown San Antonio for the Journalism Education Association’s annual conference and competition. Dos Pueblos High was well-represented, with 10 students — Kierstin Brown, Mason Casady, Emma Craine, Mari Eisenbeisz, Savanna Fox, Emily Jewell, William Pan, Haley Peterson, Anna Rudeen and Shannon Thoits — and faculty advisers John Dent and Mike Gerken in attendance. Macfadyen attended sessions Friday and Saturday.
The students from the Dos Pueblos Media Pathway represented broadcast, news and yearbook journalism, and they came away as big winners in the 1,750-student competition. Dos Pueblos’ 2012 yearbook, The Image, earned an eighth-place award in the “Best of Show” category, the first time a Central Coast yearbook has been honored.
In the Yearbook Category, Superior Awards went to Fox for First-Year Photo, Pan for Yearbook Layout-Inside Pages and Thoits for Yearbook Student Life-Photography.
Ankush Khemani of DP News earned a Superior award for Broadcast Commercial.
Brown and Peterson, both editors of The Charger Account, also earned awards: Brown an Excellent Award for Newspaper News-Feature Photography and Peterson an Honorable Mention for Feature Writing.
Dent, chairman of Dos Pueblos’ Career Technical Education Department, said the experience was a rewarding one for the students, most of whom had not attended a previous convention. In fact, he said, the trip generated some job offers.
“Our yearbook company was so impressed by the layout and design of our book, they have offered to hire current and past editors to produce their templates for schools across the country,” he said.
Macfadyen received the 2012 Friend of Scholastic Journalism Award, which is given to professional media outlets or journalists who have made a significant contribution in supporting the efforts of high school journalism programs.
Noozhawk was selected particularly for the resources and assistance it has provided for student journalists at Dos Pueblos’ now online-only school newspaper, The Charger Account, and its broadcast news program, DP News.
When The Charger Account made the switch in 2011 to an all-digital news source from a monthly print newspaper, Macfadyen created a partnership through which Noozhawk’s professional reporters and editors, and even sales representatives, mentored the campus publication’s editorial staff and collaborated on news content. The goal was to use Noozhawk’s journalistic philosophy and marketing strategies to support The Charger Account’s transition by sharing some of the methods Noozhawk relies on in its quest to provide quality local news.
Dent said the partnership with Noozhawk has been a valuable learning experience for the students on the real-world application of the skills they are practicing on campus.
“In all my time working at Dos Pueblos, I have never seen a commitment by a community partner like Bill has given,” Dent said in a previous interview. “It takes a true visionary to see the value to give back to our school at such a dedicated level.
“Bill himself spent many hours on our campus, giving up his valuable time and sharing that of his employees’ to ensure that our students are prepared, and are getting a true real-world experience. This commitment has helped our program grow exponentially and create a valuable news source for our school and community, and build the skills of our students.”
Macfadyen said the San Antonio conference was an impressive display, and bodes well for the future of journalism.
“To see this entire convention center packed with student journalists is inspiring,” he said. “It’s a tumultuous time for our industry, but it’s also an exciting time to get started. Watching and listening to these kids interact with each other and approach the arts of story telling and editing, I’m confident that the business of news will be in good hands.”